KARACHI - Asthma is present in 5 per cent of Pakistani population but good control of asthma is achieved in only in 15 per cent of them, this was stated by Dr Nadeem Rizvi, head department of Chest Medicine Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre Karachi, speaking at a seminar on Asthma Control, held on Tuesday. The seminar was jointly organised by Pakistan Chest Society Sindh and Pakistan Medical Association Karachi to observe world asthma day 2008. He said, "Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases in the world, affecting more tha11 300 million people worldwide Asthma is under-diagnosed and under-treated creating a substantial burden to individuals and families and possibly restricting individual's activities for a lifetime. Only 50 per cent has used inhalers: 64 per cent of the patient has no knowledge about inhalers patients do not visit doctors 80 per cent see the doctor only when they have bad attacks." Dr Mossavir Ansari, consultant chest physician, said that attention should be paid to asthma in children in Pakistan was about 9 per cent asthma often develops during childhood, and was the chronic disease most commonly causing absence from school. "Despite asthma's importance as a very common childhood disease, there ware many gaps in our knowledge of how to diagnose and manage asthma in children diagnosis of asthma is especially difficult in young children, under the age of 5. Many respirator conditions mimic asthma clinically. In addition; there is a lack of evidence about what treatment options are most effective in young patients, However inhaler can be safely and conveniently used even in infants," he said. Dr Mohammad Hussain, consultant health physician Liaquat National Hospital, said that asthma control meant no, or minimal, symptoms, and very infrequent asthma attacks. He said, "A person whose asthma is under control can go to work or school, exercise, and participate fully in life. It is not necessary to have sophisticated test to assess the control of asthma a simple questionnaire that is used to assess the frequency of daytime and night-time symptoms useful to diagnose theses patients. Using peak flow meter can make objective assessment. He informed that patients with severe asthma are responsible for approximately 50 per cent of all direct and indirect cost; even though this patient population represents just 10-20 per cent of all asthma sufferers, therefore control of severity of attacks is cost effective. General Secretary Pakistan Chest Society Dr Shahina Qayyum also spoke at the occasion, while eminent practitioners and student attended the seminar. Earlier Dr Aziz Khan Tank president PMA Karachi presented the welcome address, Dr Samrina Hasluni General Secretary PMA Karachi presented the vote of thanks.