Bhopal, October, 2018: 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 Bhopal, local doctors on a daily basis see an average of around 40 patients suffering from asthma/respiratory diseases.
Need for Increased Awareness On Asthma and Adoption of the Right Treatment
The pediatric asthma segment has also seen a significant increase on a year on year basis (doctors reckon they see an estimated 25-30 new cases of children with asthma every month). On an average until date in 2018, while Bhopal has seen a 25% increase in the number of people suffering from asthma as compared to last year, approximately, one third of population from Bhopal will develop asthma at some time, mostly before the age of 20. Meanwhile while the number of patients using inhalation therapy has increased in the last few years, an estimated 75% 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 largely ignorance amongst parents. The percentage and volume of lung diseases, especially asthma have gone up in Bhopal.
In light of the lack of awareness on Asthma and adoption of the right treatment to improve patient outcomes, #BerokZindagi – a multi-media awareness campaign is launched with the aim to dispel myths and fears regarding asthma and encourage those affected by this condition to live a life without limits. While striving to establish inhalation therapy as the smartest choice to combat the illness, this multi-channel initiative will also provide information & resources for both – people affected by asthma and healthcare professionals. This campaign that also aims to eliminate stigma around inhalation therapy and make it more socially acceptable will help foster further dialogue between patients and their physicians.
This campaign follows a synergistic partnership with Priyanka Chopra – Bollywood’s global icon and an asthmatic herself to raise awareness about asthma along with helping address the stigma associated with this condition – one of the key factors responsible for patient anxiety, & denial, delayed diagnosis, and avoidance of inhaler use in public.
Talking about the incidences of asthma in Bhopal, Dr. Ashish Dubey, Chest Physician, Anamaya Chest Center said, “Compared to last few years, prevalence of asthma has increased in children and middle aged people. Pollution caused by cars and other automobiles along with a considerable amount of decrease in the natural habitat due to construction of properties are the primary causes behind the increase in cases of asthma. With children being the most vulnerable group, they are very flexible about adopting inhalation therapy. Talking about the people in Bhopal, they are more aware than other metro city due to better education and awareness.”
“Asthma is the leading cause of chronic diseases in children, and has increased in Bhopal in last few years. Patients are now getting more aware and are opting for inhalation therapy compared to last few years. Prevalence in children is higher due to their small windpipe that contract when they are exposed to pollens, dust and pollution. Even after starting the inhalation therapy around 40% of patients stop it mid-way due to the myths around using an inhaler” said, Dr. R.K Yadav, Paediatrician, V Care Children Hospital from Bhopal.
According to WHO, between 15 and 20 million people have Asthma in India and the prevalence is high at 10% to 15% in 5–11-year-old children. #BerokZindagi aims to help millions breathe-free and is here to support asthmatics by encouraging them to opt for inhalation therapy. Shying away from the condition will not improve quality of life, accepting it will do. Asthma can be controlled with medicines, but without the appropriate treatment, it can lead to frequent attacks.