Gregory Erhabor, consultant pulmonologist, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Osun, on Sunday said more than 10 million Nigerians are suffering from asthma.
Erhabor, who is the managing director of Asthma and Chest Care Foundation, Ile-Ife, made this known in an interview with NAN.
He also said that 500,000 patients die every year globally as a result of asthma.
Erhabor said Nigeria had not done much in the area of research regarding the disease.
“One of the challenges is that many people do not know how to prevent the ailment,” he said.
“That is why the foundation is trying to create the awareness for patients to know the symptoms of the disease and study them.
“The Asthma and Chest Care Foundation gives out free drugs to asthma patients so that they could be able to know how to control the ailment.
“We are being funded by ourselves and few other donors, government agencies should also come to our aid because we cannot do it all alone.
“This notwithstanding, we are able to understand the cause of asthma and how to control it.”
The professor urged the federal government to give asthma treatment the much-needed attention.
He also called on government to train more doctors, nurses and other health care practitioners on the management of the disease.
Erhabor said government at all levels should subsidise the high cost of the drug for the treatment of asthma patients.
“Some of these drugs are not affordable and quite a number of them are not available in the country,” he said.
“We want a situation in which the government will bring the drugs down to the level of common asthmatic patients.”