Spirometry training for doctors, nurses underway

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

A number of doctors and nurses, Friday stared a week-long training on Spirometry, in an effort to equip them to effectively carry out their functions. The training is jointly organised by the Kanifing General Hospital and Dr. Sunkary Tourary from the University of Mexico in the United States of America to improve lung health in The Gambia.

Health and social welfare minister Dr. Ahmadou Lamin Samateh said The Gambia, like many other countries in the sub-Saharan Africa is faced with communicable and none communicable diseases which place additional pressure on health care system.

He said WHO reported that non-communicable diseases represent 71 percent of all global deaths out of which 3.9 million are due to chronic diseases. “Chronic spirometry disease including asthma is the third most common cause of death globally and significant proportion believe to be up to 90 percent of this deaths occur in low and middle income countries,” he said.

Minister Samateh said the training is significant as it will equip doctors and nurses, who are always in contact with patients. “In addition, my ministry would continue to work with our partners to improve access to diagnosis and treatment of chronic spirometry diseases in all government health facilities. This is in line to achieve the sustainable development goal 3 and the health related National Development Plan.”

Kebba Manneh, chief executive officer of Kanifing General Hospital said spirometry is a test diagnosis and monitoring of certain lung infections or lung diseases such as asthma, saying that chronic spirometry form part of the non-communicable disease. “According to WHO, 2018 NDC accounts for 41 million deaths globally.”

He said in The Gambia, studies revealed that 34 percent of all deaths are NCD related and out of that, 2 percent of them are chronic spirometry infections. “At the Knifing General Hospital, almost two thousand out of the total out patients seen in a quarter are spirometry diseases. Therefore, this training is highly significant and timely for Kanifing General Hospital, but also for the entire country.”

Mr. Manneh said they solicit government’s support through the Ministry of Health to support the project because it is a very important project in the country.

Dr. Muhammadu Kabiru Cham, board chairman of the Kanifing General Hospital said chronic spirometry is not a single disease but an umbrella chronic lung disease that causes life lung disease, adding that the World Health Organization  predicts that more than 200 million people suffered from asthma; a common disease among children. “It is estimated that many people in The Gambia are equally affected by asthma with significant impact on the quality of life as well as their productivity.” 

Author: Njie Baldeh