World Asthma Day

GSK's Asthmalaya Campaign for World Asthma Day

Thursday, May 05, 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

Good Times!~

Search For Winners Against Asthma, Winners Announced

Thursday, October 15, 2015

     According to Asthma Australia, asthma cannot be cured despite the advances in treatment. It's a sad news BUT this condition can be managed and controlled. Here in our country, there are still a lot of people who believe in the myths more than the facts about asthma. Fortunately, when GlaxoSmithKline launched their campaign against asthma, I've sensed that a lot of asthmatic individuals came out of their shell and became an inspiration to other individuals suffering the same condition.

     After months of deliberation and almost 2,000 entries nationwide, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) today announces the winners of its Search for the Winners Against Asthma (SWAA). Launched in February 2015, the Search for Winners Against Asthma is a nationwide search for young asthmatic achievers aged 30 years and younger who are outstanding in their respective fields despite having asthma and inspire asthma sufferers that they, too, can win against the condition.
Search For Winners Against Asthma Winners Announced 
Arnel Pineda
     “We decided to target this particular age group because asthma is a common chronic disease of childhood leading to reduced activity, school absences, ER visits and hospitalizations, says Dr. Gio Barangan, GSK Medical Director. 
Search For Winners Against Asthma Winners Announced
Dr. Gio Barangan GSK Medical Director
     “It is also during this stage that young people are in the process of developing the necessary knowledge and skills that will enable them to achieve their goals in life, and as such we want to let them know that asthma should not deter them from realizing their full potential,”Barangan added. 

     In the youth category of 19 years old and below, Christian Lacza, a student from Navotas City was judged as the grand prize winner. 

    Christian is one of the 2014 Kabayan Ten Outstanding Public School Students, and 2014 Ten Outstanding Youth Leaders of Navotas City. He was also an awardee of the 2010 Gawad Huwarang Kabataan of the Antolin Oreta Sr. Foundation and Gawad Modelong Kabataan: Galing at Dangal ng Malabon of the Arnold Vicencio Foundation. He is also the youngest recipient of the Orator of the Year Award in Navotas National High School. 
Search For Winners Against Asthma Winners Announced
Grand Winner Christian Lacsa for Pedia Category
     “When I was young, my asthma attacks were so severe that my mother would have to bring me to the hospital almost weekly. This made me realize that if I cannot excel in physical activities, I have to discover and focus on my other strengths,” says Christian.

     “Going to my pediatrician was a constant necessity, and she made sure I get the proper medication and treatment, but more than that she never failed to cheer me up and would always give me words of encouragement whenever I visited her.” 

     “Instead of letting asthma stop me I stopped asthma from interfering with my life as I pushed myself as a holistic learner-- excelling in academics, student leadership and in various competitions.”

     The runner up winners in the youth category are 15-year old student and dancer Christina Chua; taekwondo twins Andre Rafael and Anton Joachim Montero; consistent student scholar Kenneth Angelo Bagay and Dave Andre Labaton who is also a taekwondo medalist.
Search For Winners Against Asthma Winners Announced
GSK Executives with the Winners Against Asthma Pedia Category
     In the adult category, incoming third year medical student Teesha Banta was judged as the winner. The 23-year old student from St. Luke’s College of Medicine, was a full scholar in her first two years of med school and graduated Cum Laude from University of the Philippines Los Banos with the degree of BS Biology Major in Wildlife Biology. 

     She is a lifetime member in two international honor societies but besides her academic achievements, she is also actively involved in community service. As an active Girl Scout, Teesha received two of the highest awards given by the organization-- the Chief Girl Scout Medal and is one the 75 GSP National Young Awardees. She had represented the country in national and international events, specifically as an advocate and a National Peer Educator on Adolescent Female Health. 
Search For Winners Against Asthma Winners Announced
Grand Winner against Asthma Teesha Banta
     “Asthma runs in our family but symptoms of severe asthma began when I was in college, which, unfortunately, was also the time when I was so involved in my schoolwork and scouting. My mother, who is a doctor and is also an asthmatic, helped me through most of my journey by taking care of me and reminding me to take my medicines. Actually, because of my asthma, I had to temporarily stop med school because bed rest was advised. But it did not stop me from taking a part-time job as a high school Science teacher. Besides being a doctor, teaching was my second dream job”, Teesha narrates.

     “Every time I have my asthma attacks, the only thing on my mind is to get well so I could go back to studying and become a doctor to prove that asthma should not stop you from pursuing your dreams.”

     Teesha said she plans to become an OB-GYN or specialize in Pediatric Pulmonology so she could treat asthmatic children.

     Her message to other asthmatics? “During our many asthma attacks, we may feel powerless and helpless. We do not have the strength that non-asthmatics have and it may feel like it is the end of our dreams, I had that feeling when I had to temporarily stop med school because of my asthma. Well, these are all lies. Our condition is but another challenge that adds more meaning to each of our achievements, an opportunity to push harder, aim higher, and be better persons and citizens of our country. Perhaps we were given this condition because we have the ability to turn these "setbacks" into “set-ups” of better things to come. We can defeat asthma and we can conquer our dreams!”

     The other winners in the adult category are UP student Ianna EngaƱo an athlete, musician, artist and social activist; Yasmin Versoza a firefighter and member of the Marikina City Fire Truck crew; Christianne de Vera a triathlete; and Yliah Nina Bosch a registered nurse who is working as an Emergency Nurse Responder at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Search For Winners Against Asthma Winners Announced 
GSK Executives with the Winners Against Asthma Adult Category
Criteria for Winners 

  • The SWAA is open to all Filipino citizens or foreigners with a permanent Philippine address that have been diagnosed as asthmatic by a qualified physician.
  • The winners were divided into two categories: Category A (Youth Category) for 19 years old and belowand Category B(Adult Category) for 20 years old and above.
  • Applicants can choose to share how they have won against asthma. These may be in various fields including Arts, Academics, Career, and Sports. 
  • Applicants were also required to answer the question:How did you Win Against Asthma? The screening committee then used the following criteria for each entry
  • Excellence in their Field or Category 50%
  • Evidence of winning over asthma 30%
  • Online Votes 20%

     Part of the judging committee are Dr. Eileen Aniceto from Philippine College of Chest Physicians; Dr. Therese Leopando from Philippine Academy of Pediatric Pulmonologists; and Dr. Carmela Kasala from Philippine Society of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, Inc.

     The winners will receive the following prizes: Huawei P7 Smart Phone; Five Thousand (PhP5,000) worth of GCs from Folded & Hung and Twenty Five Thousand (PhP25,000) worth of Sodexo gift certificates.

     “A lot of asthma patients have accepted lifestyle restrictions resulting from uncontrolled asthma as the norm, assuming that frequent symptoms, exacerbations and lifestyle limitations are an inevitable consequence of having asthma. With the Search for Winners Against Asthma campaign, we hope to encourage and inspire more young people to live their lives to the fullest and not let asthma prevent them from doing the things they love.” Dr. Barangan also credits actress Kim Chiu, International Rock superstar Arnel Pineda, and Filipino Olympic Figure Skater Michael Christian Martinez for helping them spread awareness of this campaign. 

     “Kim, Arnel and Michael are asthmatics who have proven not only to themselves but to the entire world that they can take control of their condition and never let their asthma stop them from following their dreams and achieving success in their very competitive careers,” Barangan added.

     Congratulations to all the winners. May you continue to live a healthy lifestyle and inspire individuals with asthma to continue the fight and never give up on their dreams. Thank you so much for inspiring us with what you have achieved despite your condition.

For more information about the Search for Winners Against Asthma campaign, visit

Good Times!~

About GSK
     GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies – is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. For further information, please visit

The Search for Winners Against Asthma 2015 Launch

Sunday, February 15, 2015

     Hi dearies! I was invited to the launch of The Search for Winners Against Asthma 2015 two weeks ago. I'm totally clueless about this campaign and at the same time interested on the topics that will be discussed during the event. As a mom, I only want the best for my son and my family. It's heart-breaking to see a member of the family sick and the complains of pain can be nerve cracking.

     I thank God that we don't have asthma patient in our family and I also pray to God that he may guide those mothers who are so afraid and nervous every time their child will have asthma attacks or if God permits heal their Asthma totally! Anyhoo, Asthma like any other sickness can strike to anyone. Do you know what Kim Chiu, Arnel Pineda and Michael Christian Martinez have in common? They all have Asthma yet have accomplished so much in their respective fields. If you're like them and you have proved something in your life why don't you join The Search for Winners Against Asthma 2015. Click CONTINUE READING to know more about the search.
The Search for Winners Against Asthma 2015 Launch


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