Fulton County Approves Resolution to Increase Efforts to Reduce Asthma-Related Disparities | Print |

At its January 4th Regular Meeting, the Fulton County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution sponsored by Vice Chair Emma I. Darnell directing the County Manager and Director of Health Services to develop an Asthma Control Action Plan to address asthma-related disparities in Fulton County. According to the American Lung Association, nearly 1 out of every 12 residents of Fulton County suffers from asthma.

Research reflects that the largest number of asthma-related death rates is from citizens located in communities south of I-20. This includes Districts 5, 6 and7. There was more than a five-fold disparity between the highest and lowest Commission Districts in asthma-related death rates from 2004-2008 with Fulton County District 6 having the highest rate and District 3 the lowest rate.

The plan will address the healthcare services for patients with asthma, promotion of asthma self-management and indoor and outdoor air quality to promote better control over asthma. This comprehensive project is expected to reduce health disparities in the asthma mortality rate among residents.  While programs will be available county-wide, Fulton’s asthma control efforts will target populations most burdened by adverse outcomes related to the disease and the communities where they live, work, and learn. The Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness plans to collaborate with partners to develop and implement programs, policies and evidence based practices aimed at achieving the goal to improve the health and quality of life for children affected by asthma.

The Asthma Control Action Plan will address this issue through a four point implementation process to improve the health and quality of life for all persons affected by asthma in Fulton County. The process will include:

1.     Partnership and Capacity Building to create a sustainable, diverse, multi-sector coalition that will work collaboratively to develop and implement a strategic plan to addressing asthma in Fulton County.

2.     Assessment, Surveillance, and Evaluation that will allow the health department to assess and monitor surveillance data to inform public health planning, evaluation and response.

3.     Health Promotion, Education, and Outreach to promote training in the diagnosis, treatment, and effective asthma management in accordance with the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) “Guidelines for the Diagnosis, Treatment, and Management of Asthma.”

4.     Policy Development and Implementation to provide recommendations that promote asthma morbidity and mortality reduction through environmental and systems change.

While the exact cause of asthma is unclear and there is no known cure for the chronic disease, effective management of asthma and implementation of environmental interventions can reduce asthma symptoms and improve quality of life.

For more information about the Asthma Control Action Plan, call the Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness Division of Health Promotion at 404.613-1685.