What we do
A sudden rise in numbers of children with asthma in Africa means that healthcare systems are often not prepared, and awareness or understanding about asthma is low. We suspect that many young people with asthma in Africa are not diagnosed, do not receive necessary healthcare, or are not aware of appropriate ways to self-manage their condition. We want to find out more about children with asthma in Africa and find the best ways to help them in the future.
Our research teams will work with schools to screen children between 12 and 16 years of age for asthma symptoms and diagnosis. Children who are then identified to have asthma symptoms take part in the main study, filling in a questionnaire about their asthma control, medication and access to healthcare, knowledge and beliefs, as well as environmental factors. The researchers will also look at lung function of some of these children using spirometry and FeNO examinations.
Our teams are then talking to some of the children in focus groups, discussing how we can address some of the challenges that exist for their asthma management. In a second part of the research we want to develop interventions based on our findings that can improve life with asthma for African children. We are for example looking at using digital solutions, and at adapting methods from the UK-based My Asthma in School Project, including an interactive theatre performance.
We hope that our research will be able to improve the quality of life for young people with asthma and their families in Africa. We also hope that the programme will increase people’s understanding and awareness of asthma.