Anambra Govt vows to fight Asthma, other non-communicable diseases

THE Anambra State Government has vowed to fight Asthma and other Non-Communicable Diseases in the state so as to reduce the high mortality rate in the state.

Vincent Okpala, the Anambra state commissioner for health, said this during a news conference on Public Enlightenment on Asthma and other Non-Communicable Diseases in his office at the Jerome Udoji Secretariat Complex, Awka.

“The state government has encouraged STEPS Survey on Non-Communicable Diseases, including Asthma carried out by the federal government.

“The support was to train workers and carry out the survey in Anambra state, which was on the verge of taking off before the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

He said that he introduced the non-communicable diseases card ‘Akwukwo Ndu’ to all health facilities in the state for care and treatment of the diseases.

He was optimistic that it would help in caring for patients as well as for data collection.

The commissioner noted that there were currently 21 non-communicable disease focal persons in the 21 LGAs yet to be inaugurated.

“Asthma is a common long-term inflammatory disease of the air-ways of the lungs, characterised by variable and recurrent symptoms, reversible air-ways obstruction and broncho-spasm.

“It is a silent killer, posing serious public health challenges as well as one of the four non-communicable diseases that affect people of all ages and often starts during childhood.

“There was currently no cure for Asthma as affected persons are managed so that the symptoms will be subdued, though a lifetime condition, some people can overgrow it,’’ he said.

He listed some Asthma symptoms to include wheezing, breathlessness, and tightness of the chest; coughing, tiredness, and restlessness.

“When complicated, it leads to persistent tiredness, underperformance, psychological problems, lung infections, and even death,’’ he added.

While listing the types of Asthma, he said that allergens such as house dust, mites, animal fur, pollens, cigarette smoke, and strong odour trigger it.

“Others include cold air, cold drinks, cold baths, chest infections, mold spores, intense emotions, and other air pollutants.

“I recommend bronchodilators, modification of lifestyle, identification and avoiding triggers as ways to manage Asthma.

“Although Asthma is incurable, it can be prevented by decreasing risk factors; use of preventer inhaler, reliever inhalers, prompt treatment of chest infections, and regular hospital checkups,’’ he said.

Aug. 13, 2020 | 10:10


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