News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 

Asthma rivals malaria’s death toll


Malaria is recognised as a killer – particularly in low-income countries, but less known is that worldwide asthma has a similar death rate and affects nearly one of every 20 people.

Globally, there are 339 million people with asthma. It is the commonest chronic disease in children and remains one of the commonest chronic diseases in adults, causing disability in many. And it is estimated that asthma (like malaria) is the cause of death of some 1,150 people every day.

World Asthma Day is marked on 7 May, and internationally, medical professionals and researchers are taking the opportunity to draw attention to this too-common chronic disease.

Professor Innes Asher of the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences is the Chair of the Global Asthma Network. The organisation was established in 2012 to improve asthma care globally, with a focus on low- and middle-income countries, through enhanced surveillance, research collaboration, capacity building and access to quality-assured, essential medicines. Last year the organisation released the Global Asthma Report, setting out what is known about asthma, with the aim of influencing those in authority to act in an informed way to reduce the global burden of asthma.

Professor Asher is adamant that with correct diagnosis and treatment, many deaths from asthma can be prevented.

“Most deaths and disability due to asthma occur in people who are not taking medicines, especially inhaled corticosteroids, which are more expensive, especially in low-income countries.

“However, the illness itself is most common in ‘developed’ English-speaking countries like Aotearoa New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States. We are still not sure why this is – perhaps because of changes to our environment, our diet, or different exposure to some infections.”

Professor Asher said that even in New Zealand, more than 521,000 people are taking medicines for asthma one in nine adults and one in seven children. Asthma causes a death every week.

Professor Asher received an ONZM in 2012 for her work in paediatrics. In 2017 she was appointed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as an Expert on Chronic Respiratory Diseases. She chairs the Global Asthma Network which last year released the Global Asthma Report.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Facebook Announces New Changes: Combating Hate And Extremism

Some of these changes predate the tragic terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, but that attack, and the global response to it in the form of the Christchurch Call to Action, has strongly influenced the recent updates to our policies and their enforcement. More>>

Amazon Confirms: Lord Of The Rings Series To Shoot In NZ

Amazon Studios announced today that its series based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s iconic fantasy novels The Lord of the Rings will shoot in New Zealand. Pre-production has started, and production on the series will begin in Auckland in the coming months. More>>

ALSO:

Birds: Dunedin's Bells Ring As City Celebrates Its Albatross

The city's churches, schools and public buildings bells would chime in unison from 1pm, in what has been a long-standing tradition marking the return of the birds - and a farewell to this season's albatross chicks. More>>

Oscar Buzz: Waititi's Jojo Rabbit Wins People's Choice Award At Toronto

Taika Waititi's new film Jojo Rabbit has nabbed the coveted Grolsch People's Choice Award at the close of Toronto International Film Festival. More>>

ALSO:

Broken Estate: An Expat Expert Surveys Our Media

Melanie Bunce cut her teeth in journalism at the Otago Daily Times. Now she teaches and researches it at one of the UK’s most prestigious journalism schools and tracks the trends that shape the uncertain future of news... More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland