Pollution and disease stigma still significant barriers to achieving asthma control
Guidelines but no programme
Asthma is a rampant respiratory disease that needs urgent attention, awareness and advocacy in Cameroon. The prevalence of self-reported asthma is 3.6% (n=2,648) respondents, with 1.8%, 5.3% and 3.0% in children, adolescents and adults, respectively.
There is a serious gap in asthma management with underdiagnoses, treatment and follow-up being inadequate, especially in adolescents. In addition to poor access to affordable, quality-assured, essential asthma medicines largely due to the cost, lack of access to adequate information that patients need to protect their health, stigma and psychological trauma remain prevalent.
Cameroon has experienced a significant increase in ambient fine particle exposure over the past decades from waste burning and firewood burning, and this could be contributing to increasing asthma mortality and morbidity. According to the 2020 State of the Global Air Report, Cameroon is ranked 8th among the top 10 countries with the highest population weighted annual average PM2.5 concentration of 64.5μg/m3.