PESHAWAR: Speakers at a seminar here on Thursday called for raising awareness about asthma as the disease could prove fatal.The seminar was arranged by the Mir Khalilur Rehman Society, Jang Group of Newspapers and Highnoon Laboratories Limited in connection with World Asthma Week.
The participants included doctors specialising in the treatment of chest diseases, medical practitioners, trainee medical officers and people from other walks of life.
Among the speakers were pulmonologists Dr Arshad Javed, Dr Mukhtar Zaman Afridi, Dr Sadia Ashraf, head of the Pulmonology Department of Khyber Teaching Hospital, Dr Zaffar Iqbal, Mir Khalilur Rehman Society Chairman Wasif Nagi, Highnoon Laboratories Limited chief Qaiser Rasheed Janjua and Atif Rafeeq.
The senior doctors said asthma should not be taken as a simple disease. The doctors should carefully listen to such patients to know the exact nature of the disease and raise awareness among them as well, they added.
The speakers said the doctors should tell the asthmatic people about the correct use of inhalers and play their role in addressing the reluctance present in this regard.
Dr Arshad Javed said only one type of inhaler used to be available some three or two decades back and the patients would be reluctant to use that though it was to their benefit.
He suggested that the doctors should properly listen to the patients as that would enable them to diagnose the disease in better manners.
The senior doctor said medical technicians, paramedics and nurses need to be trained and their skills required to be enhanced to ensure the right use of the inhalers.
Dr Mukhtiar Zaman Afridi said people from various areas cited their own reasons for asthma in their respective languages. He said patients should be listened to and their talks not cut for initial 30 seconds as that helped reach a conclusion about the disease type.
The doctor said the chest pain and shortness of breath were among the main symptoms of asthma.
Dr Sadia Ashraf said as many as 282 million people suffered from asthma in the year 2019 worldwide, adding 461,00 of them lost lives to the disease.
The World Health Organization had issued three guidelines for asthma treatment this year, the expert said.
Dr Sadia Ashraf said asthma was a non-contagious disease that was affecting people of all ages. She said rising pollution was a big challenge in developing countries and a factor contributing to asthma.
The doctor said controlling asthma was a continuous process and everyone would have to play their own role in this regard.
Jang Senior Editor Asif Nagi said according to an estimate 15 million people in Pakistan were asthmatic. Awareness giving to people was the need of the hour to control the disease, he added.
Highnoon Laboratories Limited General Manager Atif Rafeeq said awareness-raising seminars were being arranged in various cities of the country in collaboration with the Mir Khalilur Rehman Society.
He said Highnoon Laboratories was playing a role in treating the asthma patients and had set up 35 rooms for such patients in various parts of the country.
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