The Chest Foundation of India launches a campaign to create awareness about asthma on the occasion of World Asthma Day today

The spotlight is once again on asthma. The Chest Foundation of India launches a public campaign today, to create awareness about asthma on the occasion of World Asthma Day (May 1).This year, the Global Initiative for Asthma has come up with the theme "You can control your asthma" for World Asthma Day. In keeping with this theme, the Chest Foundation of India, which has Dr. Raj B. Singh, (Senior Respiratory Consultant, Apollo Hospitals) as its Managing Trustee, has chalked out a plan to educate the public about asthma in a lucid way. As part of the campaign, it has roped in actor Madhavan for a special promotion in the electronic media today.In the 20-second campaign, the suave actor explains some basic symptoms and causes and reassures the public that if properly managed, asthma does not prevent one from enjoying a normal life. The promotion will also be beamed through closed circuit television at the Central Station.Speaking about the initiative, Madhavan who had readily agreed to participate in the campaign, said, "When a child catches a cold, it causes breathing difficulty. I've noticed my two-year-old son suffer during bouts of cold. When a common cold can cause so much discomfort, I can imagine the plight of asthma patients."With admirable sensitivity, he continues, "It's such a big problem, I'm only doing what little I can to create awareness. Actors can draw more eyeballs to such causes by reaching out and doing their bit."Talking about the need to care for the environment, Madhavan says, "Pollution is a major threat to our lives. Each of us has a responsibility in preserving our environment and making the world a safe place for our kids. In Western countries, such awareness starts at home — where the garbage is carefully segregated as bio-degradable and non-degradable. We are all accountable for our environment. If we protect it, we can save so many lives."Coming to some facts, India has one of the largest number of asthmatics in the world with 10 per cent of those affected being between the age group of 5 to 11. Though there is no cure for asthma, it can be effectively controlled with appropriate treatment and a pharmacological intervention strategy developed in coordination with the doctor, patient and the patient's family.