Esther was in her final year at the University of Benin; being an investment banker was her big dream and she worked tirelessly to achieve it. Esther was meticulous to a fault; particularly because she had been asthmatic for as long as she could remember. She always had to be prepared for the unknown as her attacks never gave a warning neither did the triggers.
One morning, she was in the exam hall; a whiff of dust and Esther’s asthma was triggered. No one really knew what to do to help her; her inhaler in a pocket, in her bag, in front of the class. No one knew that, they thought a trip to the hospital was the best option. If only they knew better, Esther would be a renowned investment banker today.
The story of Esther is just one of the estimated 12.5 million asthmatics in Nigeria. Unfortunately, this figure is expected to rise in view of increased urbanisation and industrialisation by the year 2025. Asthma is one of the world’s most common long-term lung condition that can cause breathing difficulties. More than 50% of people have poor control of their asthma despite treatment because they are under-diagnosed or under-treated.
As the world celebrates World Asthma Day today, we have another opportunity to remind ourselves to reduce asthma prevalence, morbidity, and mortality to our society. World Asthma Day is celebrated to generate awareness for the condition and promote the need to end the myths surrounding it.
To prevent cases like Esther’s, let us continue to further increase the awareness about precautions and how it can be controlled. Even better, you can lend your support to people living with Asthma by spreading the message of living with better respiratory health.
As an asthmatic person, using your inhalers and regular check-ups is PRIORITY. You can also join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #MyAsthmaStories, #WorldAsthmaDayNG