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Asthma can Be Checked, Experts are Confident

every week) must be treated with anti-inflammatory medication, preferably inhaled corticosteroids and bronchodilators. Acute or severe asthma attacks may require hospitalization, administration of oxygen and intravenous medication.

But hospitalization and such other emergency situations can be prevented by the sustained use of inhaled medicines.

The quick-relief medications are taken to achieve prompt reversal of an acute asthma "attack" by relaxing bronchial smooth muscle.

The World Health Organization recognizes that asthma is of major public health importance. The Organization plays a role in coordinating international efforts against the disease. The aim of its strategy is to support Member States in their efforts to reduce the toll of disease, disability and premature death related to asthma.

International action is needed to:

· increase public awareness of the disease to make sure patients and health professionals recognize the disease and are aware of the severity of associated problems;
· organize and co-ordinate global epidemiological surveillance to monitor global and regional trends in asthma;
· develop and implement an optimal strategy for its management and prevention (many studies have shown that this will result in the control of asthma in most patients); and
· stimulate research into the causes of asthma to develop new control strategies and treatment techniques.
Recognizing the need to improve the management of asthma in India, some medical and non-medical professionals started the Asthma Foundation in 1998. From propagating the knowledge of asthma and encouraging newer ways of managing the disease, the Foundation is now looking at ways of fitting asthma into the spectrum of respiratory diseases and evolving simple strategies for its management at the primary-care level without much investment. The Foundation is focussing on rural areas where healthcare
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