An asthma expert from the United States wants to see more studies done on how Sahara dust affects Barbadians and other Caribbean sufferers.
Pulmonologist (medical expert on lungs & breathing) Dr Maria Santiago told a symposium at the Accra Beach Resort she was disappointed there were no recent surveys beyond 2005 or 2006.
She was at the time speaking about the differences between cystic fibrosis, a rare yet growing non-communicable disease, and asthma.
Dr Santiago’s emphasised the need for more current data on young children who may have asthma since it was estimated, at least eight years ago, that approximately 19.5 per cent of six to seven year olds were asthmatic.
Also on hand were Dr Cheynie Williams of the QEH’s Accident & Emergency (A&E) Asthma Bay, along with pediatrician and neonatologist Dr Gillian Birchwood.
Dr Birchwood noted the test for cystic fibrosis was as simple as a sweat test but still expensive.
He advocated having tests sent to the Caribbean Epidemiological Research Centre (CAREC) in Trinidad as the best way for Barbadians to ensure reasonable health costs and reduced wait for results.
The local Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is due rto hold a 5k walk this Saturday as part of its efforts to bulid awareness about the disease.
There will also be a mini-seminar for medical professionals at the QEH on Cystic Fibrosis, as well as a fundraising gala dinner on November 1.