GSK's Asthmalaya Campaign for World Asthma Day

Thursday, May 5, 2016

     Did you know that 98 percent of Filipino asthma patients continue to lack proper treatment? It's sick to be sick and it's more disappointing to know that many Filipinos patients don't have the proper knowledge on how to combat asthma. Last May 2, GSK launched the Asthmalaya Campaign in time for the World Asthma Day celebration this year.

     It's alarming to hear the news cccording to the Global Asthma Report, an estimated 300 million people worldwide are affected by asthma.¹ In the Philippines, approximately 11 Million or 1 out 10 Filipinos are suffering from this debilitating disease.² This incurable disease burdens patients with a sense of imprisonment and constant restraint preventing them to live their lives to the fullest. We should arm ourselves on how to control the disease and to know more information about the campaign, scroll down please.
GSK's Asthmalaya Campaign for World Asthma Day
What is Asthma?
     “Asthma is a recurring inflammatory disorder in the airways of breathing, which undergoes variable expiratory flow and reversible bronchoconstrictions. In people with asthma, the airways are chronically inflamed. Certain triggers can make the inflammation worse and cause a narrowing of the airways”, shares Dr. Melvin Pasay, a pulmonologist and Medical Affairs Manager of GSK.

It has common symptoms like:

  • Constant wheezing
  • Breathlessness
  • Chest tightness
  • Coughing often late at night or early in the morning. 
  • Asthma can be triggered by dust, changes in weather (often cold), animals (pet hair in particular), exercise, tobacco smoke and stress.
  • The cause of asthma is unknown. However as shared by Philippine Society of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Inc. (PSAAI) President, Dr. Carmela Kasala, several predisposing factors to consider include genetic history (personal history or first degree relative) with asthma, allergic rhinitis, eczema; weight and smoking history.
GSK's Asthmalaya Campaign for World Asthma Day
Dr Carmela Kasala Pres of Phil Society of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Inc (PSAAI)
“While there is also no known cure for asthma, this serious chronic disease can be controlled and effectively treated. By establishing a strong partnership between a patient and his doctor, results showed that asthma can be controlled” shares Dr. Kasala.
Yes, it's a burden to have Asthma, the statistics below will show you why:

  • In the Asia Pacific, including the Philippines, a study showed that activity limitation caused by asthma has been quite prevalent. 
  • A mean of 44.7% of respondents reported that normal physical activity was compromised, and 37.9% believed that their choice of job or career was limited. 
  • A total of 52.7% of respondents said that sports and recreation were affected, and 37.6% believed their lifestyle was restricted while almost 50% reported sleep disturbances.³
GSK's Asthmalaya Campaign for World Asthma Day
Dr. Melvin Pasay, a pulmonologist and Medical Affairs Manager of GSK.
“A lot of asthma patients have resigned and became ‘prisoners’ to their condition. Many seem to have created imaginary cages and locking themselves up with lifestyle restrictions. They are assuming that frequent symptoms, exacerbations and lifestyle limitations are inevitable consequences of having asthma - unaware that their condition can be controlled,” observes Dr. Pasay. 
     We are not aware, we should be aware on how to control Asthma especially if we have a relative who is suffering from this incurable disease. What is alarming is that 98 percent of Filipino asthma patients remain uncontrolled or only partly controlled.⁴ We need to spread the advocacy of GSK to Asthma Control Awareness. 

     Regular visits and consultations with doctors likewise became less as children grew up and had lesser asthma attacks. Most are relying on peers, family and even online resources to provide limited information and possibly, sub-optimal treatment for their condition. This makes patients underestimate their condition leading to poor asthma control.
GSK's Asthmalaya Campaign for World Asthma Day
     So how do you know if you need asthma control? It’s easy, if you are an asthma patient who experiences daytime asthma symptoms (coughing or wheezing) more than twice a week, wakes up at night due to asthma, uses an asthma reliever more than twice a week or have any activity limitations due to asthma, you may have uncontrolled asthma and need to immediately consult your doctor.
GSK's Asthmalaya Campaign for World Asthma Day
     Cost of treatment is also a main consideration for compliance, but the truth is uncontrolled asthma can lead to higher odds of hospitalization and emergency room visits and become more expensive due to direct medical cost like hospitalization or medications and indirect cost like time lost from work, overall productivity or even premature death.

     In celebration of World Asthma Day, an annual event organized by the "Global Initiative for Asthma” (GINA) to improve asthma awareness and care around the world, GSK Philippines unveils “ASTHMAlaya Ka Ba Talaga? campaign, a disease awareness initiative that also seeks to encourage asthma patients, to be more proactive in consulting their doctors on how they can achieve asthma control.
GSK's Asthmalaya Campaign for World Asthma Day
Dr Melvin Pasay of GSK, Dr. Jennifer Ann Wi of PCCP, Dr Sylvia Yang PCCP, Dr. Vincent Balanag, PCCP Pres, Dr. Carmela Kasala and Dr Gio Barangan of GSK
     The celebration was participated by advocates from Philippine College of Chest Physicians (PCCP) and the Philippine Society of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Inc. (PSAAI) who are one with the advocacy of furthering awareness and urgency among patients to consult their doctors for proper asthma control.

     As Dr. Pasay profoundly put it, “Our message is clear; “You don’t have to serve a life sentence of limitations because of Asthma, be in control and be ASTHMALAYA!”

For more updates on  Win Against Asthma Campaign, visit 
GSK’s website
Like them on Facebook: winagainstasthma

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