A non- governmental organization, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in conjunction with the Homa Bay county government held a celebration Friday to mark World Asthma Day at Rodikopany trading center.
Homa Bay Sub County Head of Tuberculosis, Lung and Leprosy Diseases Daniel Okal Nyambaga said this year’s theme is closing gaps in asthma care
He said Asthma is a condition in which airways narrow, swell and may produce extra mucus.
“Asthma can make breathing difficult and trigger coughing, a whistling sound (wheezing) when you breathe out and shortness of breath. Therefore, if one has such signs, he/she should rush to the hospital,” said Nyambaga.
He said that the disease manifests in varied severity of attacks, that is, mild, moderate and severe. When one is diagnosed with a mild attack, he/she will be given preventive drugs like inhalers containing steroids which prevent one from getting attacks.
A doctor at MSF Homa Bay Florence Katete said that they provide free treatment of non-communicable diseases like epilepsy, high blood pressure hypertension, diabetes and asthma.
“Today we are offering free diagnosis and treatment services of these non-communicable diseases, and on asthma we are providing inhalers too,” said Dr. Katete.
She also urged the locals to be vigilant of signs like shortness of breath, chest tightness or pain and should visit nearby MSF clinics to get treatment early.
George Omollo, an asthma patient who has lived with the condition for more than 40 years, lauded MSF for availing inhalers which has helped him and other patients in the reduction of attacks.
“Before the entry of MSF in our county, we were using salbutamol which we were later discouraged because it was no longer effective. Therefore, we appreciate them for bringing inhalers to the nearby facilities,” said Omollo.