‘Asthma should be a top priority of public health intervention in Nigeria’

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 Chiwuike Uba is the founder and chairman of the Board, Amaka Chiwuike-Uba Foundation (ACUF). In this interview with ANTHONIA OBOKOH of BusinessDay, Uba spoke about Asthma health condition and why it should be a top priory for intervention programs.

How can you describe asthma prevalence in Nigeria?

Asthma prevalence and incidence have been increasing worldwide in recent decades. This increase is not only attributable to genetic background but largely because of the effect of a wide number of environmental and lifestyle risk factors. Unfortunately, in many countries, asthma and other non-communicable diseases are yet to be considered a healthcare priority.

In Nigeria, more than 15million people are currently suffering from asthma with a projected increase to 100million by 2025. Globally, more than 300million people are currently with asthma and this is expected to increase by over 100million by 2025. It is also estimated that 14 per cent and 8.6 per cent of the world’s children and young adults’ experience asthma symptoms, while 4.5per cent of young adults have been diagnosed with asthma and/or are taking treatment for asthma. The burden of asthma is greatest for children aged 10-14 and the elderly aged 75-79. Currently, Asthma is the 14th most important disorder in the world in terms of the extent and duration of disability. Given the well-known under-diagnosis of asthma, the above quoted numbers may be an underestimation.

As a globalized and significant public health problem, which oftentimes, requires use of emergency care, hospital admission and can cause early permanent disability and premature death, asthma requires urgent policy and government attention to enhance the management of asthma in Nigeria.

What is the cost and social impact of asthma?

Asthma management comes with very huge costs. These costs are direct, indirect and intangible costs. In 2014, it … Read More...