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World Asthma Day challenge to MPs

Asthma and Respiratory Foundation
Media statement
For immediate use

World Asthma Day challenge to MPs

The Asthma and Respiratory Foundation is marking World Asthma Day on 6 May, 2008 by laying down a challenge to New Zealand’s political parties to come up with some robust approaches to tackling the huge asthma problem in this country.

“Asthma still puts more Kiwi kids in hospital than anything else, one in four of our kids has asthma and the severity with which Māori are affected is a national disgrace,” says Foundation Executive Director Jane Patterson.

“New Zealand has the second highest rate of asthma in the world and we need asthma to be reprioritised as a national strategic health goal for one thing. We need some strong political leadership.

“In this election year we look forward to the parties providing some specific measures to take us forward. Let’s get our heads out of the sand.”

Commenting on media coverage of declining asthma rates in English-speaking countries, Jane said “sure, there have been some levelling off of asthma rates in some parts of the world, but to try to portray asthma internationally as anything but a serious threat to public health and well-being is just dishonest.”

World Asthma Day will be recognised on 10 May, as part of the Foundation’s Balloon Day awareness and fundraising activities, which are proudly brought to you by Contact Energy, with support from Mitre 10.

There will be lots of fun and interesting learning opportunities at participating Mitre 10 stores and events organised by local asthma societies in communities throughout New Zealand.


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