The 2nd chapter of the #BerokZindagi campaign launches multi-media awareness campaign “Asthmakeliye inhalers hainsahi -#InhalersHainSahi” today. The new campaign #InhalersHainSahi focuses on generating awareness and education about asthma besides its appropriate line of treatment with inhalers and continues to inspire patients to live a barrier-free life. The campaign aims to eliminate the stigma around inhalation therapy and make it more socially acceptable by addressing key issues & myths around therapy. This will also help to foster further dialogue between parents and their physicians and highlight that inhalers are suitable for children and for all levels of severity inhalers are not addictive and show better results than oral solutions.
Asthma is a chronic (long term) disease usually characterized by airway inflammation and narrowing of the airways, which can vary over time. It is estimated that in Bhopallocal doctors daily see an average of around 65 patients suffering from asthma/respiratory diseases. The paediatric asthma segment has also seen a significant increase on a year on year basis (doctors reckon they see an estimated 30-35 new cases of children with asthma every month). On an average until a date in 2019, while Bhopal has seen a 45% increase in the number of people suffering from asthma as compared to last year, approximately, one-third of population from Bhopalwill develop asthma at some time, mostly before the age of 20. Meanwhile, the number of patients using inhalation therapy has increased in the last few years, an estimated 65% of asthmatics discontinue inhaler use.
The reasons for the prevalence of asthma in Bhopal include amongst others air pollution attributed to the increase in air particulate matters, pollen, smoking, food habit, nutritional deficiency, hereditary predisposition and large ignorance amongst parents. The percentage and volume of lung diseases, especially asthma have gone up in Bhopalespecially in Bhopal. Despite the increasing prevalence, asthma remains one of India’s poorly-controlled diseases.
It is evident that asthma is on the rise in India and there is little awareness about the most effective therapy to offer. With the eminent personalities like actress Radhika Apte, Celebrity chef Vikas Khanna, Arjuna awardee Badminton player ParupalliKashyap and Digital influencer ShristiDixit, the campaign emphasis on the social stigma associated with asthma & inhalation therapy. The campaign emphasis that Inhalation therapy is the foremost and most effective medication for any asthmatic patient compared to oral therapies like tablets and syrups. With inhalation therapy, the drug acts directly on the lungs instead of flowing through the bloodstream and other organs of the body. Thus, there is lesser drug dosage and hence fewer side effects. It is, in fact, the safest treatment option for asthmatics.
Dr Rahul Agarwal, Bombay Children Hospital added, “Such campaigns are important as they help raise awareness about asthma, along with helping address its psychosocial aspects including stigma, one of the key contributing factors for patient anxiety, delayed diagnosis, denial & limited disclosure of being asthmatic and avoidance of inhaler use in public. The campaign will help spread the word regarding the need for an attitudinal change towards inhalation therapy as the most effective treatment for asthma management vis-à-vis oral medication”.
It is very significant to change the perception of Asthma and Inhalation Therapy. While inhalation treatment can play a crucial role in reducing the impact of asthma on people’s lives, compliance is crucial. We need patients to adopt the treatment as they are prescribed to get the full benefit. Inhalation therapy works to control asthma by preventing & relieving symptoms and reducing flare-ups, however, it will work if patients work in partnership with their physicians and adhere to the prescription. Expanding one’s knowledge on this condition is vital as patients stop using Inhalation therapy mid-way which makes it difficult to control the disease.