The rapid rising trend of Asthma is now considered a cause for concern in Bangladesh. About 10 million people in Bangladesh have been suffering from Asthma that rose from 7 million in 2002. Experts identified air pollution and increasing use of some chemicals as two main reasons behind the dramatic increase.
The more worrying aspect of the disease is that it accounts for about 1 in every 250 deaths worldwide and 90% of these deaths are preventable. Most deaths are due to delay in seeking help and sub-optimal long-term treatment strategies due to the lack of education and awareness about the disease.
In Bangladesh, dust from construction activities and digging of roads covers the whole city and smoke emitted by automobiles and factories mixes with fog and creates poisonous smog. All these factors are responsible for the rise in the number of Asthma patients in the city.
The low-income and illiterate groups are more vulnerable to Asthma attacks than people belonging to the high-income group and are educated.
Asthma is a chronic condition that cannot be prevented or cured, but managed. However, asthma attacks may commonly be prevented if the factors that trigger them are identified and taken care of. People who have asthma should give up smoking.
Often, attacks triggered by physical exercise can be averted by taking medication beforehand. When dust and allergens are the problem, air filters, air conditioners and other types of barriers can help considerably. For people whose asthma is stimulated by allergies, desensitisation through the use of allergy shots may prevent attacks.
Recently, several studies show that glass cleaners, air fresheners, Vitamin D deficiency have been found to be a potent risk factor for Asthma.
Awareness is key to tackle Asthma. People should learn and understand what triggers Asthma and how we can effectively controlled it with medication. In order to focus on initiatives to improve understanding of this condition, World Asthma Day is going to be observed on May 7 this year with the theme — You can control your Asthma. It signifies that the wheel is at our hands and we have to drive us safe and help live healthy even with Asthma.
The write up is compiled by
Dr Mohammad Azizur Rahman, Consultant Pulmonologist, Probin Hospital, Agargaon, Dhaka.