Congratulations to Prof. Heather Zar, Head of the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, for being awarded the 2014 World Lung Health Award!
The magnificent award recognises her research work and innovations in improving child health.
It is the first time the award, handed out annually by the American Thoracic Society, is awarded to someone from Africa and someone who specialises in childhood health.
Professor Heather Zar and researchers from the Hospital and UCT have produced a device to help asthmatic children inhale their medication was one of the innovative research projects that stood out.
Young children find it difficult to press the asthma pump and breathe in at the same time, especially during an acute asthma attack. Available commercially, patients use an inhaler-spacer which costs just under R200 but researchers of UCT and the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital have come up with an innovative way to create the same function with a 500ml plastic soft drink bottle. “In this case, cheaper is not inferior. Our clinical trials have showed that these bottles are as effective as the commercially available spacers for children with acute asthma,” says Professor Zar.
Zar is an internationally acclaimed researcher, receiving an A-rating by the South African National Research Foundation and is currently Head of the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health; Director of the Division of Paediatric Pulmonology; and Director of Child & Adolescent Health at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital and the University of Cape Town.