Child asthma is on the rise in Manipur, thanks to the degrading air quality of the state due to extreme air pollution.
A survey titled Ambient Air Quality Monitoring conducted by the Manipur Pollution Control Board (MPCB) in 2018 found air quality index (AQI) exceeded PM10 in many places.
The survey was carried out in 11 urban areas of the state including Keishampat Junction, Wahengbam Leikai among others.
“The AQI at 11 urban places in Manipur exceeded the permissible PM10 level and this is a serious issue,” said an MPCP official.
Even though there are several reasons for asthma in children, but poor air quality is one of the primary reasons.
Vehicular air, burning of fossil fuels, industrial gases, dust storms etc are some of the factors polluting the air.
It is worth mentioning here that Manipur doesn’t have many industries to blame for air pollution, but the number of vehicles on the road are on the rise.
According to a 2018 report of the Department of Transport, Manipur, there was an increase of around 6167 cars and 16,458 two-wheelers in the state from April to December 2017.
“The state now has around 44,133 cars and around 2.5 lakh two-wheelers and the total vehicular population of the state was around 3.7 lakh by December 2017,” the report added.
With so many vehicles and lack of proper vehicular management system, the gas exhausted by these vehicles is enough to pollute the air to make it unsafe for the children.
Th Nabachandra- an Imphal-based paediatrician told a local newspaper that child-asthma has been on the rise in the state.
“Every day around 3-4 children visiting me are suffering from asthma,” Imphal Free Press reported quoting Nabachandra.
“These ailments are common but children are typically more sensitive to allergens and more prone to asthma attacks than an adult,” he added.
“This problem can be chronic or acute,” he further said.
“The children diagnosed with asthma may feel their problem has been cured completely. But it may recur later in life,” he added.
“Asthma may be hereditary in many cases, but exposure to external factors like air pollution, according to me, is the root cause in the rise of this disease in children,” he added.
He further informed that most the children who visit his children are city dwellers and their residences are closer to the main roads.