World Asthma Day 2018

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Fraser Clarke

A new ‘teacher’s toolkit’ to help those in education work with Asthmatic pupils has been launched in New Zealand, as World Asthma Day is marked globally.

Tuesday May 1 is officially World Asthma Day, with CEO of New Zealand’s Asthma and Respiratory Foundation, Letitia O’Dwyer, excited about the new software’s launch: “We’re running a big campaign this year on World Asthma Day to really raise the profile around asthma and education. 

“There are lots of activities going on, and we are extremely proud that we have been able to launch the ‘Teachers’ Asthma Toolkit’, our new online resource, and a first for New Zealand. 

“There just haven’t been the right tools to help and assist the teaching profession with the increasing number of pupils with asthma. How should you respond in school to an asthma emergency? What are the common school triggers? What are the correct processes and procedures? How can we teach our children about this? It’s unfair to expect teachers to know what to do without that support and knowledge. 

“Now we can provide this.”

Figures suggest that around 586,000 school days are lost every year because of Asthma, with around four in every 30 students affected by the condition.

Elsewhere World Health Organisation estimates suggest that 300 million people are affected by the condition globally, with figures across the Gulf region being especially high.

This is particularly notable in Saudi Arabia, with almost a quarter of the population battling the condition. Figures in Kuwait (16.8%) and the UAE (13%) were also higher than average.

‘Never too early, never too late, it’s always the right time to address your airwaves disease’ is this year’s global theme, with hopes high that increasing awareness will help people to manage their symptoms more effectively. 

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