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10 pc children in Pune suffer from asthma
Sakal Times | Monday, 4 May 2015 AT 11:03 PM IST
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Pune: The number of children in Pune suffering from asthma has doubled to 10 per cent in 2015 from five per cent in 2008, which is a matter of grave concern and needs urgent attention.

“If we look at the asthma prevalence figures of last one decade in Pune, we find that in 2003 nearly three per cent children were affected by asthma. This grew to 5.4 per cent in 2008. Now it is 10 per cent. Maximum cases are among children below 5 years. This is mainly due to increasing urban human and vehicular population,” Paediatric asthma specialist Dr Barnali Bhattacharya told Sakal Times.

Allergens from diesel emissions particularly make the pollens more hyperallergic. Hence, children residing near high traffic density areas have greater asthma burden.

“Also situations like fireworks during festivals such as Diwali or global phenomenon like dust storm, tend to aggravate the asthma situation further,” Dr Bhattacharya said. According to Dr Monica Barne of Chest Research Foundation (CRF), indoor smoke caused by cigarette smoking by parents, mosquito repellents, incense stick burning, damp conditions are contributors to asthma.
“When a pregnant mother is exposed to indoor pollution, it is bound to have adverse impact on the new born baby. Mothers smoking during pregnancy heightens the asthma risk in the baby,” Dr Barne said.

Health conditions like obesity is a co-morbid situation for asthmatics. Asthma, if it turns very severe, can kill too. Dr Mahavir Modi, Consultant, Ruby Hall Clinic, said that it has been found that adherence to asthma medication regime is very poor and tends to falter after few months in both children and adults and the rate of non-adherence has been estimated to be around 60 per cent. “There are many reasons why patients stop inhalers. These include unnecessary concerns about the cost of medication, side effects, myths about inhaler devices and social stigmas,” Dr Modi said.

There are also several psychological barriers, which lead to inhibitions such as dissatisfaction with healthcare professionals, inappropriate expectations, anger about one’s condition, underestimation of the severity of the condition and casual attitude towards health.

“The most effective asthma treatment - Inhalation therapy - is available in India at a price as low as Rs 4 to Rs 6 per day. It is important that we overcome these barriers and understand the importance of inhalation therapy and adhere to it, if we have to control asthma,” he said.

Risk factors for childhood asthma
  • Family history of asthma or allergies
  • Frequent respiratory infections
  • Low birth weight
  • Exposure to tobacco smoke before or after birth
  • Damp home conditions
  • Cesearan section delivery
  • Low or no breast feeding
  • Air pollution in and around home
  • Dust, dust mites on sofas, bed sheets, carpets

Childhood asthma symptoms
  • Gets cough and cold repeatedly
  • Coughs while running/ climbing stairs/ laughing/ crying
  • Cough more at night
  • Cough is more of a dry nature where no sputum comes out
  • Child gets breathless on slight exercise/ climbing stairs/ running etc
  • Child complains of difficulty to breath
  • Breathing is noisy, whistling sound coming from the chest

institutions for asthma treatment
  • Niramay Nursing Home, Kothrud: 020 25434816
  • Children’s Clinic, Phugewadi: 9657679990
  • Kartik Hospital, Pradhikaran/ Nigdi : 020-27656583; 27662143
  • Kamat Clinic, Kalyaninagar: 9922224900
  • Chest Research Foundation, Kalyaninagar: 020 27035361


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