The 2nd chapter of the #BerokZindagi campaign, launches multi-media awareness campaign “Asthma ke liye inhalers hain sahi – #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 Nagpur local 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).
Nagpur has seen a 45% increase in the number of people suffering from asthma as compared to last year, approximately, one third of population from Nagpur will 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 Nagpur 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 has gone up in Nagpur especially in Nagpur.
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 Parupalli Kashyap and Digital influencer Shristi Dixit, 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 Vinod Gandhi, Consultant Pediatrician with Gandhi Children Hospital commented “Inhaler is very important, and it can be measured by the fact 16% of mild asthma patients are at risk for a near-fatal attack. 30 – 37% of adult asthma patients presenting a severe attack of asthma had mild asthma and 15 – 20% of adult patients dying with asthma had mild asthma. This is altogether serious enough not to be neglected. Many pieces of research show that children and adults do not adhere well to regular treatment in mild asthma – just 30 % adhere regularly in real-life. Therefore, real-life scenarios suggest that most patients anyways take their inhaler only when required.”
Speaking on the occasion, Dr.Ashish Nikhare, Consultant Pulmonologist, LMH Hospital, Nagpur, said, “People should not hide about the fact that they have asthma and it is very crucial to get asthma treated as early as possible with correct medication i.e. inhalation therapy. Timely diagnosis and the right treatment combined with simple lifestyle modifications can help in managing asthma better. Asthma is always easier to control when diagnosed early & with right treatment plan.”
“The first leg of #BerokZindagi was very well received and saw a 14% increase in people’s awareness and acceptance levels for inhalation therapy 1. This campaign intends to continue inspiring millions across India. While positive shifts testify the success, there is much to be done still for people suffering from asthma. These are people unable to live the life they deserve because of misinformation and stigma leading to non-acceptance of the disease and avoidance of inhaler use in public. Hence, we shall continue our work through #InhalersHainSahi.”
Further Dr Ashish Nikhare, LMH 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.
The last chapter of #BerokZindagi received positive feedback from healthcare professionals across India where research shows a 16% increase in a doctor’s likelihood of prescribing inhalation therapy as the course of treatment for asthma 2 . After the closure of the previous leg of #BerokZindagi, 26% decrease in the rejection of inhalers was registered as an impact of the campaign 3.
#inhalershainsahi 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 the quality of life, accepting it will do. Asthma can be controlled with medicines, but without the appropriate treatment, it can lead to frequent attacks.