Asthma in Nigeria: are the facilities and resources available to support internationally endorsed standards of care?

Health Policy. 2011 Mar;99(3):250-4. doi: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2010.10.006. Epub 2010 Nov 5.


Objective: The objective of this study was to assess the facilities and resources available to support internationally endorsed standards of asthma care at tertiary hospitals (University teaching, Federal Medical Centre and State specialist Hospitals) in Nigeria.

Methods: This cross sectional study was conducted among 68 tertiary hospitals (TH) in Nigeria from June 2009 to December 2009. Structured standards of care questionnaires on asthma based on the Global initiative for asthma (GINA) guideline were completed by physician working in each of the TH.

Results: Most TH lacked the services of respiratory physicians, internists, and pediatricians. Available basic infrastructures were asthma clinics (0%), clinic registers (20.6%), and hospital protocol (17.6%), doctor's attendance of asthma CME (8.8%) and nurse educator with a bias for asthma (14.7%). Thirty eight percent of TH had peak flow meter, 29.4% had spirometer, skin allergy test kits (15.6%), pulse oximeter (38.2%) while 17.6% had arterial blood gases analyser. Nebuliser and spacer were available in 41.2% and 20.6% of TH respectively. Oral short acting beta 2 agonist (SABA) was available in 79.4% of the hospitals, glucocorticosteroid (79.4%), theophyllines (76.5%), and SABA (metered-dose inhaler MDI: 76.5%, Nebules: 35.3%). Long acting beta 2 agonist (LABA) and steroid fixed dose combination inhaler (50%) was available in 50% of TH. Glucocorticosteroid nasal spray was available in 33.3% of TH and <10% reported the availability of anti-cholinergic and chromoglycate inhaler and oral leukotriene antagonist. Standard oxygen delivery system and self-educational support materials were available in 52.9% of TH.

Conclusion: The available facilities and human resources for asthma management in Nigerian tertiary hospitals were not enough to support the standard internationally endorsed for asthma care. Provisions of deficient infrastructures and continuous training of health care personnel in asthma management are imperative to enhance the quality of care.

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / therapy*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Drugs, Essential / supply & distribution
  • Equipment and Supplies / supply & distribution
  • Guideline Adherence*
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Facilities / supply & distribution
  • Health Resources*
  • Health Workforce
  • Humans
  • Nigeria


  • Drugs, Essential