Inhalers are right for asthma5 min read . Updated: 16 Dec 2019, 02:56 PM IST
A new campaign called ‘#InhalersHainSahi’ focuses on educating people about asthma, besides its appropriate line of treatment with inhalers.
New Delhi, Delhi, India – The 2nd chapter of the #BerokZindagi campaign today launched a multi-media awareness campaign called ‘Asthma ke liye inhalers hain sahi-#InhalersHainSahi’. The campaign focuses on generating awareness about asthma, besides its appropriate line of treatment with inhalers.
The campaign also aims to eliminate the stigma around inhalation therapy and make it more socially acceptable by addressing key issues and myths around therapy. This will also help foster dialogue between parents and their physicians and highlight that inhalers are suitable even for children; 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 Delhi-based 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). This year, Delhi saw a 45% increase in the number of people suffering from asthma compared to last year. Approximately one-third of the population of Delhi 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 Delhi are 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, have gone up in Delhi. 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 eminent personalities like actress Radhika Apte, celebrity chef Vikas Khanna, Arjuna awardee badminton player Parupalli Kashyap and digital influencer Shristi Dixit, the campaign emphasizes on the social stigma associated with asthma & inhalation therapy. The campaign emphasises 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. Harish Bhatia, Consultant, Chest Specialist and Interventional Pulmonologist at Sehgal Neo Hospital, Paschim Vihar, said, “Inhaler is very important; 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 Gaurav Sethi, Consultant Pediatrician and Executive Director of In Good Hands Specialist Child Care Group, Delhi-NCR, said, “Asthma is the most common chronic illness in childhood, and the leading cause of school absenteeism. It is high time parents stop resisting the diagnosis of asthma in their child or trying to hide it. Childhood asthma is easily treatable but it is crucial to accept the diagnosis and agree to inhalation therapy which is the best available treatment. Timely diagnosis and the right treatment combined with simple lifestyle modifications help in managing asthma effectively."
Mr. Dilip Singh Rathore, Vice President, Cipla, said, “The first leg of #BerokZindagi was very well received and saw a 14% increase in people’s awareness and acceptance levels for inhalation therapy1. 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."
Dr. Gaurav Sethi added, “Such campaigns are important, as they help raise awareness about asthma and address its psychosocial aspects, especially stigma, one of the key factors responsible for patient and parent anxiety, delayed diagnosis, denial of diagnosis, 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 safest and most effective treatment for asthma 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 asthma2. After the closure of the previous leg of #BerokZindagi, 26% decrease in the rejection of inhalers was registered as an impact of the campaign3.
#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.
Source: Consumer study conducted by IPSOS 2018-19; Campaign effectiveness study conducted by IQVIA 2018-19
Source: Campaign effectiveness study conducted by IQVIA 2018-19
Source: Campaign effectiveness study conducted by IQVIA 2018-19
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