Current Position Information
Physician, Primary Care Health Services, Inc., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Scholarly Research Project
The Global Initiative for Asthma guideline recommends inhaled bronchodilators for all patients with asthma, and inhaled corticosteroids for all patients with persistent asthma. Studies have shown that only 6% of patients with asthma in Latin America are prescribed inhaled corticosteroids.
Asthma control in Latin America falls short of goals. Because of this shortcoming, Shoulder to Shoulder Pittsburgh in San Jose, Honduras conducted a general screening to identify children with asthma. This screening process led to the successful establishment of an asthma clinic in San Jose. For this project, we expanded asthma screening from San Jose to the surrounding villages.
The screening was conducted as a part of the well-child visit. When a patient was identified, the physician demonstrated the proper use of a metered dose inhaler (MDI) and referred patients to the asthma education clinic in San Jose. The goal of this expansion was to raise awareness of asthma as a chronic disease in the surrounding villages and educate a proper MDI use.
Although a few patients from the closer villages came to the asthma clinic, most of the patients were not able to follow up in San Jose. There were many limitations to why this happened but the biggest obstacle was the lack of a structured referral system to San Jose. I am hoping to continue improving our referral system and the on-site asthma screening during well-child visits.