By Hamed Mahmoud
AstraZeneca Egypt, pharmaceutical global industry leader, announced the launch of ‘Nessmet Hawa’ initiative to provide home-based care for children with Asthma in Egypt, in cooperation with the Pediatric Association for Asthma and Nutrition and Medel, to support Egyptian mothers during the women’s month. The goals of the initiative come in line with AstraZeneca’s strategy to support the health sector in Egypt, which aims at providing the necessary medical services for Egyptian citizens. This is in addition to contributing in fighting chronic diseases, especially respiratory diseases and asthma.
The initiative was announced during a press conference that was held with the attendance of Dr. Ahmed El-Beleidy, Professor of Pediatrics at Cairo University and President of the Egyptian Society for Upgrading Pediatric Medical Practices; Dr. Hala Gouda El-Nady, Head of the Egyptian Pediatric Association for Asthma and Nutrition; Dr. Sherif Waguih, Medical Director at AstraZeneca Egypt and Dr. Amr Ali Abotaleb, Head of Medel Egypt.
‘Nessmet Hawa’ initiative confirms the role of the private sector, represented by AstraZeneca and Medel, as well as medical societies to raise awareness among the citizens in light of the exceptional circumstances that the whole world is facing.
“Asthma is one of the common chronic diseases among children; as multiple reports indicated that the average rate in Egypt varies between 14-15%, as per several sources. Also, patients and their families incur a lot of money, affecting the medical sector’s budget, as patients suffer from repeated episodes of shortness of breath -that differs from one patient to another– where the bronchi narrow, limiting the oxygen in the lungs.” elaborated Dr. Ahmed El-Beleidy, Professor of Pediatrics at Cairo University and President of Egyptian Society for Upgrading Pediatric Medical Practices.
Scientific societies play a huge and important role during this exceptional phase that the entire world is going through, after the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic; where several medical sectors in many countries have been affected aggressively. On the other hand, the rest have been completely unable to face the challenge to combat Coronavirus,” said Dr. Hala Gouda El-Nady, Head of the Egyptian Pediatric Association for Asthma and Nutrition.
El-Nady emphasized that the role of medical societies in these circumstances become an inevitable national duty to support the medical sector to face the crisis, providing the necessary support and recommendations. This is in addition to training and preparing medical personnel to achieve the maximum benefit from all human, scientific and laboratory elements to bring the health system back to safety.
“We continue to play our role as a key strategic partner in supporting the medical sector to combat the global Coronavirus tough times, through raising awareness and upskilling the capabilities of healthcare providers.” stated Dr. Hatem El-Werdany, Country President of AstraZeneca Egypt.
“Nessmet Hawa” initiative is based on 2 pillars; preventive and curative. Firstly, it aims at raising awareness among all patients and healthcare providers on asthma and how to deal with it. Secondly, it also works on activating the treatment protocol for patients in accordance with the international guidelines and recommendations.” added El-Werdany.
“Stemming from our responsibility towards children with asthma, and within the framework of our cooperation with AstraZeneca, we capture the opportunity of the women’s month to announce offering 50% discount for all mothers this year. The discount is on home nebulizers that are used for asthma treatment for patients who suffer from this disease to decrease the risks of visiting the hospitals, which contributes in limiting the possibilities of spreading COVID-19,” explained Dr. Amr Ali Abotaleb, Head of Medel Egypt.
“There is a high dependence on short-term bronchodilators and less reliance on inhaled corticosteroids for treating asthma. Medical evidence has proved that asthma medications that contain short-term bronchodilators without controller medication, do not cure asthma, but leads to increased risks , as per scientific studies. Also, patients do not adhere to anti-inflammatory treatment that contains inhaled corticosteroids, as adherence rates are about 25% of Egyptian patients. Research shows that using these drugs – controllers – with a less dosage than the prescribed for a long time, may increase the incidence of asthma attacks as well as increased risk of death.” said Dr. Sherif Waguih, Medical Director at AstraZeneca Egypt.