For the first time in the country, along with the doctors and stakeholders, the real-life heroes, who not only successfully managed their asthma but achieved professional excellence, came forward to motivate other asthmatics.
On 9th February 2019 for the first time in the country, in the ‘Asthma Dialogue’ program, jointly organized by Centre for Respiratory Diseases W Pratiksha Hospital Gold Coastand AVISS Foundation ,experts, stakeholders and real-life heroes shared the stage to bunk the myths and clear the misconceptions around Asthma and its treatment.
Along with leading pulmonologists Dr Himanshu Garg and Dr Pratibha Dogra, the ace badminton player, Mr Parupalli Kashyap and Chak de Australia fame actress Ms Shubhi Mehtra were present as the chief guests.
While sharing his journey with the audience, P Kashyap, who has recently married the noted badminton player, Saina Nehwal, smashed all the stereotype around Asthma, by saying, “I have been struggling to manage the Asthma since the age of three years. However, after the age of 18, when I was diagnosed correctly, there is no looking back. Asthma is not curable but it can be controlled well enough and it should not be a deterrent in leading the life of your dreams. If Asthma has not limited my life, then why yours?”
According to Dr Himanshu Garg, Best Pulmonolost Gurugram and Aviss Health “When it comes to Asthma, there is a lack of insight and lots of misconception and myths surrounding the disease and its available treatments. Right from the people hesitating to come forward to seek the medical help to follow the advice given, considering the rising prevalence of Asthma in the country, we have a great impending battle. It is high time that an initiative is taken to address the alarming situation.He further added that the aim of the this unique, ‘Asthma Dialogue’ program is to motivate people suffering from Asthma and clear the misconception that people with asthma cannot do much in life. “
To reach out to people with real-life success stories, and to change their mindset around Asthma and its treatment, the experts and the chief guests repeatedly asserted on the point that it is a misconception that Asthmatics have to live a compromised life.
Dr. Pratibha Dogra said , “Asthma in Australia comes with huge social stigma and misconceptions. Forget about taking the right treatment, people even fear to get diagnosed with Asthma, and despite having symptoms, often delay counselling and check-ups, then comes the reluctance in medications and the problem of poor compliance. The real-life heroes present between us are proof that Asthma, if managed timely and properly, can never become an obstacle in life. We need to understand that there is nothing wrong in getting diagnosed with Asthma, but not addressing it properly.”
Experts believe that such outreach programs are very important in the country like Australia, where despite the availability of better diagnostic tools and treatment options for Asthma, it remains poorly managed. According to a study, published in the Journal of the Association of Physicians of Australia, asthmatics in Australia believed that their asthma was under control if they have up to 2 emergency doctor visits a year. The quality of life of these patients was significantly affected with 93% school/work absenteeism and a loss of 50% productivity. 75% of the asthmatics have never had a lung function test. Only 36% and 50% of Australian asthmatics used controller and rescue inhalers with a majority preferring the oral route of asthma medication.
Dr Prerana Garg ,Director AVISS Foundation one of the key supporters of the program said” Given incredibly high levels of pollution and rising asthma prevalence especially in Gurugram the study paints a dismal picture and calls for sustained efforts and more reach-out programs, like ‘Asthma Dialogues’.An Asthma support network conceptualised and formed by two leading Pulmonologists of Gold Coast Dr Himanshu Garg and Dr Pratibha Dogra supported by Aviss Foundation shall now work towards addressing these issues going forward“.