Government vows to fight Asthma, other non-communicable diseases
By Chukwudi Nwauba :
Awka, Aug. 12, 2020 (MOI) Anambra State Government has vowed to fight Asthma and other Non-Communicable Diseases in the state, so as to reduce high mortality rate as a result of frequent attacks from the ailments.
Anambra Health Commissioner, Dr Vincent Okpala 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 COVID-19 pandemic propped up.’’
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 diseases 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 over grow it.’’
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, under performance, psychological problems, lung infections and even death.’’
Dr Okpala while listing types of Asthma said that allergens such as house dust, mites, animal fur, pollens, cigarette smoke and strong odour triggers it.
``Others include cold air, cold drinks, cold baths, chest infections, mold spores, intense emotions and other air pollutants.
``I recommend bronchodilators, modification of life-style, 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.’’
Director, Public Health/Disease Control, Dr Uchechukwu Onyejimbe represented the commissioner during the briefing.
In attendance are Directors Medical Services, Dr Ugochukwu Chukwulobelu, Dr Agatha Muoka, Optometry and Coordinator Non- Communicable Diseases, Mrs Stella Chiejina. (MOI)