Press Release

Ministry of Health & Social Development
Chronic Diseases
Release Date:
Wednesday, 22 March 2023 - 4:34pm

The Ministry of Health and Social Development will be hosting a “Breathe in Breathe Out” workshop next week to present the latest update for the current global treatment guidelines for asthma in adults.

            The workshop will be held on Thursday, 30th March from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. via a virtual platform and is geared towards clinicians (doctors, nurses, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians) caregivers, other professions such as teachers, persons suffering from asthma and persons who wish to empower themselves with such lifesaving information.

            Chief of Drugs and Pharmaceutical Services, Mrs. Gracia Wheatley-Smith said the workshop will address how the overuse of salbutamol in an inhaler to relieve symptoms of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease can result in morbidity and premature death.

“It will explain why salbutamol should be used with an inhaled corticosteroid and why the long acting beta agonist fomoterol and an inhaled corticosteroid budesonide is now the preferred treatment,” Mrs. Wheatley-Smith said.

The Chief of Drugs said the workshop will also seek to explain the role of oral prednisolone in the treatment of asthma.

 “Worldwide asthma accounts for hundreds of thousands of deaths annually. Avoiding triggers can help to reduce asthma attacks,” Mrs. Wheatley-Smith said adding, “These triggers include smoke, dust, fumes, grass, pollen, animal fur, furry stuffed animals, mold, strong soaps and perfumes.”

Asthma is a non-communicable disease that is characterised by the inflammation and narrowing of the small airways in the lungs that result in the person experiencing symptoms such as cough, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest tightness.  For this reason, the Chief of Drugs is advising all asthmatics to be especially aware of and avoid asthma triggers.

Persons interested in receiving lifesaving information and asthma best practices can do so by registering for the ‘Breath in Breathe Out’ workshop by  emailing or by calling 468-9850. 

The workshop will be facilitated by Consultant, Past Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, Pharmaceutical Procurement Service, OECS/PPS Head, Mr. Francis Burnett. There is a $10 registration fee and three Continuing Education credits will be available upon completion.

The Ministry of Health and Social Development is committed to improving the health of the people of the Virgin Islands.


Natasha Lettsome-Humphrey

Public Health Communications Specialist
Ministry of Health/Social Development
Telephone: 468-2286