Various awareness programmes marked the World Asthma Day in the UAE, under the theme “You Can Control Your Asthma.”
The World Asthma Day Organising Committee (WADOC) of Al Baraha Hospital, presided over by Dr Osama AttarBashi, consultant and head of the paediatric department at Al Baraha Hospital, Dubai, has organised two events to spread awareness among the community on assessing and controlling asthma. The first of these events was held on Friday at Al Mamzar Beach Park, Dubai, which saw families participating in fun-filled games and being educated by videos aimed at children.
Specialist physicians were present to answer the questions from parents.
The next asthma awareness event will be held on Tuesday at Al Baraha Hospital from 8am-2.30pm. The committee welcomed all parents and their children, as well physicians from around the UAE for lectures and workshops which are free to the public. The day will include lectures, assessment of individuals who have asthma, and educating them on the available treatment options.
About 10-15 per cent of the estimated 8.2 million people in the UAE suffer from asthma and more than two-thirds of those will have a serious attack at least once a year. Asthma, derived from the Greek word meaning “panting”, is the most common chronic disease among children. It’s been defined by the Global Initiative for Asthma as a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways in which many cells and cellular elements play a role. The chronic inflammation leads to recurrent episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness and coughing particularly at night or in the early morning.
The primary symptoms include shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing and chest tightness. Symptoms are often worse at night or in the early morning, or in response to exercise or cold air.
The triggers for exacerbation of asthma can exist anywhere from home to school or work.
These include allergens at home such as dust, house mites, animal dander (especially cat and dog hair), moulds and perfume. Outdoors, these include smoke, polluted air, exercise and strong emotions. Both virus and bacterial infections of the upper respiratory tract infection can induce or worsen an asthmatic attack.