HAAD says 56% of asthma cases are children under 18 years old

The Health Authority – Abu Dhabi (HAAD), the regulator of the Healthcare Sector in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, has revealed that over 56% of asthma cases registered with Abu Dhabi healthcare facilities occur among children between the ages of 0-17.

HAAD made the announcement as part of their annual “Breathe Freely, Enjoy Life” asthma awareness campaign.

With the aim to keep asthma under control, HAAD continues to ramp up its efforts to shed light on this chronic respiratory disease. The campaign targets the entire community and parents, in particular, to increase awareness about asthma, including its triggers and risk factors. It aims to teach patients self-management skills and keep healthcare professionals updated on the latest international guidelines for the treatment of asthma.

Dr Omniyat Al Hajeri, Director of Public Health Division at HAAD, said: “In line with our vision towards a healthier Abu Dhabi, HAAD is intensifying its efforts on its “Breathe Freely, Enjoy Life” campaign to reach all members of the community with a focus on educating asthma patients. Targeting affected children is vital, as often they are too young to fully comprehend the seriousness of their condition, let alone keep it under control – making parental intervention a necessity. Asthma patients can enjoy completely normal lives and incorporate physical exercise provided they maintain regular check-ups and use prescribed asthma medications as indicated by their doctors.”

Aside from following a doctor-prepared asthma management plan, HAAD strongly advises affected patients to avoid asthma triggers by limiting exposure to strong odours (e.g. Bakhour and air fresheners), traffic and industrial fumes, sandstorms, dust and mould. Asthma sufferers are also advised to limit their interaction with household pets with fur, as well as take measures to curb psychological factors, such as stress.

A survey conducted by HAAD to measure the community’s awareness and perceptions on asthma found that there are still widely held misconceptions about the management of the respiratory illness amongstthe local population. Over 34% of surveyed participants believed that the use of inhalers leads to addiction, while over 26% listed physical exercise as a cause of asthma.

Commenting on the results of the survey, Dr Al Hajeri said: “Regular physical exercise can actually improve the immune system and strengthen respiratory muscles. However, if asthma patients have difficulty breathing during physical activity this could be an indication that the illness is being poorly managed, and may require a revised treatment plan. Asthma medications are in no way addictive; the misconceptions surrounding the use of asthma medications such as inhalers may be a result of the repetitive nature of their use. Much like any other chronic disease, asthma requires regular and continued treatment in order to allow patients to live healthy and normal lives.

“At HAAD, we cannot stress enough the importance of patients reviewing their asthma management plan regularly with their doctors as well as the avoidance of known triggers.”

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the lungs that causes periodic episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness and coughing. Although the underlying asthma cannot be cured, the severity and the frequency of acute attacks can be greatly reduced by taking the proper medication as prescribed and avoiding asthma triggers. While most often diagnosed during childhood, asthma can affect people of all ages.

HAAD launched its “Breathe Freely, Enjoy Your Life” campaign as part of the annual chronic respiratory disease awareness program introduced in 2012. The program aims to raise public awareness about the prevention and treatment of chronic respiratory diseases, particularly asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In cooperation with various governmental and private healthcare facilities.

  • For more information about asthma, its triggers and methods of keeping it under control, visit: www.haad.ae/Asthma


Dubai Health Authority installs Masimo Patient SafetyNet

Masimo announced that the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), the government organization that oversees the healthcare systems of Dubai, is augmenting its current inventory of Masimo equipment and technology with the implementation of Masimo Patient SafetyNet, a supplemental remote monitoring and clinician notification system, at two hospitals in Dubai. Masimo Patient SafetyNet enables information from bedside monitors, such as

Masimo Root with the Radical-7 or wearable Radius-7 Pulse CO-Oximeter, to be accessible from a central viewing station. When changes occur in measured values, which may indicate deterioration in a patient’s condition, Patient SafetyNet automatically sends wireless alerts directly to clinicians, wherever they may be. In addition, Patient SafetyNet can automate the transfer of patient data, including admission data, vital signs, early warning scores (EWS), and other physiological parameters, directly to hospital electronic medical record (EMR) systems, helping to improve clinician workflows and reduce the possibility of transcription errors.

Dr Andreas Taenzer and colleagues found in an 11-month study conducted at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center that using Patient SafetyNet and Masimo SET pulse oximetry as part of a comprehensive alarm management strategy reduced rescue events by 65% and intensive care unit transfers by 48%, and as a result, reduced costs by US$1,480,000. In a subsequent article, they announced that after five years, Dartmouth-Hitchcock had had zero preventable deaths or instances of brain damage due to opioids since the installation of Patient SafetyNet. In 2016, after 10 years, they reported achieving a 50% reduction in unplanned ICU transfers and a 60% reduction in rescue events, despite increases in patient acuity and occupancy.

The two Dubai Health Authority medical centers implementing Patient SafetyNet are Dubai Hospital (625 beds), which provides general medical and surgical care, and Latifa Hospital (367 beds), which specializes in maternal and child care. Dubai Hospital installed its first Patient SafetyNet in 2013. Latifa Hospital is in the process of installing four systems, with a further system planned for Dubai Hospital.

“We are excited to deepen our partnership with Masimo,” said Humaid Al Qatami, Chairman of the Board and Director General of Dubai Health Authority. “The Dubai Health Authority’s mission is to develop an integrated and sustainable healthcare system that ensures our comprehensive services achieve the highest international standards, and we believe that Masimo’s monitoring devices, now even more connected to hospital infrastructure through the power of Patient SafetyNet, will help us meet that goal.”

“Patient SafetyNet, in conjunction with Masimo SET pulse oximetry, enables continuous supplemental monitoring of active patients in post-surgical wards and can help save the lives of patients on opioids, among many other benefits,” said Joe Kiani, Founder and CEO of Masimo. “We applaud the Dubai Health Authority, dedicated to providing no less than the best health care in the world, for recognizing the importance of implementing such a proven and powerful centralized monitoring and patient surveillance system.”


Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi commissions survey into Emirati cardiac mortality

Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, the region’s leading heart care hospital, is to commission a survey into the root causes of Emirati heart deaths, in an attempt to stem the rise in cardiovascular disease (CVD), the nation’s number one killer.

CVD, which includes stroke and heart attack, continues to be the leading cause of death in the UAE, with the disease accounting for 34.9% of all deaths in 2015, according to the Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD).

The Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi survey has been designed to allow the acute care hospital’s caregivers to better understand UAE nationals’ knowledge and attitudes regarding CVD.

“Our survey will focus squarely on UAE nationals’ attitudes toward control and management of the disease. If we can shift their thinking about how lifestyle affects individual outcomes, then we can move the entire society toward a healthier, more sustainable future,” said Dr Johannes Bonatti, chief of the Heart and Vascular Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.

According to the World Heart Federation, CVD kills more than 17.3 million people a year, with the disease accounting for 31% of all deaths globally, making it the number one cause of death in the world.

World Heart Day was founded in 2000 by the World Heart Federation, which is based in Geneva, Switzerland, to spread awareness about CVD.

Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi is marking World Heart Day, which is held every year on September 29, with its own theme of “Love Your Heart”.

The results of the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi CVD survey are due to be announced in September.

Infectious diseases down in KSA

According to a report in Arab News, the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health has noted that there has been a decrease in the incidence of infectious diseases in the Kingdom.

Ministry spokesman Meshal Al-Rubaian said the incidence of mumps went down by 87% compared to 2000; pertussis or whooping cough decreased by 78%; and neonatal tetanus dropped by 79%.

Al-Rubaian added that the incidence of chickenpox also went down by 86%; new hepatitis infections by 97%; and meningococcal infection by 98%.



Date of upload: 22nd Sep 2017

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