The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine has recently received two prestigious grants: MRC Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) for Lung Health in Africa across the Life Course led by Dr Kevin Mortimer and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Global Health Research Unit on Lung Health and Tuberculosis in Africa led by Professor Bertie Squire. They have many partners including GAN. The first meeting of the investigators and partners was held in Blantyre, Malawi from 10 to 14 July 2017 (attended by GAN Chair Innes Asher). At this meeting the planning was started for (i) methodology for the measurement of non-communicable (NCD) respiratory disease exposures and outcomes tailored to the challenges of conducting research in resource-constrained African environments (ii) generation of high quality preliminary data from multiple African sites (iii) a strategic multi-disciplinary partnership of paediatric and adult lung health investigators from Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, The Gambia and Uganda, aiming to improve lung health and TB outcomes in Africa. See the photo of some of the African attendees.
Photo left to right: Asma El Sony (Sudan), Refiloe Masekela (South Africa), Irene Ayakaka (Uganda), Hellen Meme (Kenya), Amsalu Bekele (Ethiopia), Adegoke Falade (Nigeria), Bertrand Mbatchou (Cameroon), Emmanuel Addo-Yobo (Ghana), Stellah Mpagama (Tanzania), Hastings Banda (Malawi), Innes Asher (New Zealand)
The latest estimates from the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study estimate that there were 3.6 million deaths from the two most common chronic respiratory diseases in 2015. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) accounts for most of the deaths (3.2 million), but asthma accounts for a much greater share of the disease burden, particularly in children.
The causes of COPD are well-known, with most cases being due to smoking or outdoor air pollution, as well as indoor air pollution, occupational exposures, ozone and second-hand smoke.
On the other hand, the causes of asthma are still largely unknown, despite the fact that asthma represents a large public health burden, and prevalence is increasing as the world becomes more affluent and westernized.
Global Asthma Network survey suggests more national asthma strategies could reduce burden of asthma
Asher I, Haahtelab T, Selroosc O, et al. Global Asthma Network survey suggests more national asthma strategies could reduce burden of asthma. Allergol Immunopathol (Madr). 2017; 45(2): 105-114. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aller.2016.10.013.
The second edition of the Global Impact of Respiratory Disease was recently published by the Forum of International Respiratory Societies, with a foreword from Nikolai Khaltaev. This report was launched on 25 May 2017 at a side event during the World Health Assembly and was cosponsored by GARD.
Asthma is one of the major noncommunicable diseases, and is an important cause of chronic suffering, disability and preventable deaths in the world. Everyday activities become a huge challenge for the world’s of asthma sufferers, says the Chair of the Global Asthma Network Professor Innes Asher from The University of Auckland.
“Asthma causes disabling symptoms in millions of people who struggle to breathe, making ordinary activities extraordinarily difficult – things like going to school, working at a job, looking after children or ageing parents, running or even walking”, explains Professor Asher. “We know that about 1000 people die from asthma each day – far more than most people realise. The tragedy is that most of these deaths are actually preventable”.
On Sunday 26 March 2017 investigators from all 9 of the Indian GAN centres met at Asthma Bhawan, Jaipur.
We are delighted to announce that Prof Innes Asher has been appointed to the WHO Expert Panel on NCDs, as an expert in chronic respiratory diseases. Prof Asher, who was recently interviewed for World TV (7:48-10:33) said, "I feel very honoured by this appointment, which is a great accolade for the Global Asthma Network".