Children in poverty with asthma: the effects of the pandemic
Professor Monica Lakhanpaul discusses the impact that the pandemic has had on the health of children and young people with asthma
Recently Professor Monica Lakhanpaul, a Centre member based at UCL was invited to speak to London Live about the impact of the pandemic on children and young people living in poverty with asthma. Watch the full video:
- Video: Children in poverty with asthma: the effects of the pandemic
- Professor Monica Lakhanpaul speaks to London Live about children with asthma living in poverty and the effects of the pandemic
Since the beginning of the pandemic, everyone has spent more time at home. If you have been a child with asthma in poverty during that time, the chances of your asthma being triggered have increased. There have also been fewer opportunities to eat nutritious food and get to school where initial signs of asthma could be picked up. Also, health care professionals have not had as many appointments to offer due to the high numbers of COVID patients they needed to see and treat. It’s a combination that means that asthma hasn’t been detected, diagnosed, and treated in these children and young people effectively throughout the pandemic.
Monica discusses the difficulties that children and young people with asthma face if they live in poverty. They could be living in housing with mould on the walls that is damp and cold because families can’t afford to heat them. These environments affect the lungs and can trigger asthma.
With the increase in living costs on everyone’s minds at the moment, these are not issues that are going to disappear overnight. People living in poverty need to consider if they can afford to feed their children, if they can take them out to do activities in the fresh air, or if they can afford to heat their homes to reduce mould and other asthma triggers.
Children and young people with asthma who are living in poverty need:
- A strong campaign to raise awareness of the triggers and signs of asthma
- Communication with schools to identify those who could have asthma
- Targeted services for children and young people in poverty so asthma can be picked up
- Policymakers to understand that children still die because of asthma, and the disease should be taken seriously
Work of the Centre
The work of the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research brings together experts from social, medical and behavioural sciences to look at the health of children and young people with asthma in a holistic and integrated way. We bring together academics and communities to find solutions that work for children and their families.
Find out more about specific projects going on in the Centre