'Progress to Prosper' transforms Uttar Pradesh by equipping primary healthcare doctors to treat asthma

23rd April, 2010 | Lucknow

Progress to Prosper (P2P), a revolutionary asthma training and support initiative by Cipla in association with Surya Chest Foundation, Lucknow has been working relentlessly for the past two years to alleviate asthma care and control in Uttar Pradesh. P2P is the first and only program in India on diagnosis and management of asthma and with the support of 600 doctors trained under P2P in the past 2 years, the best asthma treatment is now a reality even in small town India.

With 30 million asthmatics in the country, India constitutes 10% of the world asthmatics which indicates that the asthma population in India is larger than the entire population of several countries. The scenario is worse as most in India are either unaware, undiagnosed or are sub-optimally treated for asthma. This is despite India having the latest, most effective and extremely affordable medicines to control asthma. In order to bridge this diagnosis-treatment gap and spread awareness, a holistic approach has been adopted in which P2P is proved to be the most important link.

P2P is a unique program specifically designed in Hindi and it comprises of interactive lectures by eminent chest physicians and short easy-to-follow, user-friendly sessions. The doctors participating in the program also receive world-class diagnostic tools and extensive patient advisory materials which further supports them in their practice. Trained under P2P, the primary healthcare doctors are now able to extend the right therapy for asthma treatment to the masses. The most effective asthma treatment – inhalation therapy is available in India at a price as low as 0.50 paisa to Rs 6 per day. The diagnosed asthma patients can thereby benefit tremendously from the affordability and availability of these inhaled drugs to keep their asthma under control and lead a complete active life. Further, to ensure adherence to treatment, the primary healthcare doctors trained under P2P are able to provide demonstration of inhaler devices and counseling to the patient and his family to remove the myths associated with asthma and inhalation therapy.

Commenting on the success of P2P, Dr. B.P.Singh from Surya Chest Foundation said, “For the first time a program has been designed specifically for primary physicians. We have received tremendous response from the doctor community in U.P as they have benefited from P2P in terms of knowledge upgradation and winning patient trust. It has truly empowered them to provide the best asthma treatment and provide relief to several suffering needlessly with the condition.”

Dr. J.A Gogtay, Medical Director Cipla said, “This was our pilot program in Uttar Pradesh and its success has encouraged us to extend it in few other states as well. Cipla has always been committed towards providing quality affordable medicines and this program provides us the platform to extend it to small town and rural India. Today a patient in Barabanki, Basti, Etawah, Mainpuri or any such smaller location has access to the right asthma treatment as compared to a patient based in Mumbai or Delhi. ”

Taking the program to the next level, Cipla will launch the first of its P2P Webcast series with essentially a group of 3000 primary healthcare doctors across Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana on 24th April 2010. Leveraging the new-age technology of Webcasts, P2P would now be extended to a wider audience of primary healthcare doctors. This will enable primary healthcare doctors located even in remote interiors of the states to upgrade themselves and offer the best asthma treatment to the people even in small town India.

About Asthma:
Asthma is a chronic respiratory disorder of the lungs in which there is inflammation (swelling) of the airways in our lungs. Due to this inflammation, the airways are narrowed and the lung becomes vulnerable to various allergens which act as triggers for an asthma attack. Dust, cold, pollen, furry pets, and viruses, smoking and air pollutants, and even emotional agitation act as triggers for an asthma attack. When a person comes in contact with a trigger, the inflamed airways are irritated leading to tightening of the muscles and excess mucus production which further constricts the passages, thereby inhibiting normal breathing and this at times could even turn fatal.

The usual manifestations of asthma are repeated episodes of chest tightness, difficulty in breathing and cough. In children asthma often manifests through a single symptom like cough which is more severe at night or early in the morning and remains persistent despite intake of various cough syrups and medications. Asthma symptoms vary from person to person and it is important to watch them carefully for a correct diagnosis by the doctor.

Although asthma is not curable, it is possible to gain complete control over it and lead a normal active life. There are several therapies and forms of treatment for asthma available in the market. However, it has now been accepted globally that the best and safest way to take asthma medication is by inhalation as it reaches your lungs directly and starts acting immediately. But if you are on tablet or syrup the medication takes time to act as the medicine has to pass from the stomach to the blood and finally to the lungs. This could also result in several side effects. It is to be noted that in inhalation therapy, the dosage needed is up to 50 times lesser than syrups or tablets and far more effective.

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About Cipla:
Cipla laid foundations for the Indian pharma industry way back in 1935. At a time when the British ruled India and medicines were neither readily available nor affordable, Dr. K. A. Hamied founded Cipla towards making the country self-reliant in healthcare. He built Cipla with a promise “Never again will India be starved of essential drugs.”

Over the years Cipla has grown to be one of the most respected names in pharmaceuticals not just in India but worldwide. It’s state- of -the art R&D centre has given the country and the world many firsts. This includes the revolutionary AIDS cocktail for less than a dollar a day. With over 40 manufacturing units across the country, Cipla manufactures over 1200 products in various categories and has a presence in crop care and veterinary too.

With a turnover of over 5000 crores, Cipla today serves doctors and patients in over 176 countries. It has earned a name for maintaining one global standard across all its products and services. Cipla continues to support, improve and save millions of lives with its innovative drugs and devices.

About Surya Chest Foundation:
Founded by Dr. B P Singh in the year 2006, Surya Chest Foundation, Lucknow has been dedicatedly working towards Respiratory Care, Medical Education and Research. The foundation was initiated with a vision of providing the best medical care in the field of respiratory medicine with academic excellence and patient satisfaction.

Surya Chest Foundation provides training to the healthcare professionals to upgrade them with the latest technologies and trends in the field of respiratory medicine and to improve the overall patient care. With their primary focus on the latest trends in Asthma, COPD, and Interstitial lung diseases with its cure and prevention, the foundation aims to provide quality and quantitative healthcare in the field of respiratory diseases.

The Foundation operates with a distinguished staff from the respiratory field. Equipped with the latest technology, at par with the international standards, the foundation has been undergoing various International and National clinical trials in field of respiratory medicine.

Dr. Surya Kant and Dr. S Bhattacharyya have also been an integral part of the foundation.