Pediatric Asthma in Southern Africa

Robin J. Green*
Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Pretoria, South Africa.

© 2011 Robin J. Green;

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Pretoria, South Africa; Tel: +27123545276; Fax: +27123545275; E-mail:


Pediatric asthma has been well researched and actively managed in Southern Africa for many years. From the earliest study of asthma prevalence in 1979 revealing a significant rural – urban asthma gradient to more recent studies suggesting that asthma now abounds in all population and socio-economic groups, Southern Africa has been the subject of a significant number of publications relating to asthma prevalence, etiologies or associations and treatment guidelines. Asthma is now present in 20% of school-children across Southern Africa, but may not have the same etiological factors commonly seen in the West. Southern Africa has areas with a high asthma prevalence, areas with amongst the highest mortality in the world and similar problems to first-world countries with regard to morbidity and cost of disease. Guidelines for asthma management published from South Africa highlight the importance of aiming for complete asthma control and avoiding morbidity, exacerbations and mortality.

Keywords: Asthma, Pediatrics, Southern Africa.