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Asthma Education A Must For Maori

Thursday 21 March 2002

Mäori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia is keen to encourage other asthma sufferers to develop a management plan and learn to use medication properly.

As a longtime sufferer of Asthma, Mr Horomia volunteered to promote Asthma Awareness Week (19 –24 March). Today he presented certificates to children from Te kura kaupapa Maori o Te Ara Whanui, Te kura kaupapa Maori o Nga Mokopuna and the total immersion unit of Thorndon school (schools in Wellington).

“Today’s fun day at Naenae swimming pool marks the end of a six-week programme where the children have learned about asthma, its triggers, peak flow metres and ways to manage the condition. I am very pleased to see this type of education programme for young people so they learn ways to minimise the impact of asthma on their lives.”

Mr Horomia said he has suffered from asthma for most of his life and unfortunately it is a common condition amongst Maori.

“It is important for asthmatics to have a management plan and knowledge of correct medication use. Keeping fit is also a good idea for example swimming is great because it builds lung capacity and keeps breathing passages moist.”

Mr Horomia said he is also a staunch advocate of Auahi Kore (smoke free) programmes.

“Smoking is a major cause of Maori health problems, including asthma. I support any Auahi Kore initiatives, like smoke-free homes and marae, which help cut down smoking rates and promote healthy habits.”

Also as part of Asthma Awareness week, Minister Horomia will support a "Celebrity Basketball" game in Gisborne tomorrow night (Friday 22 March). He will announce the winners of the Turanga Hauora Kids 'Asthma Week' colouring competition.


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