Dhaka, Bangladesh
Save kids from lung disease

Editorial

Save kids from lung disease

The majority of children, especially belonging to poor families, in the country are not in the pink of health as they suffer from various ailments. But we are startled to learn that 70 per cent children suffer from lung diseases that are taking a heavy toll of life every year. To raise awareness about this serious disease World Lung Day will be observed globally this year on September 25. Prior to the World Lung Day we have to identify the areas where we must give accent to control the lung-related diseases. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and lower respiratory tract infections have been identified as two major killer diseases in Bangladesh. We are struck with awe as nationwide surveys conducted by pulmonologists in 1999 and 2010 show a two-fold rise in respiratory diseases. The data collected from child specialists reveal that 60 to 70 per cent children seeking medical attention or hospitalised are suffering from pulmonary troubles. Within the span of about 15 years very little has been done to curb these diseases as we see an alarming surge in lung-related diseases among children. According to experts, to fight these common but lethal infections diseases importance has to be given on three areas eg. education, physical excercise and eradication of risk factors. As prevention is better than cure awareness should be raised about prevention. Healing of pulmonary diseases involves a long time and the treatment is expensive for the poor income group. Besides, it is very difficult to remove the risk factors in our country. Environmental pollution, rapid urbanisation, unplanned industrialisation, ever-growing smoking and high density of population are some of the big challenges that block ensuring the respiratory health. This stumbling block is really tough to remove. Awareness, therefore, has to be raised about prevention and causes of lung diseases such as COPD, tuberculosis, asthma and pneumonia. Prevention is all the more necessary as an expert says a small incident may turn fatal due to a lack of awareness. Passive smoking is another danger that affects the children most. About 45 per cent of the country’s population are smokers. Even a great many children are heavy smokers. Children become easy victims of passive smoking and this fact is ignored everywhere. Absence of law enforcement and deficient prevention and control policies are to blame for alarming rate of tobacco use in the country. Moreover, the smoke from household kerosene stove and burning of tyres emitting smoke cause harm to lungs of children. Authorities must raise awareness about the danger of smoke. While the government must do its part, different social platforms are to play a vital role in raising awareness among people. We want to see our future citizens with strong lungs in sound health.

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