By Sirohmi Gunesekera
“Sri Lanka has the highest rate of hospitalisation for Asthma but patients don’t know that it is treatable. But it is a big problem in the island. It is possible to underestimate Asthma.
However, it is controllable, especially with inhaled medicine. Did you know that famous footballer David Beckham is also an Asthma sufferer? Earlier in developed countries too, patients were hospitalised for Asthma. The world is becoming borderless and there is Medical Tourism with patients being wise enough to seek a Second Opinion,” commented Dr.Philip Eng, specialist doctor in Pulmonology (Respiratory Medicine).
Dr.Eng hails from Singapore and was in Sri Lanka to give a talk on Asthma at the 47th Annual Session of the College of Physicians of Sri Lanka held on Monday, 6 October 2014 at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel.
He also warned that a disease may look like Asthma but be different and that is his specialty.
He spoke to Daily Mirror Life and said that patients died slowly of COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) also called “Smoker’s Lung”. “There is very good treatment now but the death rate is still high. Bangladesh has a high rate of smoking. Many die due to smoking and passive smoking. But in UK and the USA, the smoking rate has come down. If you take a CT Scan on a regular basis, you can detect cancer early. There is also now better surgical care with Keyhole Surgery where the incision is only one centimetre so there is less pain and modern anaesthesia,” he explained.
He also pointed out that Environmental Pollution especially in the city also caused disease. “It is important to educate the public and Sri Lanka has a very high standard of healthcare and Lankans are lucky because many speak English and have access to a global network through the internet.