Lack of essential asthma medications in primary care centres in Kuwait
Abstract:SETTING: Asthma is a common chronic disease that can affect any age group. Available, affordable and effective asthma medications are essential to achieve good asthma control.
OBJECTIVES: To determine the availability of essential asthma medications in primary care centres and the cost of a yearÕs supply in Kuwait.
METHODS: A telephone survey was conducted in 36 centres. The cost of asthma medication was calculated based on estimated annual needs for the different grades of asthma severity.
RESULTS: None of the centres surveyed had adequate asthma medication: 12 (33%) had just adequate and 24 (67%) had below adequate supplies. All had intravenous hydrocortisone and nebulised bronchodilators, but none had high-dose inhaled steroids; 24 (67%) had neither oral steroids nor salbutamol inhalers. All had oral bronchodilators, aminophylline and theophylline. Family medical centres had more asthma medications. The annual cost of treating a case of moderate asthma in Kuwait is US$562.
CONCLUSION: Most of the primary care centres in Kuwait lack essential asthma medications. This creates over-reliance on hospital emergency departments and affects asthma management.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Publication date: 2003-05-01
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