Call for better asthma treatment option

 Paidamoyo Chipunza, Zimbabwe
(First published in The Herald Online, Zimbabwe on 9th May 2013): AN international organisation is calling for a range of effective asthma treatment to better manage the condition as the world commemorates World Asthma Day. World Asthma Day is commemorated every year on May 7. This year's commemorations are running under the theme: You can Control Your Asthma. Pharmacist and coordinator of the Asthma and Drug Facility with the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease Mr Christophe Perrin said effective management of asthma requires two major drugs namely  bronchodilators and inhaled corticosteroids.

“Inhaled corticosteroids are the medicines which would help in healing of lungs of asthma patients because asthma is about inflammation of the lungs and the inhaled corticosteroids are the key medicines to cure these inflammation,” said Mr Perrin.

He said sadly, the inhaled corticosteroids were not available in many countries, including Zimbabwe. Mr Perrin said at the number of people suffering from asthma continued to grow with about 235 million people suffering from the disease worldwide.

In Zimbabwe, an estimated 662 people died of asthma in 2011. Mr Perrin, however attributed the increase to increased reporting and awareness of asthma signs and symptoms. Asthma is a disease of the bronchial tubes referred to as the airways that typically presents with "wheezing" a high-pitched whistling sound heard during breathing, especially when breathing out.

Asthma also causes shortness of breath or coughing, particularly in children. In sensitive people, asthma symptoms can be triggered by breathing in allergy-causing substances (called allergens or triggers). Common asthma triggers include:

·         Animals (pet hair or dander)
·         Dust
·         Changes in weather (most often cold weather)
·         Chemicals in the air or in food
·         Exercise
·         Mold
·         Pollen
·         Respiratory infections, such as the common cold
·         Strong emotions (stress)
·          Tobacco smoke

Source: World Asthma Report 2011 

Paidamoyo Chipunza, Zimbabwe
Citizen News Service - CNS 
(First published in The Herald Online, Zimbabwe on 9th May 2013)