Newsletter 196 - WHAT TEACHERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ASTHMA – THE SCOURGE AMONG OUR CHILDREN – A SPECIAL DEDICATION TO ODETTE
WHAT TEACHERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ASTHMA – THE SCOURGE AMONG OUR CHILDREN – A SPECIAL DEDICATION TO ODETTE
My family is riddled with asthma and breathing illnesses and anomalies. We buried my youngest daughter Odette and her cousin Terry (youngest daughter of my youngest sister) whom died in similar fashion of asthma. My father and middle brother died on lung related diseases. So this newsletter I dedicate to the memory of my daughter Odette, the Daniels family and ALL other families who have suffered and are suffering of asthma in their young. I too have a breathing anomaly (undiagnosed) affecting my effective breathing
Maria Oosthuizen et al
R Masekela et al reported that
·Childhood asthma remains a common condition, which has shown an increasing prevalence in urban and rural populations in SA.
·Of concern is that almost half of children in urban communities experience severe asthma symptoms, and many asthmatics lack a formal diagnosis and thus access to treatment.
·Exposure to tobacco smoke and living in highly polluted areas increase the severity of wheezing in young children.
·Eczema is an important risk factor for asthma, and longitudinal studies have shown that from one-third to one-half of children with eczema develop asthma.
“Many people have asthma without knowing it. If you regularly wheeze and feel breathless, you could be one of them. And when it comes to reported asthma deaths, South Africa is in fourth place, worldwide. Between six and 10 percent of adult South Africans have asthma, according to the South African Medical Journal (SAMJ). This condition, especially when it is undiagnosed and untreated, which is often the case in our country, can be deadly. The 2014 Global Asthma Report says that almost 300 people in every million in SA will die from asthma symptoms every year.”
“Awareness, education and accessible information can turn this around. This needs to involve parents, patients, doctors, support groups and teachers, who all need to be able to recognise the symptoms and take appropriate action. Cipla aims to continue making a contribution on all levels in order to make this happen.”
The Cape Argus reported that
Cape Town - Children who grow up in urban areas and are exposed to violence and other psychological stressors are more likely to have asthma compared to their rural counterparts who are exposed to more outdoor and agricultural activities, new research suggests.
The study, which was carried out the University of Oxford and Stellenbosch University on young children in the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga, also found that children who were doing more outdoor housework and living in greater household poverty had lower odds of having asthma.
In contrast, however, severe asthma was associated with child depression and greater household poverty.
Domestic abuse and urban living were, however, associated with indirect effects on asthma occurrence. It is believed urban living created more asthma risk through decreased time on outdoor tasks such as agricultural activities and more exposure to indoor allergens. Greater prevalence of community violence, which in turn made urban children more anxious, was also blamed as an asthma trigger.
On the other hand, factors associated with higher prevalence of severe asthma were younger age, greater household poverty and depressive symptoms.
This study suggests that successful asthma management may require consideration of the broader social factors that could affect asthma outcomes, such as violence. Psychological interventions may be beneficial for prevention and treatment.