New asthma awareness initiative for patients and GPs

In the last six years, the number of adult patients admitted to Intensive Care Units for severe life-threatening asthma has increased almost 30 per cent annually. This is according to a study last year by Professor Lim Tow Keang, programme director of the Singapore National Asthma Programme and Professor Chay Oh Moh, senior consultant and KK Women's and Children's Hospital campus director for education.

To mark World Asthma Day on May 7, the Singapore National Asthma Program (SNAP) and the College of Family Physicians, Singapore are taking steps to quell fatal asthma attacks through a new campaign.

Taking reliever asthma inhalers provide short term relief, but does not combat the underlying medical condition, noted Prof Lim in his study. He added that a behavioural change through education must be instilled so patients take controlled medication daily for long-term benefits, said Prof Lim.

Currently there is a three-step nationwide action plan for GPs including an Asthma Control Test which indicates how well asthma is being controlled.