World Asthma Day 250,000 people die of Asthma in Nigeria yearly - Society

Dr Kingsley Osagie, President of the society, disclosed this during the 2018 World Asthma Day with the theme: “It is never too late, it is never too early to think about airways inflammation.”

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No fewer than 250,000 Nigerians die of asthma yearly play

No fewer than 250,000 Nigerians die of asthma yearly

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The Nigeria Thoracic Society (NTS), an NGO, on Thursday said that no fewer than 250,000 people die of asthma yearly in Nigeria.

Dr Kingsley Osagie, President of the society, disclosed this during the 2018 World Asthma Day with the theme: “It is never too late, it is never too early to think about airways inflammation.”

Osagie, who also doubles as Consultant Pulmologist,the National Hospital Abuja also said that asthma remained a major condition with over 330 million people around affected.

The consultant said out of the number, Nigeria contributed not less than 15 million, out of which 250,000 yearly.

He, however, said that that deaths resulting from asthma were preventable and highly controllable, adding that asthma affected the airways of the lungs and made it hard for an individual to breath.

Osagie said World Asthma Day was an annual event commemorated globally on the first Tuesday of May.

He said the event was aimed at creating awareness about asthma and ensuring that people were well educated about the condition to enable them take informed decisions to live productive life.

“Asthma happens when one comes in contact with something that irritates the airways, called asthma triggers.

He said the condition made airways to become narrower, thereby making it difficult for oxygen to function , adding that at this level, symptoms of asthma set in.

This could occur frequently, making an individual to wake up at night with symptoms, such as feeling of tiredness with low energy, coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing.

“However, with intake of right medications and correct use of inhalers, the patient can have relief from symptoms’’.

According to him, right medications and correct use of inhalers also control swellings and inflammation in the airways and help to prevent asthma attacks.

The consultant advised patients to avoid asthma triggers such as exercise, allergies like animal fur or dust, cigarette smoke, chest infections, air pollution among others.

In the same vein, Dr Olanisun Adewole, Secretary-General of Nigeria Thoracic Society, said asthma could start at any age, adding that while some people got the symptoms during childhood, others developed asthma later in life.

Adewole, who is also a Consultant, Chest Physician from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, added that individuals were more likely to develop asthma if they had family history or environmental allergies.

He said cold or chest infection could cause asthma in adults, adding that smoking during pregnancy increased the chances of an unborn child to develop asthma, when born while chemicals from air pollutants at work place could also cause asthma.

“A trigger is anything that starts your asthma symptoms or makes symptoms worse by irritating the airways.

“It could be difficult to find out what exactly triggers asthma.”

He advised people to take note of where they were and what they were doing, urging that they should notice patterns that helped identify triggers.

“Once triggers are identified, such can be avoided which can reduce the effect of the asthma.”

The consultant noted that inhalers were the most effective therapy for asthma treatment but said could become critical when patients were on injection and oral medication.

Adewole advised that asthma being a highly controllable condition should not be allowed to limit people’s abilities and goals in life. 

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