By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
Widely held myths and misconception such as superstitious believes, illiteracy and religious bigotry account for factors militating against the management of Asthma in Nigeria.
This was disclosed in a press statement jointly siged by President of the Nigeria Thoracic Society (NTS), Prof. P U Ela and Secretary, Dr Victor Umoh made available to newsmen in Uyo today to mark this year’s World Asthma Day.
According to NTS, Asthma is a chronic lung disease that has a long-lasting effect on an individual and causes difficulty in breathing due to the narrow airways in the body.
“This year’s theme ‘Uncovering Asthma Misconceptions’, aims to address and bust widely held myths and misconceptions concerning asthma that hindered people suffering from the disease to enjoy life to the fullest, despite advancement in medical science particularly in our environment awash with superstitions believes, high illiteracy rates, alternative medical practices as well as fringe religious zealots.
Some of the misconceptions include belief that Asthma is infectious inflicted through witchcraft. Asthma is a childhood disease; it can be cure through alternative medical intervention, and People suffering from Asthma should avoid exercising
Such misinformations about Asthma among patients and the public at large have impacted negatively on management outcomes, and correcting these misconceptions is the main trust of this year World Asthma Day.
We are not unmindful of the current serious health care and economic challenges the world is going through occasioned by the covid-19 pandemic
People with asthma should therefore take precautions when any type of respiratory illness is spreading in the community. While people with asthma are not at the highest risk for COVID-19, it is still important to keep your asthma under control.
Meanwhile, a symposium to raise further awareness on prevention and control Asthma has ended in Uyo.
Organized in the NTS in collaboration with Heritage clinic and Getz Pharama, was aimed at sensitizing the people that having Asthma is not a death sentence.
Speaking at the event, Professor Etete Peters, a Pulmonologist and Provost University of Uyo College of Health Sciences said from researches, the exact cause of this ‘life-threatening’ disease is not yet known, it cannot be cured but it can only be controlled and managed with medications, and patients can live active and normal lives
According to him, research has also shown that certain genes are associated with those who develop asthma.
“These genes are passed from parent to the children. Those who have these genes are more susceptible to environmental pollutants like dust, repugnant smell etc. We can say that “Genes load the gun, but the environment pulls the trigger” he said.