LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Year : 2017 | Volume
: 10 | Issue : 5 | Page : 1359--1360
Identifying gaps and recommending targeted strategies to ensure effective control of asthma
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava, Prateek Saurabh Shrivastava, Jegadeesh Ramasamy
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai, Tamil Nadu, India
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
3rd Floor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu
|How to cite this article:|
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Identifying gaps and recommending targeted strategies to ensure effective control of asthma.Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:1359-1360
|How to cite this URL:|
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Identifying gaps and recommending targeted strategies to ensure effective control of asthma. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2017 [cited 2020 Aug 8 ];10:1359-1360
Available from: http://www.atmph.org/text.asp?2017/10/5/1359/196601
Asthma is one of the major chronic noncommunicable diseases characterized by the narrowing of the airways resulting in recurrent episodes of breathlessness and wheezing, which are quite variable in terms of severity and periodicity. The current global estimates suggest that in excess of 230 million people are suffering from the disease worldwide, and it remains the most common noncommunicable disease among children.,
Further, the condition has often been underdiagnosed and undertreated, and hence results in a significant impact on the ability to perform routine activities (viz. disturbed sleep, daytime tiredness, decreased functional output, school, or work absenteeism, etc.) and quality of life of the affected person as well as a financial burden on the family members.
Moreover, the disease has been reported in all nations and has been acknowledged as an important public health concern irrespective of the level of development. Even though, it is true that the disease has a relatively low fatality rate in contrast to other chronic diseases, nevertheless it is expected to rise in the next decade if desired interventions are not timely implemented. Further, almost four-fifths of the reported deaths are in low resource settings, which is a clear indication of poor health care utilization., Despite the inability to cure the disease, measures like reaching a correct diagnosis, offering appropriate treatment, ensuring treatment compliance, and by educating patients regarding preventing exposure to the indoor/outdoor allergens, can play a defining role in the effective control and management of the disease.,,
In an attempt to sustain effective control, the patients should adhere to the medications (short acting for symptomatic relief, and long acting to prevent the progression). However, a wide range of factors has interfered with treatment adherence like limited availability, poor socioeconomic status, the expensive nature of treatment, poor knowledge among parents about aggravating factors or treatment options, lack of effective asthma education programs, no sensitization of health professionals pertaining to the disease management, prevalent myths among the general population (viz. not to use metered dose inhalers as they are addictive or cardiotoxic; reluctant to take oral corticosteroids as it is highly strong, preference for nebulizer with a belief that it is more effective, physical activity improves the therapeutic outcome, etc.).,, Owing to all the above factors, there is a significant rise in the number of hospital admissions or visits to emergency rooms, eventually leading to an extra burden on the health system and high financial burden on the family.,,
Realizing the magnitude and the consequences of the disease, there is an immense need to reduce the attributed disability and premature deaths. Thus, it is the need of the hour to improve the surveillance to obtain precise estimates and distribution of the disease, strengthen primary prevention strategies to minimize the exposure to common allergens, improve the access to cost-effective treatment options, adopt interactive digital options to promote self-care, and ascertain the level of understanding by means of research among the community and targeting the identified challenges through specific interventions.,, In fact, a global alliance against chronic respiratory diseases has been established to streamline and coordinate the work to prevent and control such diseases, especially in low resource settings.
To conclude, asthma casts a significant impact on the quality of life of the patients and it is of vital importance to devise public health strategies to ensure the welfare of the individual, family members, and the society.
SRS contributed in the conception or design of the work, drafting of the work, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.
PSS contributed in the literature review, revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.
JR contributed in revising the draft, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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