The Nigerian Thoracic Society (NTS), yesterday, called on government and critical stakeholders to address existing gaps in asthma care for attainment of the universal goals of reducing preventable suffering and huge cost of treating the ailment.

In a statement by its president and secretary general, Prof Prince Ele and Dr. Abiona Odeyemi to mark this year’s World Asthma Day, the body said the theme, “Closing the gaps in asthma care,” was timely.

The NTS noted that some of the important gaps include inadequate communication and education for sufferers, disclosing that there was gulf between scientific evidence and actual delivery of care for people with asthma, as well as between prescribing inhalers and monitoring adherence and clients’ ability to use the various devices.

The statement reads: “Education and understanding are key to effective control of asthma, which can be fatal if not managed properly. We salute all the healthcare workers and scientists that are working tirelessly to mitigate the impact of this disorder on the general population. We also want to use this opportunity to encourage asthma patients to rely on information from their healthcare providers and continue to take their medications regularly and avoid triggers.

“They should also observe social distancing and proper cough etiquettes, as well as wearing of face masks when outdoors. Remember to keep safe and stay healthy.”

“Asthma is a chronic lung disease which causes breathing difficulties and affects sufferers in varying degrees. The disease is caused by inflammation and swelling of the bronchial tubes, sometimes in reaction to allergens, exercise, stress or changes in temperature. Asthma is non-curable but can be adequately controlled to allow the sufferer lead a virtually normal life.

“Asthma is controlled by prevention medications for chronic symptoms and relief medication for flare-ups of asthma symptoms. World Asthma Day educates and raises awareness of the condition in the hope of relieving suffering and reducing deaths.”

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