Dr. Cherian's Frontier Lifeline Hospital observes a week long Asthma Awareness Camp from 2nd to the 7th of May 2011, in connection with World Asthma Day on 3rd May 2011. Inhouse Pulmonologist Dr. Madhu. K. briefed on the weeklong reach-out programme and services offered at the hospital.
The focus of the camp is to spread awareness on asthma and other airway diseases. The programme is inclusive of asthma counselling by Pulmonologist Dr. Madhu.K, health educators, and paramedics. Imparting education on asthma, usage of devices, detection and diagnoses are the highlights of the camp. People who register are elaborated on the causation and contributing asthma factors, the triggering elements of asthma, the requirement to seek immediate attention and general medical and non-medical measures o be taken to control asthma. Apart from the basic registration fee, the camp offers free consultation and free Spirometry or Free Peak Flow measurement to patients coming to the camp.
The first day of asthma awareness camp had 25 patients screened and the following day the numbers increased considerably. The relevance of the theme 'You can control your asthma'
by GINA (Global Initiative for Asthma) is reinstated by Dr. Madhu.K to his patients, "Though asthma cannot be cured because of the many factors that incite asthma, it can definitely be controlled through medication." Since asthma, like many other health issues is considered a taboo and with the myths surrounding it, asthmatics prefer calling it 'bronchitis'. Exercise Induced Asthma
is triggered by physical exertion but by no means is a hindrance to exercise if asthmatics avail appropriate medical attention. Occupational Asthma
is symptomatic with duration of work, such as emission of dust. Other major factors that trigger asthma include emotional stress, poor eating habits and hereditary reasons
. If one parent has asthma then the chances of inheriting asthma is 10 - 15 % and if both parents have asthma then the chances of acquiring asthma is 25 - 30%. Common symptoms include prolonged cough and noisy breathing.
World Asthma Day is observed for the first time at Frontier Lifeline Hospital, but services had been provided by pitching asthma awareness camps in collaboration with NGOs and Lions Club at schools and industries. In the first two days 5 out of 30 registered patients were children below the age of 15 years. However with children below the age of 6 years, clinical testing is conducted. Awareness and treatment continues since Dr. Madhu. K firmly believes that as part of the society we are duty bound. People should not get scared but seek medical attention as early as possible and even get myths clarified by medical practitioners.
The increase in pollution and population pose further risk in making more people prone to asthma. However Dr. Madhu.K asserts that asthma is not the end of life, and with the right treatment at the right time an asthma patient can lead a normal life. Asthma Awareness camps like these will go a long way in diffusing asthma myths and enable asthmatics improve their quality of living with their asthma well under control.