Latest Barbadian NGO calls for regional solution to breathing dilemma: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation hosts 5K walk to build awareness
An asthma expert from the United States wants to see more studies done on how Sahara dust affects Barbadians and other Caribbean sufferers – this was one of many intriguing findings delivered at the Accra Beach Resort. Pulmonologist (medical expert on lungs & breathing) Dr Maria Santiago was disappointed there no recent surveys than 2005 or 2006; this was revealed while speaking about the differences between Cystic Fibrosis (a rare yet growing non-communicable disease) and asthma.
In his opening remarks, the CFFB’s President Michael Turton told the audience how on Saturday 5th July there is a 5K walk from the Insurance Corporation of Barbados on Roebuck St to the Bay Street Esplanade starting at 6:00 am sharp with many prizes for individuals and groups. Also on hand were Dr Cheynie Williams of the QEH’s A&E Asthma Bay along with pediatrician & neonatologist Dr Gillian Birchwood also of the QEH and Vice President of the CFFB, Richard Blades, providing valuable technical assistance in ensuring the slide show was flawless.
Dr Santiago’s address held the audience spellbound as she emphasized the need for more current data on young children who may have asthma since at least eight years ago approximately 19.5% of six to seven year olds were found asthmatic.
There was a vigorous Q&A from participants and one mother’s concern for her child moved everyone present and they urged for her to ensure the little one did not have Cystic Fibrosis instead, since asthma can be misdiagnosed in many cases.
In fact, Dr Gillian Birchwood noted since the test for CF is as simple as a sweat test but still expensive as it is in the USA, perhaps the best way for Barbadians to ensure there is a reasonable fee to safeguard the health of their family and loved ones is via a regional approach in having tests sent to the Caribbean Epidemiological Research Centre (CAREC) thus reducing both the time for waiting on results and the price of ascertaining what is really the matter when a child is coughing or wheezing.