Asthma Global Initiative for asthma GINA NTS
Experts will gather at the 2023 Amaka Chiwuike-Uba International Asthma Conference to brainstorm on health financing, Universal Health Coverage (UHC), and asthma treatment.

World Asthma Day: GINA, WHO, NTS Seek Health Budget Increase

The Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), the Nigerian Thoracic Society (NTS), as well as the World Health Organization (WHO), are urging world leaders to increase their nation’s health budgets in order to enhance the access of their citizens to effective and quality medications, particularly, asthma patients.

The bodies made the call on Tuesday, in commemoration of the 2023 annual World Asthma Day, WAD with the theme: “Asthma care for all.”

Meanwhile, approximately 13 million people are suffering from asthma, which is among the highest in Africa (based on a population survey in Nigeria).

The event is celebrated globally on the first Tuesday in the month of May with the aim of raising support for asthma sufferers and their families.

The aim of this annual event is to raise awareness of asthma and how it affects sufferers.

Activities for World Asthma Day usually include free screenings for asthma, media advertising, talks, health education, community outreaches, and sponsored events.

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that causes breathing difficulties and affects sufferers to varying degrees.

It is caused by inflammation and swelling of the bronchial tubes, sometimes in reaction to allergens, exercise, stress, or changes in temperature.

Although the disease is not curable, it can be adequately controlled to allow the sufferer to lead a virtually normal life.

In all cases, it is extremely important to identify and avoid triggers.

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Asthma is controlled by prevention medication for chronic symptoms and relief medication for symptom flare-ups.

Prof P. Ele, the President of NTS, in a statement, stressed that education and understanding are key to effective control of asthma which can be fatal if not managed properly.

According to him, “World Asthma Day educates and raises awareness of the condition in the hope of relieving suffering and reducing deaths.

“Most of the burden of asthma morbidity and mortality occurs in resource-poor countries. The burden of the disease in Nigeria, with approximately 13 million sufferers, is among the highest in Africa (based on a population survey in Nigeria).

Ale said, the theme for this year,” is a call to all nations to design, promote and implement effective and affordable asthma care programmes that ensure no citizen is denied care.”

He continued, “There are still important gaps in asthma care that have continued to frustrate the attainment of universal goals of reducing preventable suffering as well as the huge costs incurred by treating uncontrolled or very poorly controlled asthma.

“Some of the important gaps include those in communication and education provided for asthma sufferers, between scientific evidence and the actual delivery of care for people with asthma, between prescribing inhalers and monitoring adherence and the client’s ability to use the various devices among others.

“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 always maintain proper cough etiquette. Remember to keep safe and stay healthy.”