Prof. Gregory Erhabor, Consultant Pulmonologist, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife, Osun on Sunday said more than 10 million Nigerians were suffering from asthma.
Erhabor, who is also the Managing Director, Asthma and Chest Care Foundation, Ile-Ife, gave the figure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
The expert, who also disclosed that 500,000 patients died annually, globally, due to the disease, said that Nigeria had not done much in the area of research.
“In the area of research, we are still not where we should be, but notwithstanding, we are able to understand the cause of asthma and how to control it.
“One of the challenges is that, many people do not know how to prevent the ailment.
“That is why the foundation is trying to make the awareness for patients to know the symptoms of the disease and study them.
“The Asthma and Chest Care Foundation gives out free drugs to asthma patients so that could be able to know how to control the ailment.
“We are being funded by ourselves and few other donours, government agencies should also come to our aid because we cannot do it all alone,” he said
The professor urged the Federal Government to give asthma treatment the much needed attention.
He called on the government to train more doctors and nurses and other health care practitioners on the management of asthma.
The medical practitioner also called on the government at all levels to subsidise the high cost of drug for the treatment of patients.
“Some of these drugs are not affordable and quite a number of them are not available in the country.
“We want a situation in which the government will bring the drugs down to the level of common asthmatic patients.