05 November 2019
GASP Mission Perù
We are back in our office, trying to recover, fit back into our schedule and adjust back to the Italian timezone, but we already know that for the first week our mind will swing between the familiar faces and different realities that we have met among the Peruvian Andes.
We lived through ten intense days, during which we had the opportunity to meet the great staff of the Policlynic Santa Rita: Chiara Lombardi, the local program manager of the GASP project in Cusco, Elizabeth, Rosemary and Doctor Muniz who are carrying on the new spirometry service supported by the Chiesi Foundation.
Furthermore, we had the chance to meet the Apurimac ONLUS association that led us through some of the most remote areas of the Apurimac region where they are carrying out the project “Salud y Telemedicina” - supported by the Italian Agency for International Development – with the goal of enhancing the access of care.
This mission was shared with Professor Robert Levy and Carmen Rempel from the British Columbia Lung Association, the creators of the GASP Model which was implemented for the first time in Guyana in 2014. A model that the Chiesi Foundation has decided to support, adopt and contribute to the scaling up of in those settings where Asthma and COPD are not adequately treated and where patients affected by these chronic diseases face many difficulties in living a normal life.
Indeed, the GASP model was created thanks to the willingness to implement a more effective management of Chronic Respiratory Disease, in those settings where asthma and COPD are still treated within the emergency department during the acute phases, where patients have no access to an adequate diagnosis or where the follow-up by the healthcare workers does not occur. An effective model based on simple steps that can guarantee a certain level of quality of life for patients through: accurate diagnosis with spirometry; provision of disease specific and self-management education; treatment with appropriate medications and regular reassessment to assure optimal control.
This mission allowed us to have a closer look at the difficulties related to the management of chronic respiratory diseases in the context of Cusco and to reflect on the possible next step to optimize the Asthma and COPD Chronic Disease Management in the city of Cusco.