FG Tasks Nigerians On Misconceptions About Asthma

The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has advised Nigerians to
change their misconceptions about
asthma disease.
In a statement to mark this year’s World Asthma Day, he said studies
show there are myths and misconception about asthma that should be addressed if the country
must improve on asthma control.
The theme for this year’s World Asthma Day commemoration is
‘uncovering asthma misconception’
Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition characterized by
recurrent episodes of airway narrowing and obstruction, which
reverses either spontaneously or
after use of medication, and is usually associated with hyperresponsiveness
and inflammation of the lower part of the airways.
The World Health Organization estimates that more than 339
million people worldwide are living with asthma and 417,

918 asthma deaths occurred in 2016.
In Nigeria there is no nationally representative data on asthma yet.
The Minister said a common misconception about asthma is that
it is caused by witchcraft when science shows that it is a disorder due to hyper-responsiveness and inflammation of the lower part of the
He said another misconception’ is
that asthma is infectious when the truth is that the disease is noncontagious.
However, he added, “vi r a l respiratory infections such as common cold and the flu can trigger
or cause asthma attacks. In children, asthma us frequently associated with allergy, but asthma which starts adulthood is less often allergic.”Dr.
Ehanire said contrary to the believe that asthma is a childhood disease
and that individuals will grow

out of it as they age, he said the disease could occur at any age, in children, adolescents, adults and elderly.
He also debunked the myth that people living with the disease should
not do exercise saying that “people living with asthma are able to exercise and even engage in top sports
provided the condition is well controlled. But exercise should always be tailored on individual
The minister said it is also important
to note that asthma has a significant impact on public health.
“Asthma cannot be cured but can effectively be managed. Asthma attack can be prevented and controlled by complying with treatment advice,”
he said.
He added that Nigeria would conduct
a nationwide household survey of non-communicable diseases this year, to determine their prevalence including asthma in the country.

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