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Working together to reduce Asthma hospitalisations

6/11/2018 - 9.00am: NZ Time

Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ (ARFNZ) and Asthma New Zealand Inc (ANZ) working together to reduce Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) hospitalisations.

Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ and Asthma New Zealand, the two leading asthma charities in New Zealand have announced today, 6 November 2018, that they are working together to help the fight against Asthma and COPD.

Asthma and COPD affect around 700,000 people in New Zealand, and 150 people die from these two long term conditions every year. ARFNZ and ANZ are bringing their complementary areas of expertise in Asthma and COPD to work together to reduce these numbers.

Letitia O’Dwyer, Chief Executive at ARFNZ, comments: “It’s fantastic that we will be working together. The Foundation’s 50-year knowledge, and wide expertise on respiratory disease, combined with our Scientific Advisory Board’s experience in research fits alongside ANZ’s experience and knowledge in nurse led services as well as Asthma and COPD delivery models. It means we can look at Asthma and COPD in a more holistic way, bringing communities and societies from both organisations together to share knowledge and resources. The fact is, by working together we hope to make an even bigger impact with a key focus on addressing the disproportionately high Asthma and COPD rates among Māori and Pacific populations.”

Robert Muir, Chair of ANZ, adds: “Asthma alone costs New Zealand over $858 million a year. Working in partnership with ARFNZ, we aim to half this, allowing more money for education and research to improve health outcomes for all. The benefits of our collaboration will be far-reaching and will allow us to have an impact in more communities across NZ.”

ARFNZ focusses on most respiratory conditions including asthma, COPD, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, bronchiolitis and bronchiectasis, in addition to providing evidence based material and advice on such topics as healthy homes, climate change and tobacco control among other national respiratory related topics. ARFNZ focusses on standardisation of national educational resources and guidelines to support best practice across all aspects of respiratory health, with a strong commitment to Māori health and community partnerships.

ANZ provide training, education and support to people with Asthma and COPD. With a team of nurses in Auckland, Wellington and Rotorua, ANZ respond to referrals from District Health Boards, GP’s, Schools, Community Health providers and self-referrals. ANZ also deliver Asthma and COPD education sessions to health professionals, community groups and teachers in the knowledge that education makes a significant difference to outcomes.

John Knight, Chairman for ARFNZ, said: “I am delighted that we can look at ways of complementing each other. Both charities are unique in what they provide, by working together and sharing knowledge we can make a difference. The fact that one in six children and one in nine adults have asthma in New Zealand is just not good enough. In the world rankings, the statistics do not look favourable for New Zealand and we need to make more developments with government support if we are to change this.”

Katheren Leitner, Chief Executive ANZ, adds: “Working together, we know we can accelerate progress and increase the impact. It is unacceptable to have 150 people die each year as a consequence of Asthma and COPD. Working in isolation will not address these growing health issues fast enough. Every New Zealander has the right to breathe easy, to breathe better. Both organisations do great work in their respective areas, by collaborating and leveraging off each other’s strengths so much more can be achieved.”


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