The Ministry of Health, in collaboration with Cipla, organised a workshop on the latest development in the management, diagnosis and treatment of asthma in primary healthcare in Muscat on Thursday.
The workshop aimed to update the knowledge of health workers in primary healthcare institutions on the treatment and control of asthma by following the approved global guidelines. It also aimed to train the health workers on how to manage asthma clinics, how to diagnose asthma cases and how to use inhalers and their techniques in treating asthma.
Dr Shadha al Raisi, Director of the Non-Communicable Diseases Department at MoH, gave an opening speech in which she highlighted that asthma is a common chronic disease worldwide and in Oman. As a result, MoH in collaboration with the Oman Respiratory Society established comprehensive asthma services at the primary healthcare level, equipped with a wide range of inhaled medications and trained healthcare teams to manage asthma in all age groups.
There are 161 asthma clinics in primary healthcare (65 per cent of the total primary care facilities). Al Raisi pointed out that Integrating asthma management at the primary healthcare level aims to bring services closer to the community, which will help ensure better control of asthma and reduce the burden on hospitals and emergency services.
The International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISSAC) ranked the prevalence of asthma in Oman to be in the intermediate range, as it was reported that this rate is 7.3 per cent among adults and 12.7 per cent among children. In addition, 95 per cent of both adults and children attending asthma clinics in primary healthcare in the Sultanate of Oman.
The workshop included theoretical lectures addressed several related issues such as how to distinguish in diagnosis between asthma and other diseases, updates on the diagnosis and treatment of acute exacerbation of asthma, and a practical session on the types of inhaler devices and their techniques in the treatment of asthma.
The topics were presented by chest consultants from India, Dr Arjun Khanna, Dr S Balamurugan, and 50 physicians from primary healthcare centres across Oman.