Asthma and allergic rhinitis (AR) are the commonest
chronic conditions causing ill health in South Africa.
Local South African studies reveal that most patients
with these conditions are not well controlled. There
are obviously a number of barriers to achieving control.
Barriers to optimal control of asthma and allergic
rhinitis in South Africa may fall into one of four domains:
health-authority-related factors, doctor-related
factors, patient-related factors and environmental
factors. Each of these is important and plays a role.
In the final analysis patient education is important,
and the efforts of many organisations (including the
National Asthma Education Programme (NAEP) and
the South African Allergic Rhinitis Working Group
(SAARWG)) are increasing the likelihood of control
for patients with asthma and AR.