Asthma Patients in Uganda Resort to Herbs Over High Cost of Treatment

May 14, 2014 6:14 pmComments Off on Asthma Patients in Uganda Resort to Herbs Over High Cost of Treatment by:

Asthma patients, in Uganda, are resorting to traditional herbs, to cut the high cost of treatment.
Patients, interviewed, by The Continent Observer, say they prefer using traditional herbs, for treatment because of the high cost of treatment. Some patients, use herbs while others, have resorted to drink donkey’s milk, as a remedy whenever they get attacks.
Rebecca Kabuya is among the patients who use traditional herbs for treatment whenever she gets attack.
Here’s a story she shared with the Continent Observer’s Joseph Elunya.
I’ am a 22 year-old girl and a student in my final year at University, in Uganda. I have been battling with asthma since my childhood and I have used various medication whenever I’ am attacked. Having asthma, is a very big problem, because whenever its cold like today, my chest gets congested and sometimes I end up fainting.
Whenever I get the attack, my father has to rush me for treatment, and usually they have to inject me two times so that my condition can normalize.
I usually get the attacks if I’ am in a new environment that I’ am not used to or when it’s too cold. I formally used to use Amophlene and Salbutamol, for treatment, but these days I no longer use them because they are too costly and also have side effects.
For now I have resorted to use donkey and camel’s milk as a remedy whenever I’ am attacked by asthma. I also use traditional herbs especially the ones which are being sold by Indians in Kampala.
These traditional herbs are good because they are cheap and they don’t have side effects which is synonymous with the drugs they used to inject me with.
Dr. Martin Okot a lung health expert and President of Uganda Thoracic Society says the treatment for asthma costs about US$15. He however declined to state whether the treatment is affordable.
Asthma is a disease of the bronchial tubes (“the airways”) that typically presents with wheezing– a high-pitched whistling sound heard during breathing, especially when breathing out. Asthma can also involve shortness of breath or coughing, particularly in children. Asthma attacks can be triggered by factors, such as having a cold, exercising, or exposure to smoke.
According to the 2011 global asthma report Published by The Union and the International Study of Asthma and Allergies, Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that affects 235 million people worldwide. The burden of asthma has been growing over the past 30 years, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.
It is the most common chronic disease among children and also affects millions of adults. Asthma is not curable, but it can be treated and managed with existing medicines.
The strongest risk factors for developing asthma are exposure, especially in infancy, to indoor allergens (such as domestic mites in bedding, carpets and stuffed furniture, cats and cockroaches) and a family history of asthma or allergy.
Exposure to tobacco smoke and exposure to chemical irritants in the workplace are additional risk factors. Other risk factors include certain drugs (aspirin and other non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs), low birth weight and respiratory infection. The weather (cold air), extreme emotional expression and physical exercise can exacerbate asthma.


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