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Preventing Asthma Attacks In COVID-19 Era Vital


Preventing Asthma Attacks In COVID-19 Era Vital

The world celebrated World Asthma Day recently.

The day is usually commemorated to improve global awareness of asthma and care around the world, with the struggles of people suffering from asthma recognised, while research findings or data and education on ways to manage it are also intensified.

The annual commemoration, organised by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), is also a time for healthcare providers, advocates, governments and organisations which have some relations with the treatment and management of asthma to carry out thier outreach programmes or care deliveries.

For GINA, it is equally a time to work with healthcare groups and asthma educators to reduce asthma “prevalence, morbidity and mortality”. 

In Ghana, although we did not undertake any formal activities to promote this year’s World Asthma Day, which was on the theme: ‘‘Enough asthma deaths’’, it will be worth the effort to share evidence and research outcomes needed to prevent asthma attacks.

Health experts have explained that asthma is a long-term disease that affects the lungs, causes inflammation in the airways and narrows them, making it difficult for patients to breathe.

This triggers constant coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath that may disturb sleep.

It has been said that asthma cannot be cured, but that its symptoms could be controlled to help patients lead normal lives.

Available statistics indicate that asthma affects an estimated 300 million individuals worldwide, and according to Frontiers in Pediatrics, it is likely that by 2025, a further 100 million may be affected.

Annually, the World Health Organisation (WHO) also estimates that 250,000 asthma deaths are reported worldwide.

It is a well-established fact that the COVID-19 pandemic is scary for all people, but for those with asthma, there is greater fear that they will have a worse outcome.

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, which means that it can affect one’s lungs, throat and nose, so for people who have asthma, infection by the virus could lead to an asthma attack, pneumonia or other serious lung disease.

A study has shown that asthma doesn’t raise one’s chances of getting infected by the coronavirus, but if one gets sick, his or her symptoms could be worse than other people because that person already has trouble breathing

It is in view of these factors that the Daily Graphic wishes to add its voice to calls by health experts to people who suffer from asthma to pay serious attention to their doctors or advice from health professionals and bodies.

We also share in the call on patients with asthma to continue taking their prescribed asthma medications and seek immediate attention, when required, and also caution that they should do well to take the necessary precautions during this period so as not to trigger any asthma episode.

For us, it is equally important for those with asthma to reduce exposure to asthma triggers, and we emphasise the need for them to stay away from allergens which may increase inflammation.

We are of the view that their existing conditions could pose some challenges, for which reason they should do well to avoid cold or flu, as well as smoke or fragrances which could cause breathing difficulties and make asthma symptoms worse.

The paper wishes to seriously advise asthma patients not to relax with any of the personal hygiene practices and protocols.

We urge them to wash their hands regularly, not to touch their faces and to cough or sneeze into their elbows and use hand sanitisers.

Source: Daily Graphic



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