The 1st Amaka Chiwuike-Uba Annual National Asthma Conference was held on the 6th of July 2016 at Roban Hotels, Enugu with the theme: Improving the quality of life of Nigerians: The role of timely and accurate diagnosis and management of asthma. The Conference organized by ACUF in collaboration with the Nigerian Medical Association, Nigerian Thoracic Society, Human Rights Volunteer Corps and the Knowledge and Policy Management Initiative was chaired by Rt. Hon. Ghali Umar Na’abba (former Speaker, House of Representatives), had H.E. Dr. Emmanuel E. Uduaghan as the Distinguished Guest of Honour and in attendance were the Minister for Health, Minister for Education and the Minister for Science and Technology.
With an attendance of over 500 participants, the Conference enjoyed huge media reportage— over 700 media mentions by media organisations in Nigeria and outside Nigeria (including the Reuters, yahoo news, fox news, etc).
The Conference’s overall objective was to provide a platform/forum to brainstorm and share information the diagnosis and management of asthma and other respiratory diseases as well as make recommendations to the government on ways to improve the quality of lives of those suffering from asthma.
As part of the main conference activities, the Conference featured presentations on Diagnosis and Management of Asthma by a renowned Pulmonary Specialists. The presentations were followed by a series of discussions and analyses by a select group of discussants/experts who responded to the presentations from their own base of knowledge, experience and expertise. The Conference also had questions and answers session as well as action planning session.
Achievements and Impact of the Conference
Awareness creation on the prevalence and causes of asthma. More than 90% of the Conference participants reported that the Conference highly impacted on their knowledge of asthma
Review and evaluation of the progresses and challenges in the diagnosis and management of asthma. In realization of the challenges in the diagnosis and management of asthma, ACUF in collaboration with the Nigerian Medical Association, Imo State branch is establishing the first Asthma Crisis Management Centre in Owerri.
Education and training to both those suffering from asthma and those in the position of managing asthma patients (health care providers, schools, etc) on various ways to manage asthma. More than 90% of Conference participants reported that the Conference impacted positively on the competence to manage asthma. In addition, over 84% of non-respiratory specialist doctors in attendance, agreed that there are needs and professional practice gaps amongst non-pulmonary specialists in the diagnosis and management of asthma;
Diagnosis and provision of asthma medications and management equipment to those suffering from asthma. 100% of participants who identified themselves as suffering from asthma received free Peak Flow Meters. The Peak Flow Meters were donated to the Foundation by the GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Nigeria ; and
Articulation and submission of actionable policy recommendations to the government to promote improvement in facilities and human resources in Nigerian hospitals. More than 85% of the participants who are medical practitioners and heads of government ministries, departments and agencies reported that the conference recommendations on policy and alternatives have very high impact and applicable to health policy reforms.