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Healthy Lung programme expands to improve pediatric care in Vietnam

Young patients and their families will benefit from the Healthy Lung programme, AstraZeneca’s initiative to improve respiratory disease management in Vietnam.

The Healthy Lung programme aims to improve the quality of outpatient management of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in nine Asian countries. Vietnam is among the first countries to implement this programme in 2017 under the guidance of MSA.

During the second phase from 2020–23, the programme expanded to more fields of lung cancer and pediatric care with the participation of four partners (the Vietnam Lung Association, Vietnam Respiratory Association, Ho Chi Minh Association of Asthma, Allergy & Clinical Immunology and Vietnam Pediatrics Association) and five leading oncology hospitals (K Hospital, HCM Oncology Hospital, Da Nang Oncology Hospital, Cho Ray Hospital and Hanoi Oncology Hospital).

The programme was announced by the Medical Service Association under the Ministry of Health (MSA), AstraZeneca Vietnam and professional associations at an expert discussion at the Ministry of Health.

It is expected that in the next phase, the programme will be expanded to the field of pediatric respiratory diseases with the participation of the Vietnam Pediatric Association.

Accordingly, the Vietnam Pediatrics Association, a new partner of the programme, will lead specialised activities for pediatric patients to enhance and synchronise respiratory care capabilities for children. Key activities include raising awareness of disease management, providing medical equipment, and developing treatment guidelines to strengthen the capacity of health workers throughout the patient journey.

"We are delighted to witness Healthy Lung’s important contributions to reduce the disease burden and help to standardise outpatient management care for asthma, COPD and lung cancer. Caring for children with respiratory diseases is another important area that the MSA highly encourages, and we are delighted by the determination of AstraZeneca and professional associations to care for this group, especially children living with bronchial asthma, and will guide the implementation in the coming time,” said MSA director Prof. Dr. Luong Ngoc Khue, Vice Chairman - the National Medical Council.

Nitin Kapoor, Chairman and General Director, AstraZeneca Vietnam and Asia Area Frontier Markets, said: “Children’s health is crucial to a nation's future, I am truly confident that the Healthy Lung programme will enable better care for children with respiratory diseases in the community and help them grow up healthier.”

To date, the programme has reached and managed more than 200,000 patients, set up 150 standardised clinics and organized more than 260 scientific seminars for nearly 14,000 medical staff members. In this new phase, the partners organised activities on digital and social media such as Youtube, and online patient education events besides its website, fan page

Among the most common respiratory diseases in Vietnamese children, the prevalence of bronchial asthma is 10 per cent, double the rate in adults, and it has constantly increased during the last five years. Respiratory diseases in children are more difficult to diagnose, treat and manage than in adults. Many factors such as low awareness, parents' self-medication, children's unwillingness to adhere to treatment, limited medical equipment and essential drugs at the grassroots level are impacting the quality of pediatric respiratory disease management./.