February 27th, 2010 | Jaipur, Lucknow & Kanpur
The festival of colours - Holi infusing fun and excitement in our lives could pose a threat for a few suffering from asthma. The colours used in Holi could act as a trigger and therefore even patients who have their asthma well under control are advised to avoid the trigger. If you have asthma it is not only important to take regular medication as prescribed, but also to understand the triggers and avoid them.
With a view to create awareness on asthma among children, Breathefree, a public service initiative from Cipla organized a Drawing competition exclusively for asthmatics in the city. The well-informed and aware asthma kids were seen playing with colours on their canvas. The event also helped these kids and their families to bond with each other.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), there are about 30 million asthmatics in India most of whom are either unaware, undiagnosed, undertreated or getting suboptimal treatment thereby running the risk of irreversible damage to their lungs. India has 10% of the world asthmatics which indicates that the asthma population in India is larger than the entire population of several countries. Results from 2 studies done at different time points in the city of Pune have shown that the prevalence of asthma in children has doubled in five years (from 2003-2008). The prevalence of asthma is similar among urban and rural people although there may be regional differences.
Asthma is a chronic disease which could affect a person anytime but the prevalence is higher among children. The event highlighted the fact that asthma can be kept under complete control by understanding the triggers and symptoms and by taking medication regularly as prescribed by the physician.
Addressing the press at the event, Pediatrician Dr.B.S.Sharma said “it is possible to lead a complete active normal life with asthma, if you adhere to the prescribed treatment. It is unfortunate that in India though asthma medicines are affordable, there are very few who are on treatment as the awareness is very low. We need many more of such events to unite the patients and bring asthma out of the closet.”
Advising about the best treatment to control asthma, Dr. Anurag Sarna stated that “Inhalation therapy is the best, effective and affordable way to keep asthma under control. Inhalers are more effective because the medicine is delivered and quickly exactly where it is required, which is in the airways in your lungs; whereas in the case of tablets and syrups, it has to pass from the stomach to the blood and finally to the lungs. This is slower and it takes longer for the patient to get relief. Some of the medicine even gets left behind in the stomach where it not needed and could cause a number of side-effects”.
“Rangon Ki Duniya Khuli Saason Ke Saath” was the theme given to the children in the drawing competition. Around 40 children with asthma attended the event and children were awarded with certificates after the Drawing Competition by the doctors.