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Asthma in the Middle East and North Africa countries

Asthma can become a life-threatening disease if not properly and in time diagnosed and treated. Often patients themselves let this disease worsen. Many asthma sufferers do not search for medical help until their symptoms become severe. It should be stressed on the importance of patients understanding the severity of their condition and taking first treatment steps with the first signs of asthma. 

An increase in asthma disease is observed all over the world. It is especially acute in the Middle East and North Africa countries. 

According to the research conducted by a pulmonologist Mohammed Al Ghobain (the King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh) Saudi Arabia is on the top of the list with a rate of 24% of asthma sufferers. Qatar comes next with a rate of 19.8 %; and Kuwait is the third with a rate of 16.8%. This list is followed by the United Arab Emirates (13%) and Oman (10%).

Especially children are susceptible to asthma. Moreover, it has become one of the causes of morbidity in childhood.

The prevalence rate of asthma in Qatari schoolchildren is 19.8%. In Oman it is 20.7% what is higher than in some developing countries. 

An increase in asthma disease is provoked by many factors, Qatar’s desert climate, and specifically sudden changes in weather conditions being one of them, and probably the main reason. Genetic factors and rapid urbanization also contribute to the high prevalence rates in asthma in the Qatari population.

That is why there are a lot of health organizations which are preoccupied with asthma problem. Their task is to take all possible measures to reduce asthma prevalence and morbidity. Appropriate management can control the disease and enable people suffering from asthma to live normal life. 

Asthma cannot be cured completely, official data claims. However there is the fact that shows the opposite. Nowadays there is a great choice of treatment methods, both traditional and alternative. The latter have become more commonly used recently. 

One of them which draws attention is halotherapy. It is a unique treatment and prevention method which is based on using microclimate of salt rooms. The positive effect is achieved in 82-86 % of cases among adults and 90-95 % among children.

The method of halotherapy started to develop in Soviet Union, mainly in west Ukraine. Due to its treatment effect, halotherapy has become popular all over the world, and has been widely used in Europe, Russia, the USA, Canada, Israel, and other countries. Recently it has been catching on in Arabic countries as well. Since halotherapy is a natural, drug-free and safe therapy, there is an increase of salt rooms appearing as stand-alone establishments and in many medical institutions.