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May 12, 2015

Every 11th child in Pakistan asthmatic

National

 
May 12, 2015

LAHORE: Eminent chest specialists and pulmonologists have underscored the fact that asthma is the fast spreading disease among the people particularly children in Pakistan.
“Every 11th child in Pakistan is suffering from asthma because at least 2 million out of approximate total 7 million patients are children,” observed chest specialists and pulmonologists, while speaking at a seminar on “You can control Asthma” held in connection with the World Asthma Day and organised by the Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman Memorial Society (Jang Group of Newspapers) in collaboration with the Pakistan Chest Society and Highnoon Laboratories here at a local hotel on Monday.
Prof Dr Kamran Cheema, President of Pakistan Chest Society and Head of Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Services Hospital, informed that asthma is a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways, causes recurring periods of wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing. The coughing often occurs at night or early in the morning, which gives patients severe pangs of pain. He, however, said that asthma was spreading at a faster rate in developed countries than in developing countries, adding that every 7th child in America and every 4th child in New Zealand and Australia was suffering from this breathing disease. He said that intensity of asthma was increasing, giving rise to mortality rate among its patients.
He noted that rising level of pollution, smoking and lack of proper awareness for prevention contribute to rise in asthma. “The ratio of asthma spread is multiplying every year thus affecting a sizeable portion of population, desiring a renewed effort for prevention, control and treatment of the asthma patients in the country,” he added.
“Awareness, better strategy, refraining from unnecessary medicines and keeping environment clean can help to prevent asthma,” he said, adding that room carpets, active and passive smoking, and irregular weather conditions such

as cold and moisture in weather also caused asthma. He said pets such as dogs, cats and birds, which release particular kind of excretion, as well as pollen from trees and plants also caused asthma. He said inhaler should be used as a primary instrument for controlling asthma in addition to other medicines as prescribed by the doctors.
Dr Ashraf Jamal, Joint Secretary of Pakistan Chest Society and Associate Professor at Pulmonary Medicine Department, Services Hospital, said, at present, there were at least 300 million patients of asthma in the world, which caused death of more than 250,000 patients worldwide every year. He feared the present trend of spread of asthma might lead to over 400 million cases the world over by the year 2020. “The main reason for the spread of asthma is lack of awareness for its prevention among public,” he said, adding that though asthma was a hereditary disease but not transmittable to others. He advised the patients to avoid factors that lead to allergy of breathing arteries, saying that once a patient contracts asthma, then use of inhalers, nebulisers and capsules, on prescription of specialist doctors, help to control and treat the disease. He advised the pregnant women, who are suffering from asthma, to use inhalers.
Dr Azfar Abbas Haideri, General Manager Highnoon Laboratories, said that Highnoon Laboratories had been manufacturing high quality medicines for the treatment of asthma and other diseases.
Dr Javed Magsi, Finance Secretary of Pakistan Chest Society and Assistant Professor of Pulmonology, Lahore General Hospital, Dr Hafeez-ur-Rehman and others also spoke on the occasion. MKRMS Chairman, Wasif Nagi, hosted the seminar.