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Educating children about asthma is the best way to manage symptoms

South Africa has the highest asthma death rate in the world - according to the World Health Organisation's (WHO) Detailed Mortality Database - and globally 334 million people are estimated to suffer from asthma.1
In light of World Asthma Day on Tuesday, 1 May, Lisl De Villiers, Marketing Manager Respiratory at Cipla, says that it is once again time for South Africans to be made aware of the burden that this condition places on sufferers. “It is important to understand that asthma is a long-term disease that can be managed, but not cured.2 Being able to treat its symptoms and to do everything possible to avoid the likelihood of asthma attacks occurring, is therefore crucial.”

She adds that this is especially true for children who suffer from asthma. “According to the National Asthma Education Programme (NAEP)3, this condition affects 10% of children, which is twice as much as the number of adults. When not correctly managed, it may not only impair quality of life, but also a child’s level of self-confidence. Children are also more likely to suffer life-threatening asthma attacks.”

With this in mind, de Villiers says that parents should still encourage their children to take part in normal, day-to-day activities and remain as independent as possible. “Asthma is a condition that sufferers have to live with every day, which is why education should play a central part in managing it. If children understand what their condition is, why they are taking a specific medication and how to use their medication properly, they should be able to lead ordinary lives. There are also storybooks and dedicated webpages that not only give information, but that can help children to deal with the potential emotional impact that asthma may have on them.”4

De Villiers says that individuals concerned about respiratory conditions and symptoms should consult their medical professional for a diagnosis, as well as how best to use their asthma medication and manage their condition.

As part of its efforts to increase awareness and understanding of asthma, the Allergy Foundation of South Africa is inviting carers and school staff to an allergy workshop, hosted at the Chere Botha School in Bellville on 29 May at 14h00. Medical professionals, Dr Pieter de Waal and Sister Heidi Facey-Thomas will be discussing Asthma and Allergies in children, as well as Allergy Action Plans, Epipen and other practical demonstrations. This is a free event and all Western Cape schools are invited to attend this training workshop. Please view AFSA’s educational video for parents and children on severe allergic asthma on youtube.5

“Individuals can also learn more about asthma and allergies by visiting Cipla Allergy at Cipla provides this educational resource to help improve the quality of life and overall health of sufferers of these conditions,” De Villiers concludes.


2 May 2018 10:43