Prof. Chukwu identifies 4 challenges facing asthma treatment, eradication

Posted by Charles lwuoha, Enugu | 20 July 2019 | 343 times

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•Former Health Minister, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu

The former Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, says ignorance, cost, dearth of health professionals and wrong diagnoses are major challenges facing asthma treatment and eradication in Nigeria.

Chukwu said this on Friday in Enugu while speaking to newsmen at Amaka Chiwuike-Uba Foundation (ACUF) Annual National Asthma Conference in Enugu.

The conference was themed, “Better Breathing, Better Living; The Role of the Environment and Governance”.

He noted that the high ignorance among the people especially people living with asthma in localities not knowing that asthma was highly treatable is worrisome.

According to him, due to this high level of ignorance some people do not even go to the hospital to seek attention in the first place.

“Another, which is the major, is the cost of procuring treatment on asthma, which t patients and their families consider high in view of the current economic earnings of most Nigerians.

“The third is the lack of professional healthcare providers for respiratory diseases and finally wrong diagnoses in some healthcare Facilities,” he said.

The former minister, however, lauded the Federal Government for signing the tobacco juvenile advert prohibition Bill in order to ensure that the younger generations were prevented from the effect of tobacco.

Chukwu said that asthma and respiratory disease treatment can be enhanced by more funding of the health sector and more awareness of these diseases to Nigerians especially using local languages.

Prof. Tunji Olaopa, Executive Vice-Chairman, Ibadan School of Government and Public Policy, called on the Federal and state governments to muster the political-will to fund the health sector better to reduce medical tourism.

Olaopa, who is also a Professor of Public Administration, Lead City University, Ibadan, noted that countries like Saudi Arabia and India had resolved to invest in their healthcare system and “today, they are now countries providing healthcare for wealthy Nigerians”.

“We have to do something urgent on the rate of deterioration of our health sector, which makes it hard to treat simple illnesses and we allow them to get complicated.

“We can resolve to get it right just as the Saudis and Indians resolved to stop going to the west for their treatment and building up their home health sector,” he said.

Dr Ifediora Amobi, Executive Secretary of Anambra State Investment Promotion and Promotion Agency (ANSIPPA), urged Nigerians to do more in cleaning up their environment to check dust and unwanted substances.

Amobi, who was the former Executive Director of African Heritage institution (Afri-Heritage), Enugu, said that care must be taken to always cross ventilate and ensure thorough cleaning of the interiors of houses.

“Apart from what the government and healthcare providers can do; we must take responsibility of having a clean environment devoid of dust and injurious substances,” he noted.

ACUF Foundation was founded in memory of Mrs Amaka Chiwuike-Uba, who died of Asthma in July 4, 2016.

Amaka, while alive, made hospital visitation one of her major past times and cared for thousands of patients.

Source: News Express

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