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Task shifting: a common-sense approach in children with asthma?
  1. Warren Lenney
  1. Department of Medicine, School of Pharmacy and Bioengineering, Keele University, Keele, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Warren Lenney, Keele University, School of Pharmacy and Bioengineering, Keele ST5 5BG, UK; w.lenney46{at}hotmail.co.uk

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Over the last 9 months, the COVID-19 pandemic has been all consuming for virtually every country of the world; destroying lives, overwhelming health services and perplexing governments alike. Other medical disorders have taken a ‘relative’ back seat resulting in research and resources being diverted to best manage the devastating pandemic.

Asthma is a good example being the most common disorder seen in children worldwide but with a recent profile lower than previously, despite its continuing and significant morbidity. The Lancet Commission1 has re-enforced our understanding that asthma is a spectrum of airway diseases often poorly diagnosed and frequently inadequately treated. In previous decades, it was believed to be a disease solely of temperate climate countries, but we now know its frequency and particularly its severity have been rapidly climbing in low-income and middle-income countries. In sub-Saharan Africa (sSA), urbanisation, poverty, air pollution and lack of resources have all been implicated as causative factors. In a systematic review, 10%–20% of all children in sSA were reported to have symptomatic or severe asthma.2 This in countries where there may be only 2 trained doctors per 100 000 …

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Footnotes

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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