Feb 23, 2009

Over 10m suffer from asthma in Pakistan

KARACHI: About 10 million people in the country suffer from asthma and visit hospitals every year while 15,000 households have asthma patients. Experts in chest diseases stated this at a two-day conference on lung diseases and tuberculosis/HIV that began at a local hotel on Saturday.
The conference called for creating awareness among the general public about health issues, including asthma, and establishing a forum aimed at preparing and disseminating an asthma self-management plan.
Vice-chancellor of the Dow University of Health Science, Prof Masood Hameed Khan was the chief guest at the inaugural session of the conference. Dr Arshad Javed, president of the Pakistan Chest Society, Dr Mosavir Ansari, president of the PCS Karachi chapter and Prof Nadeem Rizvi, head of the chest medicine department at the JPMC were among those who spoke.
They noted that asthma was a global problem and, according to WHO findings, there were 300 million people affected by the disease worldwide.
It was further observed that only five per cent control on asthma in Asia had so far been attained. In Pakistan, prevalence of asthma symptoms in children was between 10 and 20 per cent.
They emphasised that children with parents or siblings having allergies had greater chances of suffering from asthma. The symptoms of asthma could be controlled through appropriate treatment. Asthmatics might not have to alter their lifestyles, it was added.
The conference was organised by the Pakistan Chest Society in collaboration with the DOW University of Health Sciences, the National TB Control Programme and the Bridge Consultants Foundation.

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