Asthma is one of the most prevalent respiratory conditions in Malaysia and has been steadily increasing. In Malaysia, the estimated prevalence of asthma has risen in recent years from 6.4% to 9.4% in children aged 6-7 years old and from 9% to 13% in children aged 13–14 years old.¹ Asthma Malaysia and AstraZeneca have once again teamed up to organise the brand-new “Breathe Better” public campaign at the 1 Mont Kiara mall, in conjunction with World Asthma Day, in light of the rising number of asthma patients in Malaysia and the growing need to educate the public on asthma management.
The event was designed to bring awareness to the public on the significance of managing asthma effectively. It was officiated by Dr. Helmy Haja Mydin, Consultant Respiratory Physician and co-founder of Asthma Malaysia, Dina Nadzir, Malaysian Singer, Radio Announcer, Actress, and Television Presenter; and Ashwini Saha, Country Medical Director and Asia Area Cardiovascular Metabolism Medical Therapeutic Area Lead, AstraZeneca.
Themed ‘Take Control of Your Asthma’’, the campaign was aimed at educating attendees on the importance of utilising controller medication for the management and treatment of asthma symptoms over the long term, rather than relying solely on reliever medication.
Speaking on the Breathe Better campaign, Dr. Helmy said, “It is crucial to increase the knowledge and awareness of the public on how to manage asthma. Getting diagnosed early is vital in order to prevent attacks that can be both disabling and draining. Early and proper control with appropriate medication will not only prevent severe illness, but improve one’s quality of life especially in the face of haze and ongoing risks of respiratory infections.”
“This campaign also serves as an opportunity for healthcare professionals and individuals with asthma to come together and share their experiences and insights with the aim of improving asthma care and management in Malaysia,” Dr. Helmy added.
Asthma can be classified as mild, moderate and severe. Based on the severity, patients would require different types and dosage of medication to control their condition. Each level requires different types of treatment in asthma management. Severe asthmatic patients need special attention as they are more prone to having frequent asthmatic attacks despite being skilful at administering the inhaler correctly.
According to Dr. Helmy, public awareness towards the three different levels of severity is still low. “It is important to remember that most patients with asthma can have a normal life with the right inhaled therapy. For a smaller group of patients with severe asthma, there are more personalised options which will require modification based on individual needs”, Dr. Helmy further explained.
In Malaysia, the number of deaths due to asthma in 2014 was 1,700 cases. However, experts believe that the vast majority of deaths due to asthma can be avoided if early and proper treatment is given.²
The World Asthma Day 2023 celebration at 1 Mont Kiara featured educational games and an exhibition that showcases key educational messages about asthma, serving as a vital platform for the public to further understand and gain first-hand information of this respiratory disease. The event also included sessions on asthma sharing by local artist Dina, along with interactive gaming booths and a colouring competition to engage the younger participants. The event attracted around XXX attendees over the course of two days.
The World Asthma Day 2023 celebration is still ongoing and everyone is invited to attend the event. For further information, log on to https://qr.epmarketing.digital/wad2023
About Breathe Better
The Breathe Better campaign raises awareness about effectively managing asthma to prevent complications and improve people’s quality of life. Its key message, ‘Take Control of Your Asthma’ emphasises the need for every patient to take control of their asthma and know what is the best treatment option to them.
About Asthma Malaysia
Asthma Malaysia is a non-profitable organisation with the mission to serve as a credible resource on asthma, to raise awareness of best standards of care and to empower patients in the management of their asthma.
Asthma Malaysia’s vision is to be Malaysia’s leading portal for asthma with a view of creating more informed and empowered patients. We aim to ensure that asthma care in Malaysia is equal to the best in the world with a view to reducing the suffering and deaths associated with it.
We intend to evolve into an organisation that will proactively engage in research and promotional campaign to increase awareness of asthma in Malaysia.