Dr Olanisun Adewole, Secretary-General of the Nigerian Thoracic Society (NTS), has said that asthma could lead to death, if poorly managed.
Adewole said this in Abuja on Thursday in a telephone interview.
He explained that the Nigerian Thoracic Society was the umbrella body of all professionals involved in respiratory care in the country.
He disclosed that about 15 million Nigerians might have asthma based on numerous studies.
The NTS scribe said asthma was one of the most common chronic lung diseases affecting no fewer than 400 million people worldwide.
According to him, ‘‘Most asthma deaths are preventable, so we all have to work together to ensure that we stop asthma, an important task of ensuring healthy living for all those with lung diseases.
‘‘Over the years, we have been committed to regular and continuous update of our members and health workers in general on the management of airways diseases, including asthma.
‘‘The society has equally been involved in community mobilisation and public education on various chest diseases, including asthma, emphasising the need for optimal asthma control.
‘‘In order to achieve this, the society, in conjunction with some of our partners, developed a Guideline for Asthma Management in Nigeria,’’ he said.
Adewole added that the guideline was to ensure that practitioners adopt the minimum level of standards required which would ultimately reduce asthma-related deaths.
He further called on government and private sector to assist in ensuring access to affordable asthma medications as well as its inclusion in the National Health Insurance Scheme.
This, he said, would ensure compliance and assist to reduce morbidity from the condition.
‘‘Asthma is much more common than we think, there is need to see health providers if symptoms suggestive of asthma occurs.
‘‘The provision of basic equipment required for standardised care and management of the disease should be made available in all hospitals.
‘‘However, asthma could be well-managed and persons with a diagnosis of asthma can live a normal life,’’ he said.
The expert noted that the key to good health was to take medications as prescribed, avoid all known triggers and promptly seek medical treatment if symptoms persist despite taking prescribed medications.