Objectives To find the prevalence of doctor diagnosed asthma, as reported by the parents, in school children of South Punjab, Pakistan.
Methods It was a cross sectional, questionnaire based, descriptive survey of children aged 318 years, in randomly selected primary and secondary schools, from October 2002 to March 2003. The data were then analyzed by the coauthor with Statistical Analysis System SAS.
Results Of 6120 questionnaires sent to the parentsguardians, we received 3180 back 52. Of the 3180 respondents, 1767 56 were for boys and 1413 44 were for girls. The median age was 8.25 years. Around 71 of children were between 4 to 11 years of age. The parents reported asthma only in 129 4 of their children as was told to them by their doctor with almost equal distribution in boys 60 and girls 69 of 2, respectively. Of these 129 children with doctor diagnosed asthma, 60 47 were boys and 69 53 were girls. Of the 1767 boys, the doctor diagnosed asthma as reported by parents was 3 60. Of the 1413 girls, the doctor diagnosed asthma as reported by parents was 5 69. The asthma was not reported in the 1418 years age group.
Conclusion Asthma is stigmatised in our society and as such is not reported or disclosed, but rather denied. An extensive educational media campaign is required for improving awareness of the population at large.
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