The prevalence of asthma in Venezuela is high (1), an approximate rate of 3,562 x 100,000 people (2), With the intention to impact the morbidity from asthma, we decided to apply the National Guidelines (3) in one of the regions of greater prevalence (Nueva Esparta, 30% according to the ISAAC statistics) (1) and very high index of morbidity (2), and began to apply said program throughout the state maintaining a permanent supply of medicines (Salbutamol, oral corticosteroids, Beclometasone, and spacers) and information to patients and communities through clubs of asthmatic patients where we stimulate sports and cultural activities.
We started to implement the asthma program in 1998, in Nueva Esparta (morbidity was up to 3,713 x 100,000 persons). We decided to measure such morbidity and to permanently supply medication and equipment to treat asthma attack (i.e., Salbutamol, Prednisona, Presnisolona, nebulizers and spacers) as well as inter-crises (Salbutamol, Beclometasone), and to provide proper education.
When we started to implement the National Guidelines in 1998, it was the second cause for consultation. In 1999 it falls to the fourth place, in 2001 it occupied the eighth place and by 2002 it had disappeared from the list of the ten first causes of morbidity. Furthermore, if in 1998 the morbidity index was 2,713 x 100,000 persons, for the year 2002 the index had fallen to 1,089 x 100,000 people.
We believe that with very simple rules, such as educating the asthmatic population, having them participate in their own problems, and supplying them in a regular way with the medication they need, it will be possible to obtain an important impact in the morbidity. In addition, we must insist using national guidelines.
Our objective was to reduce the prevalence of asthma in Nueva Esparta using the Mational Guidelines.
G.J. Isturiz, None.