In South Africa, asthma is a common condition among children. In urban areas, almost half of all children experience sever asthma symptoms from exposure to tobacco smoke, and high air pollution. This means many kids now suffer from severe wheezing from a young age.
The rise in asthmatic children in South Africa, is just a small part of a much larger and more worrying trend. All across Africa a sudden rise in the number of asthmatic children has left the healthcare system unprepared. A lack of understanding or awareness also makes the problem worst. Asthma charity ACACIA suggests that many young asthmatics in Africa are never even diagnosed. Even those diagnosed aren’t always able to have access to medication, and often aren’t given the right tools for self-management.
Those living in poverty are especially vulnerable to the potentially deadly symptoms of asthma. Poor living conditions in highly polluted areas mean children from a young age are exposed to bad air quality. When meeting basic needs such as clothing and food in a daily challenge, asthma management can often be neglected. The cost of care and medicine can also impacts regular check-ups and access to medication. Therefore young children from poor background are often left vulnerable and helpless against asthma.
However, there is hope for change. Today, an increasing awareness about the problem of asthma all across Africa means organisations like the ACACIA have been created. Working closely with young people, the charity provides education and tools to help children understand their condition. By working to increase asthma awareness, ACACIA hope to be able to improve the quality of life for asthmatics in Africa.
We at Smart Peak Flow are proud to support ACACIA, because we believe no one should be debilitated by their asthma.