MOH News
Kingdom commemorates asthma day
14 May 2007
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia commemorated with other nations the International Day of Asthma which has occurred on May 2nd.
Dr. Tawfeeq Khoja, Coordinator of the National Scientific Committee for Asthma Diagnosis and Treatment said a number of health activities and programs are organized this year, including the 8th meeting of the School Health Committee in Aseer during the period from 21 to 23/3/1428H, where a lecture has been delivered under the title: School Health Committee and Asthma Committee, a Positive Partnership.
He said Asthma is a common non infective disease which develops at any stage of life. Patient must use drugs and avoid irritant factors in order to be able to control the disease.
He warned that asthma is one of the most important and pressing diseases due to its morbidity, mortality and disabling effects as well as its psychological, social and economic costs (Annual cost of caring asthma patient exceeds 6 billion dollars in USA, 2 billion dollars in UK, and 460 million Dollars in Australia).
Referring to the high spreading rate of the disease, whether inside or outside the Kingdom, he said WHO and the International Commission of Asthma Combating have set international goals to lower mortality rates of the disease by 50%, admission to hospitals by 25%, and absence from school due to asthma by 50%.
He said the National Scientific Committee for Asthma Diagnosis and Treatment has a number of goals to follow, including training health teams, supporting school programs, coordination with regional, Gulf and international organizations, following the situation in the provinces, reviewing the Unified National Guide every three years, setting educational programs, coordination with the private sector, and ensuring effective contacts between the different bodies involved in asthma combating and treatment.
According to Dr. Khoja, the committee realized a number of achievements, including training 75 specialists in different relative fields, distribution of 60,000 copies of the Unified National Guide to all government and private hospitals, and launching a prize for the best performance.
He said the committee has adopted the project of "Asthma Friendly Schools" for activating combating programs in schools. A memo of understanding shall be forged between the committee and the Ministry of Education, whereby an executive plan shall be set for the project of "Asthma Friendly Schools". 

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