The Anambra State Government has commenced a sensitisation campaign on symptoms, causes, prevention and management of asthma.
The State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Joe Akabuike, said in Awka on Tuesday that the public enlightenment on asthma was aimed at checking increased cases of the disease.
Akabuike described asthma as a common long-term inflammatory disease of the airway through the lungs.
He said the campaign would be taken to markets, churches and headquarters of the three senatorial districts of the state.
The commissioner noted that asthma was characterised by variable and recurrent symptoms, reversible airways obstructions and broncho-spasm.
Akabuike explained that asthma affects people of all ages and often starts from childhood.
He said in a statement issued by the Ministry’s Public Relations Officer, Ebele Egoh: “Asthma is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors that includes exposure to air pollution and allergies.
“It has no cure but can be well managed so that the symptoms can be subdued.
“People can overgrow it.”
Akabuike explained that the symptoms of asthma include wheezing, that is a whistling sound when breathing, breathlessness, tightness of the chest and coughing.
“The asthmatic attack is as a result of the inflammation of the breathing tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs and also makes the respiratory tubes to be temporarily narrowed.”
Akabuike named other types of asthma to include acute, severe, previously known as Status Asthmaticus – a very severe type of Asthma that does not respond to standard treatment.
He said brittle asthma was distinguished with recurrent severe attacks and has types one and two.
Other types are exercise-induced broncho-constriction and occupational asthma.
Akabuike urged the public to avoid those things that trigger asthma like dust, animal furs, cigarette smoke, strong odour, cold air, cold drinks, cold baths and chest infections.
“Preventive measures include use of prevention inhaler, relieve inhaler and prompt treatment of chest infection. Knowing one’s personal asthma trigger and seeing the doctor for check-ups,” Akabuike said.