Asthma is a common breathing condition. Chances are that at least one in every five of your your loved ones will have it. People with asthma might have a cough, or wheeze and a feeling of tightness in their chests. They could feel short of breath, especially after being active or when they hang around people who smoke cigarettes or vape. Feelings of excitement or stress or even a cold could also bring about asthma symptoms. Dirty air can cause or worsen asthma. It’s helpful for a person with asthma to try and avoid air pollution. For example, keeping the house free from cigarette or fire smoke can help asthma sufferers breathe better.
Luckily asthma can be controlled. Asthma medication is safe to use and even young children can learn how to use an inhaler. Inhalers allow asthma patients to breathe easy and continue to live a normal and active life.
A group of researchers from the United Kingdom teamed up with seven African countries to learn about the challenges that children living with asthma in Africa face. This research programme called Achieving Control of Asthma in Children in Africa (ACACIA) hopes to see more kids breathe easy and go about life without the hassles of asthma. One part of their research focuses on air pollution specifically. The researchers chose children to carry a special monitor backpack that can measure the amount of air pollution and link it with their asthma symptoms. This information could help us to better understand the effects of air pollution. Research like this is important to find ways to deal with asthma triggers and help more people understand asthma and enjoy a normal active life.
Jive Media Africa is working with ACACIA, who are educating young South Africans and improving the health of adolescents with asthma in Africa. Together, we have developed resources which can help you to understand the effects of asthma better. Download and the share the resources below (English and isiZulu versions available), and breathe a little more easily!