Asthma is rising in SARRC region and how to prevent or manage it.


Asthma is rising in SARRC region and how to prevent or manage it.

Estimated, more than 300 million people are suffering from Asthma worldwide.

Use of Inhaler is an ideal treatment for asthma. By Prof Dr. Nadeem Rizvi of JPGMC Karachi

By the year 2025, the estimated asthma sufferer will be 400 million worldwide.

By Mahmood Hussain, Monday 17th January 2018, write articles and blogs to be published in & BABYFIRST.COM.PK / BABY FIRST PAKISTAN and also appear on Facebook/babyfirstPakistan and other social media such as LinkedIn, Twitter and so on. The writer is from Karachi, Pakistan Currently he is in Philadelphia, USA.

The incidence or occurrence of Asthma varies from country to country. Previously it was recognized that it is common among wealthy people and developed countries. Now the disparity ratio is reducing because of increasing prevalence recording among the poor and developing nation. In high-income countries, they have effectively control asthma, which resulted in a plateau.

It is forecasted worldwide Asthma sufferer will increase in the coming decade, and likely to reach 400 million by the year 2025.

A report on asthma published in “The News” published daily from Karachi dated 07th May 2015

Which provides data of Pakistan regarding this disease on World Asthma Day observed on 05th May 2015, following facts were highlighted as reproducing below:

  • Nearly 15% population of Pakistan suffer from asthma.
  • 10% of the children are also affected by asthma.
  • The incidence of chest disease in Pakistan is on rise due to intense increase in urbanization and mass migration to mega or big cities. This lead subsequently to the environmental pollution and further aggravate the living condition.
  • In major cities of Pakistan, the environmental pollution is ten times more than recommended WHO standard. The second which is adding further fuel and misery to the people is due to smoking of tobacco

In India asthma is estimated to effects 15-20 million people which were in the year 2014.


  • Asthma is the chronic inflammatory disease of the Airway.
  • Its effect people of all age group.
  • It causes wheezing or observes difficulty in breathing and this may lead to severe attack condition.
  • It needs immediate health care and if it is not managed timely and quickly this can be fatal.

Asthma treatment is an economic burden on the patient as well as their family in our SARRC region.  In these countries, expenses are mostly born by the individual or family members.   In underdeveloped countries, there is very limited insurance coverage extended to the people or health care program and not very defined reimbursement schedules.

Asthma affects daily life activities, which result in absence of children from school and in adults they are unable to go to the office during attack period.

This disease is related to lung functional impairment, which severely effects breathing and overall effect the Quality of Life (QOL) of individuals.

As per statistic in terms of numerical impact asthma represent 1% of global disease burden which is quite high.  Nearly half a million (500,000) death are due to asthma worldwide. This is reported in GBD 2013 Mortality and Causes of Death Collaborators. Disease Study 2013. Lancet. 2015; 385:117–71. [PMC free article] [PubMed].

To reduce the mortality rate, it is vital to have the proper and timely diagnosis and treatment by the competent doctor or chest specialist. This also need to follow the treatment regimen.

Majority of the death occurs in under develop and developing countries as compared to developed countries where diagnosis and treatment are available and they able to save lives.

Asthma is referred, as the disease of the airway.  Wheezing is the symptom and indication of asthma, which is commonly observed   It effect all age group people.

As per the report published by Global Asthma Network (GAN) in the year 2014, they estimated 334 million people suffer from asthma globally.

Prof Dr. Javed A Khan, Consultant Chest Physician at Aga Khan University & Hospital, Karachi speaking at the seminar organized by Chest Health and Education Society held on 05th May 2015, he highlighted following points in regard to Asthma.

  • The major problem of pollution exists nearly in all major cities of Pakistan and it is 10 times higher than the standard of World Health Organization (WHO).
  • Second major cause of asthma is cigarette or tobacco smoke pollution in public places, hotel and restaurant. He further highlighted the indoor and outdoor pollution is the major risk factor for Asthma.
  • Government need to keep vigilant check on vehicle fitness and keep off the road vehicles which are emitting excessive fumes

Another problem we also commonly observed within the cities is burning of garbage heaps which give rise to smoke and spread pollution mostly in the residential area as well as in commercial areas.  We should focus and ensure the city government pick up regular garbage and dump it in designated landfill area

Professor Dr. Nadeem Rizvi of the department of chest medicines at Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre (JPGMC) he spoke on the occasion/seminar and his topic was

Asthma beyond prescription”. He stated and endorsed the major reason for poor control of Asthma is poor compliance in Pakistan. A patient is not following the prescribed regimen of medicine by the physician. Second biggest hurdle is there are a lot of misconception on the use of inhalers this need to be addressed. This is mostly spread by the family members, relatives and friends circle, stressing negative impact on health if patient use inhaler. Whereas in his opinion inhaler are the best way to take appropriate medicine in Asthma, It reaches lung quickly and effectively. Secondly, a very small amount of medicine is inhaled to work effectively.

How to Prevent Asthma.

To prevent from asthma, we all as an individual and within society should work on minimum exposure to commonly recognize risk factors such as:

  • Avoid exposure to smoking places and if you are smoker please stop it immediately. The common forms are cigarettes, Shisha and Huqqa.
  • Reduce indoor air pollution and maintain low level of humidity in indoor places

Stressed to have a healthy weight and maintain it to avoid asthma and enjoy the healthy life.

  • Pets animals should be kept away from the bedroom.
  • Cleaning of the house especially the bedroom, lounge and dining room should be done by vacuum cleaner very frequently.
  • Especial care to be taken if suffering from upper respiratory disease such as allergic rhinitis it should be immediately treated.
  • It is also advised to get rid of the items which are dust collector such as carpets, heavy drapes, heavy curtains, swathes, blinds, shades etc.
  • Keep away or maintain a distance from stuff toys and animals.
  • Keep away from artificial spray at home and workplace.
  • Wearing good Face masks which filter out airborne particles is a right choice and will make the real difference in the exposure to air pollution. A mask should have the high-quality filter that fits properly.

Article written by Mahmood Hussain for Baby First Pakistan website, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other popular social media

About Mahmood Hussain

Professional Experience More than 36 years work experience in Healthcare & Pharmaceutical sectorDirector & General Manager Baby First (Pvt.) Ltd Pakistan March 2011 – till to date I have been associated with Baby First (Pvt) Ltd for more than 5 years. It is advisory, community and social interaction medium for parents 16-38 years and babies 0-6 years.General Manager Aga Khan Health Service Pakistasn December 2005 – December 2007 (2 years 1 month)Based at Karachi Pakistan Worked as General Manager managing Karachi & Baluchistan Health care services of AKHSP which includes primary and secondary health care centers and diagnostic centers on all areas nearly 102 centers which include three leading hospitals in Karachi.General Manager Janssen Cilag (Johnson & Johnson) February 1998 – January 2005 (7 years)Education MBA, Marketing 1995 – 1996, Preston University MSc, Biochemistry 1970 – 1974, Karachi University

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