Prevalence of Asthma in School Children in Tripoli, Libya

Original article


Omar Salhuba¹, Luis Cuevas², Ali Mgadami¹, Bernard Brabin²

1-Respiratory Division, Paediatric Department, Tripoli Medical Centre, Tripoli, Libya. 2-Child Health, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool, UK.

JMJ 2007,Vol.7, No.4:279-283


Objectives: Although asthma is among the most common chronic diseases in children world-wide, there is not enough information about the burden of disease in Libya. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and severity of symptoms of asthma in Tripoli children using the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC). Methods: The ISAAC questionnaire in English was validated in Arabic with the co-operation of parents attending the asthma clinic in Tripoli Medical Centre, 338 completed by parents of children aged 6-7 years and 443 self completed by children aged 13-14 years, randomly selected from public schools in Tripoli, Libya. Results: the prevalence rate of doctor diagnosed asthma was 7.7% and 8.6% for younger and older children respectively. Wheeze in the last 12 months was 7.1% and 7.2% in 6-7 years and 13-14 years respectively. A history of wheeze in the last 12 months for both age groups was significantly increased in families with a history of allergy, and or in children with doctor diagnosed asthma, (both P<0.01). Conclusion: The data suggests that the prevalence of reported symptoms and diagnosis of asthma in Libyan school children was relatively low, but possibly associated with significant morbidity and under-recognition. Keywords: ISAAC (International Study of Asthma and Allergy in Childhood). Link/DOI: