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(S. Africa) 20% of kids 13 to 14 yrs old have asthma; grant awarded to study the problem

July 10, 2018, (Africa) Eurek Alert: Project aims to improve asthma control in African schoolchildren https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-07/qmuo-pat071018.php Researchers from Queen Mary University of London have been awarded £2 million to study how to improve asthma in African children The investment from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is part of its Global Health Research Programme and will fund the three year project 'Achieving Control of Asthma in Children In Africa' (ACACIA) taking place in Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Malawi and Zimbabwe. Previously, asthma in African children was not thought to be a major health issue. But more African children are developing the long-term disease as they move to urban areas. Recent surveys in schools found that over 20 per cent of South African children aged 13 to 14 have ongoing asthma symptoms. But to date, there has been a lack of evidence to tackle the issue. The study will involve 3,000 children aged between 12 and 14 years old with asthma symptoms, and use surveys to assess their asthma control, treatment, attitudes to asthma, as well as the barriers to achieving good control…. 'Diseases of urbanisation' Professor Jonathan Grigg from Queen Mary's Blizard Institute, and Director of the NIHR Global Health Research Group, said: "The number of children in sub Saharan Africa who live in urban areas is rapidly increasing. These children are developing diseases of urbanisation such as asthma. However, very little is known about the severity of asthma in African children. Working with leading paediatricians across Africa, this grant will allow us to describe the burden of asthma in children, and the reasons underlying poor asthma control."…