Breathefree Yatra – Increasing Access to Respiratory Care Across India

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Beginning the new year with a continued focus on patient care, Cipla Ltd. flagged off its patient outreach initiative – the Breathefree Yatra. This initiative is focused on helping people identify their respiratory health status. This is done through increased access to channels that can aid in the screening of chronic respiratory diseases like asthma or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Setting out on this mission, the Breathefree Yatra is planned to cover more than 300+ towns, extending support to a potential 60,000+ patients across India, over the three weeks.

Early and accurate diagnosis is a crucial step in achieving better disease management. However, according to the Global Asthma Network (GAN) study up to 82% of subjects with current wheeze and up to 70% of subjects with symptoms of severe asthma remain undiagnosed. While in the case of COPD, it is estimated that 95–98% of the disease in India is undiagnosed. This stark reality can be attributed to multiple reasons, but access to appropriate medical facilities, plays a leading role. Thus, underscoring the need for better patient support initiatives that help asthmatics diagnose their condition early, which in turn can help them take control of their condition and improve their quality of life. 

According to Dr. Jayachandra Akkaraju, Clinical Director, Head of Department, and Senior Interventional Pulmonologist “While chronic respiratory diseases like asthma are irreversible, it is possible to gain control over the condition and lead a normal life through early diagnosis and timely medical intervention. However, many a time, patients in smaller towns rarely have access to adequate medical support or are simply just unaware of the symptoms associated with conditions like asthma. Add to it, the social stigma associated with the disease that still poses as a deterrent to even seeking a diagnosis or treatment – and the need for awareness becomes more apparent. Therefore, initiatives like the Breathefree Yatra are important programs that bring medical assistance through screenings and doctor consultations to the patient. This puts them on a path to better understanding their condition, making a real difference in their lives.” 

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