The call comes in light of the concern that up to 7 out of 10 patients in Mumbai who have asthma do not use inhalation therapy.
Less than a quarter (15%) of people with asthma in Mumbai have an action plan in place.
The pediatric asthma segment has also seen a significant increase on 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 Mumbai has seen a 25% increase in the number of people who have asthma as compared to last year, approximately, one-third of the population from Mumbai 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 Mumbai 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 Mumbai.
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 Mumbai, Dr. Sushant Mane, Paediatrician at Sir Jamshedjee Jeejeebhoy Hospital, said, "There has been a huge increase in the number of children who have been diagnosed with asthma making the count reach to approximately 5 million. Traffic, air pollution and dust around the city are some of the major factors that lead to causing asthma. The rate of is higher in males and females rather than children, but still, there is a stigma around using inhalation therapy. Asthma, being one of the biggest chronic diseases requires continuous medical care, which a lot of people fail to understand due to lack of knowledge and awareness and even amongst the people who start inhalation therapy, around 30-40% drop it midway. Education is the key; parents should make their kids well aware about the disease and what to do in case of emergency."
Dr. Nimesh Shah, Chest Physician at Sir HN Reliance Hospital, said, "Compared to last few years, the prevalence of asthma has increased in children and middle-aged people from approximately 12-15%. Pollution caused by cars and other automobiles, sedentary lifestyle, smoking along with a considerable amount of decrease in the natural habitat, especially in a city like Mumbai due to the 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 Mumbai, they are more aware than another metro city due to better education and awareness."
There has been a rise in Asthma cases in Mumbai in the last few years. Age group of 30-40 years is the most vulnerable group to get Asthma. We also see there is a lack of knowledge and many myths surrounding asthma. Asthma should not be considered a taboo.
Even though it is not curable, few lifestyle modifications can help lead a better life. One can lead an active and healthy life despite being asthmatic. If people educate themselves about Asthma, use inhaled medication correctly as prescribed by the doctor and avoid triggers, there is no reason why Asthma should get in the way of your dreams, your life", says Dr. Sanjeev Mehta, Chest Physician at Lillavati and Arogyanidhi, Mumbai.
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.
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