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    Nov 10, 2023

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Medical experts from various associations attended the "Healthy Lung- Milestones Achieved in Outpatient Management of Asthma and COPD" conference on Nov. 3.


Experts from various organizations including the Ministry of Health, the Vietnamese Respiratory Society, the Vietnamese Lung Association, the Vietnamese Pediatric Association, the Allergy, Asthma, and Clinical Immunology Society of Ho Chi Minh City, and AstraZeneca Vietnam came together to participate in the event held in the northern city of Ha Long.

AstraZeneca graciously provided a photograph featuring experts gathering at the conference titled "Healthy Lung - Milestones Achieved in Outpatient management of Asthma & COPD".

At the event, participants delved into conversations regarding the advancement of healthcare infrastructure at the local level, the improvement of healthcare professionals' knowledge and skills, and empowering patients to obtain efficient treatment and effective management techniques for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

COPD is a chronic and degenerative disease that progressively impairs breathing ability, leading to significant complications and posing a serious risk to the individuals afflicted by it.

In 2016, an estimated 251 million cases of COPD were reported worldwide, making it the third most prevalent cause of death.

In Vietnam, the prevalence of COPD among individuals aged 40 and above is significantly higher in men at 7.1% compared to women at 1.9%. This alarming disparity can largely be attributed to the worsening environmental pollution, dust, and tobacco smoke, which remain pervasive issues in the country.

Asthma, a prevalent health concern worldwide, has been steadily increasing in prevalence. It is characterized by persistent respiratory inflammation and impacts individuals of all ages, including both adults and children.

Asthma is classified as a non-communicable disease and has an impact on about 4.4% of the world's population. The World Health Organization projects that asthma leads to approximately 461,000 deaths annually across the globe.

In Vietnam, there are over 4 million individuals, accounting for approximately 4.1% of the population, who suffer from asthma.

AstraZeneca's Healthy Lung Program is a multinational effort focused on improving the quality of outpatient care for asthma and COPD across nine Asian countries. Vietnam stands among the pioneering nations to adopt and implement this program, demonstrating its commitment to enhancing healthcare outcomes for these respiratory conditions.

Dr. Luong Ngoc Khue, the esteemed Director of the Department of Medical Service Administration at the Ministry of Health, commenced the conference by delivering an insightful opening speech. We sincerely appreciate AstraZeneca for sharing this captivating photo.

Dr. Luong Ngoc Khue, Director of the Department of Medical Service Administration, Ministry of Health, expressed deep gratitude for AstraZeneca's significant contributions to the improvement of community health and the healthcare sector in Vietnam. Specifically, he mentioned their commendable efforts in the Healthy Lung program over the last five years. Appreciating their shared vision and the combined dedication of all stakeholders, Dr. Khue confidently anticipated substantial advancements and tangible advantages that would greatly benefit the people of Vietnam.

In the next phase, it is anticipated that the program will expand further and set up an extra 150 outpatient clinics catering specifically to adults with asthma and COPD. Additionally, 50 standard asthma outpatient clinics will be established to cater to children. The program's track record of delivering favorable outcomes instills confidence in its ability to successfully accomplish these goals.

At the conference, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tran Minh Dien, President of the Vietnam Pediatrics Association, provided insights into the outpatient management model for pediatric asthma. The accompanying photograph is graciously shared by AstraZeneca.

The health sector in Vietnam is increasingly concerned about the prevalence of bronchial asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), as stated by Prof. Dr. Ngo Quy Chau, Chairman of the Vietnam Respiratory Association.

About 4.2% of individuals over the age of 40 in the population are affected by COPD, while bronchial asthma is prevalent in approximately 4.1% of the Vietnamese population. It is concerning that only 29.1% of asthma patients receive preventive treatment, and a mere 39.7% of patients have their condition well-controlled.

Chau suggests that the implementation of standardized asthma and COPD outpatient management rooms will greatly benefit the grassroots health system in effectively managing patients. As a result, this approach will lead to a decrease in hospitalization exacerbations and alleviate the burden on higher levels of care.

He mentioned that effectively managing asthma patients in an outpatient setting also aids in reducing the overall treatment expenses.

During the seminar titled "Advancements in Outpatient Management of Asthma & COPD Leading to Healthy Lung," experts unanimously agreed on the overarching vision and outlined the developmental roadmap for the Healthy Lung initiative for the period spanning from 2024 to 2026.

During this event, the program happily announced the addition of the Vietnamese Pediatric Association as a new member entrusted with overseeing the management of asthma in children.

Nitin Kapoor, the Chairman and General Director of AstraZeneca Vietnam, expressed immense delight and pride in the successful impact of the Healthy Lung program. He emphasized that this initiative has played a significant role in establishing more than 150 standardized outpatient clinics for asthma and COPD throughout Vietnam. Kapoor further acknowledged the achievement of their objectives in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and professional associations.

He further added that we are excited about our ongoing collaboration with the associations to expand our presence across the country by establishing 200 more clinics. Our focus will include setting up 50 pediatric outpatient clinics specifically catering to asthma patients. This endeavor aims to have a long-lasting positive effect on the health and overall well-being of the younger generation, ultimately contributing to a healthier and brighter future for Vietnam.

The Healthy Lung Program Phase 1 (2017–2020) was successfully executed in Vietnam through a collaborative effort between AstraZeneca, specialized associations, and the Department of Medical Service Administration at the Ministry of Health. Building on this achievement, Phase 2 (2021–2023) has now been extended to encompass lung cancer and children’s asthma, thereby broadening the program's scope and impact.

During the conference, AstraZeneca was privileged to have Asso. Prof. Vu Van Giap, General Secretary of the Vietnam Respiratory Association, share his expertise on the outpatient management model of Asthma & COPD in Vietnam. We extend our gratitude to AstraZeneca for providing us with this photo.

To date, the program has successfully served over 170,000 patients and played a vital role in setting up 150 standardized outpatient clinics for asthma and COPD across 51 provinces and cities throughout the country.

Our organization has generously sponsored a total of 186 spirometers and nebulizers, which have been distributed to hospitals and medical centers. In addition, we have diligently conducted training sessions and various scientific activities for a remarkable number of 16,000 healthcare staff members within these hospitals. Furthermore, we have extended our support to educational institutions by organizing patient club activities, benefitting an impressive count of nearly 15,000 patients. Finally, we are proud to have provided over 150,000 invaluable medical records to aid in the advancement of medical research and patient care.

Educational information regarding the disease is efficiently created and disseminated to individuals and patients through official digital platforms, including the program website and fanpage.

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