Professor on first international panel on chronic respiratory diseases

23 February 2017
Image of Professor Innes Asher
Professor Innes Asher

Decades of international leadership on asthma and allergies, especially in children, and of the Global Asthma Network, has led to a New Zealand paediatrician being appointed to the first World Health Organisation expert panel on non-communicable diseases.

A professor of paediatrics at the University of Auckland, Professor Innes Asher was recently appointed as a WHO Expert for Chronic Respiratory Diseases (CRD), as part of the WHO panel.

“It’s a great honour for me and our University,” says Professor Asher. “It is a recognition of my leadership of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood since 1991 and the Global Asthma Network since 2012.

“It is also an accolade for the Faculty’s Global Asthma Network team based in Paediatrics in Child and Youth Health, Dr Philippa Ellwood and Dr Eamon Ellwood.”

The new WHO panel arose out of the United Nations Summit on NCDs in New York in September 2011, which Professor Asher attended and where she launched the Global Asthma Report.  That was the first, and only, UN Summit on NCDs.

“The WHO has strengthened its involvement in NCDs in the last three to four years, following the United Nation’s direction and has focussed on Chronic Respiratory Diseases (asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)) for the first time since October 2015.

“In my role as Chair of the Global Asthma Network (GAN) and following our publication of The Global Asthma Report 2014, written by GAN, I was invited to, and attended, the first WHO Strategic Technical Meeting on Management of Chronic Respiratory Diseases in October 2015, which was attended by other world leaders in respiratory medicine,” she says.  

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