World Asthma Day: PUMUA Initiative hands over first nebulisation stations in Africa

World Asthma Day theme is ‘Uncovering Asthma Misconceptions’, challenging long-held misconceptions that prevent people with asthma from enjoying optimal benefit from the advances in the management of asthma; In Africa, it is estimated that over 40 million people are living with asthma; AstraZeneca’s Africa PUMUA Initiative (www.AstraZeneca.com) is a collaboration with Ministries of Health, local health providers, healthcare societies and respiratory health experts to redefine asthma care in Africa.

To mark World Asthma Day (WAD) on the 5th of May, Global Pharmaceutical Company AstraZeneca officially opened and handed over the first PUMUA nebulisation stations across 4 countries: Kenya, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Ethiopia. The nebulisation stations, the first of the targeted 1000 to be implemented this year, are part of AstraZeneca’s Africa PUMUA Initiative, meaning ‘breathe’ in Swahili.

The Africa PUMUA Initiative looks at addressing the barriers currently preventing access to care for patients with asthma.

It was designed in consultation and collaboration with Ministries of Health, local health providers, healthcare societies and respiratory health experts to strengthen local health systems and centres to improve paediatric and adult asthma management across both the public and private sectors.

The theme of the World Asthma Day event this year, organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma, (GINA), is ‘Uncovering Asthma Misconceptions’, providing a call to action to address common widely held myths and misconceptions concerning asthma that prevent people living with asthma from enjoying optimal benefit from the major advances in the management of asthma.

In Africa, it is estimated that over 40 million people are living with asthma [II] and the World Health Organization (WHO) cautions that over 80% of asthma-related deaths occur in low-and lower-middle income countries [III].

This figure highlights the importance and urgency of ensuring that those at risk of or who are living with asthma have timely access to healthcare services, such as appropriate diagnosis, a direct link to care and reliable access to quality treatments to achieve control.

This lies at the heart of the Africa PUMUA Initiative, which contributes to this effort by partnering with and supporting local health stakeholders and health systems in Africa

Barbara Nel, AstraZeneca Country President for African Cluster said: “This World Asthma Day, we’re joining the respiratory community across the globe in challenging long-held misconceptions around asthma to drive the prioritization that is needed to deliver better outcomes for people living with this disease.

We are delighted to mark this important week in the respiratory calendar with the kick-off for installations of nebulisation stations and nebulisation machines in four countries across the continent as part of our Africa PUMUA Initiative.

By joining forces with the Ministry of Health, respiratory societies and our other partners, we can achieve results that go beyond what any individual stakeholder can achieve. This is the value of public-private partnerships, with the patient at the centre.”


[I] Estimate of the prevalence of asthma in Africa https://bit.ly/3ekdofV last accessed 13 October 2020

[II] Estimate of the prevalence of asthma in Africa https://bit.ly/3ekdofV last accessed 13 October 2020

[III] Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 328 diseases and injuries for 195 countries, 1990–2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016. Lancet 2017; 390: 1211–59 https://bit.ly/33jHMk2.

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