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Breathe Better September gets off to a flying start

Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ’s annual Breathe Better September campaign is off to a flying start with two events in Wellington this past week.

Breathe Better September is a national campaign to raise awareness of respiratory conditions in New Zealand. The campaign encourages all Kiwis to show their support for better breathing and healthy lungs, and to start thinking about how they can improve their respiratory health.

Breathe Better September officially launched at an event in Wellington on Monday. ‘Bubbles for Better Breathing’ featured bubble blowing and informational handouts, and aimed to get people thinking about how even the smallest activity, like blowing bubbles, can be impacted by asthma and other respiratory illnesses.

ARFNZ Chief Executive Letitia O’Dwyer says that the event should help raise awareness about the seriousness of these conditions.

"Even now with 700,000 Kiwis suffering from respiratory conditions, people don’t realise how widespread it is," says Letitia. "In other words, 1 in every 7 New Zealanders live with the illness, which affects every aspect of their daily lives.

"Breathe Better September will hopefully get people to consider respiratory health as a priority, both their own and others."

Sailor the Puffer Fish also made a special visit to Porirua Public Library on Wednesday morning to teach 145 enthusiastic pre-school to primary school kids and their parents about asthma.

The educational musical aims to raise awareness and educate kids about asthma, a serious illness affecting 1 in 7 New Zealand children. Joined by performer Chris Lam Sam, Sailor shares his tips through song and dance on how to manage asthma, what triggers to look out for, and what to do in an emergency.

"Communicating the importance of asthma management and what to do in an asthma emergency is no small task, particularly when your audience’s attention span is limited and the subject is serious," says Teresa Demetriou, Head of Education and Research at Asthma and Respiratory Foundation New Zealand.

"Chris and Sailor effortlessly pulled off an entertaining and educational show that everyone enjoyed."

Find out more about Breathe Better September at


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