BENGALURU: Air quality scientists and pediatricians have found that an increasing number of 3-year-old children are using inhalers to increase their lung capacity. This was one of the many findings which drew city-based pediatricians to hold their first-ever meeting on how respiratory problems in children can be controlled. Speaking to The New Indian Express on the sidelines of the meeting, Dr K R Bharat Kumar Reddy, Pediatric Pulmonologist, Shishuka Children’s Hospital, said Bengaluru is not just the asthma capital but has also become the allergy capital over the years.
“Pediatricians are seeing that at least 85 per cent of the patients have respiratory problems. In the last six months, I have attended to 450 cases and a large number are being reported from Marathahalli, Ring Road areas, Horamavu and Kalyan Nagar. So we are assessing how there has been an increase, what the government should do and how the topic of air pollution needs to be addressed,” he said.
He added that normally in summers the pollution levels and respiratory cases should come down, but that they are actually on the rise. “We found that this is because of increasing construction activities, road construction, footpath works etc. Though people blame the weather, that is not the truth. It has been observed that when people travel to colder places, their respiratory problems have shown an improvement. The problem in the city is pollutants combined with allergens.”
The conference was organised by International Pediatrics Association and Indian Pediatrics Association along with Heal, an NGO, at John’s Hospital. To address the air pollution problem and its impact on children, monitoring devices are also being installed in schools along the ring roads.