World Asthma Day Encourages Knowledge, Care

May 7, 2013

World Asthma Day was marked today [May 7] at City Hall, with Open Airways organizing an event designed to improve asthma awareness and care throughout the world.

80 countries around the world will celebrate the day, and from 11:30am until 2:30pm today, people were able to go to City Hall and gain information on asthma and receive free spacers and microfiber cloths.

Health Minister Patricia Gordon Pamplin said, “In Bermuda, asthma is the most common long term condition – affecting over 9,000 people. 1 in 5 children and approximately 1 in 10 adults have asthma in Bermuda – this is one of the highest rates of asthma in the world.

“The good news is that since open Airways started their island-wide asthma education program, hospital admissions for asthma have fallen by 73% -which must be a world record. The Bad news is that over 2,000 people were seen in the Hospital’s Emergency Department last year for asthma.”

Minister Patricia Gordon-Pamplin’s full statement follows below:

Good afternoon,

Thank you for joining me here today to mark World Asthma Day – an annual event organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma to improve asthma awareness and care throughout the world.

80 countries around the world will celebrate this day in different ways.

I would like to commend Bermuda’s representative organization Open Airways who has sponsored and coordinated this event.

From 11:30am until 2:30pm today, people can come here to City Hall and gain valuable information on asthma – learn the facts and myths – and receive free spacers and microfiber cloths.

Additionally, there will be lung function tests available for smokers and former smokers over the age of forty.

The prevalence of asthma is escalating around the world and has reached epidemic levels.

In Bermuda, asthma is the most common long term condition – affecting over 9,000 people.

1 in 5 children and approximately 1 in 10 adults have asthma in Bermuda – this is one of the highest rates of asthma in the world.

The good news is that since open Airways started their island-wide asthma education program, hospital admissions for asthma have fallen by 73% -which must be a world record!

The bad news is that over 2,000 people were seen in the Hospital’s Emergency Department last year for asthma.

Each visit means asthma management has failed.

Asthma is common, disabling, disruptive, life threatening and TREATABLE!

Open Airways’ theme this year is Little Things make a BIG difference which means teaching people who have asthma simple things they can do to manage their asthma…like buying a new pillow each year, eliminating air freshener sprays from the home, opening windows every day, and encouraging children to play outside rather than sitting inside glued to a computer or some other electronic device all day.

We encourage everyone who has asthma to take control and learn how to manage your asthma.

See your doctor, make an appointment with an asthma nurse and get a personal Asthma Action Plan.

No one need suffer with asthma.

Open Airways encourages everyone who has asthma to get out into the fresh air and enjoy an Hour of Air and celebrate the joy of breathing freely on World Asthma Day.

Thank You.

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