Monday, December 4, 2023

World Asthma Day: ’15 million Nigerians may be asthmatic by 2025′

“Asthma is one of the commonest causes of presentation at emergency departments and is the third leading cause of preventable hospitalisation.”

• May 5, 2021
Minister of Health Osagie Ehanire
Minister of Health Osagie Ehanire (Credit: BusinessDay)

A professor of medicine at Obafemi Awolowo University, Gregory Erhabor, has estimated that by 2025, there will be 15 million Nigerians battling asthma.

Mr Ehabor stated that about 339 million people suffer annually from asthma, with over 500,000 hospitalisations and about 400,000 deaths across the globe.

The professor added that the incidence of asthma had been rising progressively, pointing out that developing nations contribute significantly to the increasing global burden of the disease.

“By the year 2025, an estimated 400 million people will be affected. Asthma prevalence is grossly under-reported and undertreated.

“In Nigeria, an estimated 13 to 15 million people may be asthmatic. However, deaths from asthma are vastly preventable,” he said.

Mr Erhabor explained that asthma was one of the leading chronic non-communicable respiratory diseases with global impact usually characterised by chronic airway inflammation with a history of respiratory symptoms and cough.

“Asthma is one of the commonest causes of presentation at emergency departments and is the third leading cause of preventable hospitalisation.

“It places a substantial burden on individuals, caregivers, and healthcare systems globally with increasing trends now being seen in developing countries.

“Asthma causes a huge cost demand on the individual and national economy, especially as a result of the cost of medications, bills accruing from hospitalisation, and loss of income due to absence from work,” he said.

Mr Erhabor, President, Asthma and Chest Care Foundation, said this in a statement signed on Wednesday to commemorate World Asthma Day, with the theme, ‘Uncovering Asthma Misconceptions.’

“This theme is apt because it is channelled towards uncovering various myths and misconceptions surrounding asthma with the aim of destigmatising the disease and empowering those with asthma to seek help,” he said.

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