Asthma as a Public Health Issue

Asthma as a Public Health Issue

It is estimated that asthma affects around 235 million  people  worldwide 2  with  250,000 annual worldwide deaths recorded. Another 100 million people are projected to suffer from the disease by 2025.3

In the Philippines, there are over 10 million cases of people with asthma4  and remains the most common chronic disease of childhood morbidity as measured by school absences, emergency visits and hospitalizations.1

Despite the availability of treatment guidelines and medicines for the treatment and management of asthma, the majority of patients with asthma remain to be uncontrolled thus leading to compromised lives. According to the AIRAP 2 study, only 1% of children with asthma in the Philippines are well-controlled.5

90% of asthma patients expect to have symptoms as part of their condition.53% of asthma patients regularly use rescue medication atleast once per day to cope with their symptoms.7

[pq]In the Asia Pacific,which includes the Philippines, activity limitation caused by asthma was considerable.[/pq]


A mean of 44.7% of respondents reported that normal physical activity was compromised, and 37.9% believed that their choice of jobor 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. Almost 50% reported sleep disturbances.4

Asthma can be a serious condition but it can be controlled . Access to doctors and treatment has been shown to significantly decrease asthma deaths and hospitalizations.8 People with asthma can lead normal and active lives. They can even excel.


In February 2014, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) launched Win Against Asthma Today — an integrated advocacy campaign aimed at increasing awareness and amplify existing efforts to spread information about asthma and how it can be managed.

The campaign also encourages patients to consult their doctors and discuss the best way to manage their asthma.

A lot of asthma patients do not realise that they are settling by accepting as normal the lifestyle restrictions resulting from uncontrolled asthma. Patients unnecessarily accept symptoms,assuming that frequent symptoms, exacerbations and lifestyle limitations are an inevitable consequence of having asthma. They may feel that although current treatments can alleviate their asthma symptoms, they just need to accept and bear that it normally happens.   This is where the partnership and constant consult with their doctors become very important.

To prove that the disease should not be a deterrent from living one’s life to the fullest, real asthma patients were invited to provide testimonies of their experiences and how won against the illness. Celebrity asthmatics, Kim Chiu and Arnel Pineda became the featured ambassadors for the first wave of the campaign.

As more asthma patients become aware that they can win against asthma just like Kim and Arnel, the campaign aims to strengthen its pool of ambassadors to continuously inspire more patients to take control of their asthma.



1. International study of asthma and allergies in childhood (ISAAC): rationale and methods, 1995

2. The global asthma report 2011

3. Global Initiative for Asthma. GINA Report Global Strategy for Asthma Management and Prevention. December 2011

4. Eur Respir Rev 2006; 15:10–16

5. Allergy 2013; 68:524–530

6. Bellamy D etal. Prim Care Resp J 2005; 14:252-258

7. Demoly et al. Eur Resp Rev 2010; 19: 150-15

8. Thorax 2006 ;61:663–670

* Official GSKP CorporateProfile

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