LASUTH inaugurates study on asthma control in children

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The Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, on Wednesday inaugurated a study, Achieving Asthma Control in African Children (ACACIA), aimed at achieving adequate control of asthma in children.

The Lead Investigator of the study, Dr Olufunke Adeyeye, said at the inauguration in Lagos that the study would achieve adequate control of asthma in children in Africa.

Adeyeye, a Consultant Respiratory Physician at LASUTH, said, “It is a collaborative study between the Lagos State University College of Medicine (LASUCOM), Ikeja and Queen Mary University of London.

According to her, it is being funded by the National Institute for Health and Research, United Kingdom (UK).

“It is an international study taking place in six other countries including Nigeria, Uganda, Ghana, Zimbabwe and headquarters of this project is in UK.

“The research is aimed at improving outcome in children with asthma.

“Asthma is the most chronic condition in children and we noticed there is underdiagnoses and treatment of this condition in children.

“As a result, the condition can have an impact on the quality of life of these children,’’ Adeyeye said.

She said that the study would be a three-year project to be carried out on school children between the ages of 12 and 16.

“The aim is to detect asthma in 500 children after screening between 10,000 and 12,000 children across schools in Lagos State,’’ Adeyeye said.

She also said that in the course of the study, investigators would develop interventions to militate against the findings of the study.

“We are looking forward to creating a theatre that will be played in schools.

“So, the theatre will highlight all the things that we have discovered in our study; we will emphasise what positive and de-emphasise negative.

“We are going to be using theatre as an intervention to change attitude of people including children and their peers to asthma,’’ Adeyeye said.

The consultant said that undiagnosed asthma could lead to a lot of problems in a child including poor development, absent from school and poor performance and not achieve maximum potentials.

She said: “If not diagnosed, it will lead to permanent lung damage; the child may grow up not breathing well.’’

Also, Mr Sola Fosudo, the Head, Department of Theatre Arts and Music, Lagos State University (LASU), said that the theatre would add value to the ACACIA study.

“In theatre, there is an area we call theatre for development, where we use the content of our drama to interrogate problems within the society.

“This is a medical intervention in an area of ailment that needs to be researched into.

“We need to do everything we can find out in this research to inspire people with the condition and let people know that they can get to the peak of their careers.

“This is a treatable disease; the power of theatre is going to add value to this research,’’ Fosudo, also a former popular actor said.

In his remarks, a Family Physician, LASUTH, Dr Oluwajimi Sodipo, said that the study would help to get a rough idea of the prevalence of asthma among children.

Sodipo said that misdiagnosis and denial of the condition were challenges facing asthma management and control in the country.

“This study will help us know the true prevalence, the treatment modalities people have been using, some of the stigma associated with it and how we can help children get better treatment.

“It will help in terms of removing the risk factors, but more importantly, accessing the drugs needed and making sure those drugs are actually available.

“With this, we will have some evidence to be able to point, even to government to help them strengthen their school health policy programmes,’’ Sodipo said.

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