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The Nigeria Thoracic Society (NTS) has identified Superstitious beliefs, illiteracy and religious bigotry as some of the misconceptions militating against treatment of Asthma.

This was disclosed on Wednesday in a statement signed by the association’s President Professor Prince Ele and the Secretary Dr Victor Umoh and made available to newsmen in Uyo to mark 2021 World Asthma day with the theme ‘Uncovering Asthma Misconceptions’.

According to NTS, Asthma is a chronic lung disease that has a long-lasting effect on an individual and causes difficulty in breathing due to the narrow airways in the body.

The statement in parts, “This year’s theme ‘Uncovering Asthma Misconceptions aims to address widely held myths and misconceptions concerning asthma that hinder people suffering from the disease to enjoy life to the fullest, despite advancement in medical science particularly in our environment.

“Some of the misconceptions include: belief that Asthma is infectious and inflicted through witchcraft, asthma is a childhood disease; it can be cured through alternative medical intervention and People suffering from Asthma should avoid exercise.

“Such misinformation about asthma among patients and the public at large have impacted negatively on management outcomes, and correcting these misconceptions is the main thrust of this year’s World Asthma Day.

“We are not unmindful of the current serious health care and economic challenges the world is going through occasioned by the covid-19 pandemic.

“People with asthma should therefore take precautions when any type of respiratory illness is spreading in the community. While people with asthma are not at the highest risk for COVID-19, it is still important to keep your asthma under control.”

Also, a symposium to raise further awareness on prevention, and control of Asthma has been held in Uyo organized by the NTS in collaboration with Heritage clinic and Getz Pharama.

Speaking at the event held at Heritage Clinic Ewet Housing Estate in Uyo professor Etete Peters, expert pulmonologist, and Provost University of Uyo college of health Sciences said from researches, the exact cause of this ‘life threatening’ disease is not yet known, it cannot be cured but it can only be controlled and managed with medications, and patients can live active and normal lives.

According to him, research has also shown that certain genes are associated with those who develop asthma.

“These genes are passed from parent to child. Those who have these genes are more susceptible to environmental pollutants like dust, repugnant smell etc. We can say that “Genes load the gun, but the environment pulls the trigger,” he said.