Dubai Health Authority’s (DHA) Primary Health Care sector (PHC) has seen improvement in asthma control, recording a reduction in the number of sick leaves taken by asthmatics, a scientific report published by the American Institute of Science has found. 

A quality improvement programme for bronchial asthma was implemented in PHC a few years ago, said Dr Nahed Monsef, Consultant Family Physician and Director of Health Affairs Department in PHC. He said an improvement in bronchial asthma care was noticed at PHC due to the successful implementation of the programme. 

Dr Moulham Saleh Ashtar, Head of Clinical Effectiveness Office and Family Medicine Specialist at PHC, was the leader of the team that monitored the programme and conducted the study. 

He said the study was designed to investigate the level of asthma control and percentage of people using inhaled corticosteroids and sick days due to asthma and percentage of smokers among asthmatics, to name a few.
Better figures

“We found that the level of controlled asthma in 2015 was 53.4 per cent in general outpatient department of PHC and 64.9 per cent in bronchial 
asthma mini clinics in PHC,” said Dr Ashtar. “This is above the global standards as the majority of international studies have found that fewer than 50 per cent control their asthma correctly.” 

Furthermore, the study reflected an increase in the correct and effective use of inhaled corticosteroids as it found that 82 per cent of patients were using it in outpatient clinics while 95 per cent were using it in asthma mini clinic cases. 
“This is remarkably higher than the international level, which is below 50 per cent in the majority of inter-national studies.”

As for sick leaves, Dr Monsef said the percentage of registered asthma cases with no sick leave were above 50 per cent and reached 70-80 per cent between 2011 and 2015, which is a great achievement.

“With regard to initial assessment and implementation of follow-up forms, the study revealed that implementation was 100 per cent in asthma mini clinics and about 91 per cent in general outpatient clinics by the end of 2015,” she added. 
Dr Ashtar said this is a positive indicator of the effectiveness of PHC services.  

The study also found that smoking was reduced by 6.36 per cent.