Asthma high among pre-school children

National 2 minutes, 7 seconds


PREVALENCE of asthma is high among children in Brunei as two to three out of five children receiving treatment daily at the Jerudong Park Medical Centre (JPMC) are suffering from asthma, said a medical officer at the hospital’s Paediatric Clinic yesterday.

Speaking on the sidelines of a forum titled ‘Children Growth and Development Trends Issue’, Dr Adam Maliq said the aforementioned figure was mostly found in pre-school children, or from newborns to those aged five.

“The prevalence of asthma in (pre-school) children is high,” said Dr Adam.

Based on cases being treated at the JPMC, he said the causes of asthma symptoms can vary from a common upper or lower respiratory tract infection, which means either they have very bad sore throat or pneumonia, to bronchitis (an inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes).

He then explained after the age of five, the asthma in some of the paediatric patients may continue, while some will completely disappear.

“Wheezing in children does not necessarily mean they have asthma,” he said, adding that, “Asthma is a treatable illness.”

He underscored the importance of complying with doctor’s prescription in a bid to minimise the asthma symptoms.

Giving an example, he said patients with asthmatic symptoms need regular check-ups and assessments.

Five days after the first visit, the patient needs to be reexamined to check how she/he is responding to the treatment. After two weeks, the patient is required to undergo another check-up, he added.

His presentation on “Children Asthma and Its Major Current Problems” said that asthma is one of the most common chronic inflammatory disorders.

The symptoms can be treated effectively in many patients, however, at considerable costs, it added.

Dr Adam, was among the invited speakers during the Forum which organised by the JPMC in collaboration with Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha (RIPAS) Hospital and supported by Merck Serono, Singapore.

The first speaker Dr Pandare Sankaran Sugathan, head of Department for General Paediatrics of RIPAS Hospital, presented an overview of children development issues in Brunei which includes speech delays, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorder as well as sharing number of children with learning disability in Brunei.

Meanwhile, Dr Warren Lee, a paediatric endocrinologist from Singapore, shared his views on current child growth issues, especially growth hormones, growth disorder, early puberty and treating puberty.

Ak Danny Pg Tajuddin, head of Marketing of JPMC, said that the event aimed to educate the community, especially parents on children growth and development issues.

More than 70 people attended the forum.

The Brunei Times