Chronic respiratory diseases (CRD – in this note restricted to bronchial asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD) are an underestimated and largely neglected problem in Sub-Saharan Africa. Underestimated because frequency and severity are much higher than commonly intuited; neglected because in most countries of interest ((the 11 Belgian Cooperation partner countries in SSA), effective care for people suffering from CRD is mostly absent or highly defective.
The avoidable (non-genetic) fraction of the CRD burden can be attributed to several physical, chemical, social, cultural, demographic and biological determinants, in different causal layers and interconnected between them.
The research paper identifies social determinants and formulates appropriate, strategic responses.
This strategy paper is the result of a cooperation agreement between the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, CERRHUD (a research institute in Benin), KU Leuven and Enabel.