This World Asthma Awareness month, Cipla launched its general patient & public awareness initiative – ‘Tuffies’ – directing more targeted awareness on improving respiratory care amongst children, especially those living with asthma. A widespread non-communicable disease, asthma is the most common chronic condition among children affecting nearly 7.9% of Indian children, with about 80% of asthmatics experiencing symptoms during the first 6 years of their life. Insufficient awareness about the disease, misconceptions and perceived myths associated with its cornerstone treatment i.e. inhalation therapy, have resulted in many cases of asthma going undiagnosed and even untreated. All this ultimately results in poor control of asthma, leading to a significantly impacted quality of life that includes frequent hospitalisations and missed school days.
Overcoming myths and stigma associated with chronic respiratory diseases like asthma and its treatment, the Tuffies campaign is targeted at engaging children between the ages 5 through 10 yrs of age and their caregivers. While the campaign launches with the comic book, an animated video series is to follow.
Highlighting the importance of raising awareness about paediatric asthma through campaigns like ‘Tuffies’ Dr. Harish Rachuri, Consultant Paediatrician & Neonatologist, Hyderabad said, “Paediatric asthma can be a distressing condition for both the child and its family. It is a chronic condition that requires ongoing and often intensive management to keep symptoms under control. Early diagnosis and proper treatment can help reduce the frequency as well as severity of the condition. However, misunderstandings about the disease as well as its most widely used and recommended treatment i.e., inhalation therapy have led to parents often concealing the condition including for societal reasons, putting off treatment until symptoms worsen2. This ultimately results in the insufficient management of the condition as well as a reduced quality of life, that includes frequent hospitalizations and missed school days. Campaigns like ‘Tuffies’ are important to combat the stigma and create a more supportive environment for children with asthma to thrive.”