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Warm dry homes a must for those with a respiratory condition

19 June 2013

Warm, dry homes a must for those with a respiratory condition

There is now irrefutable evidence that cold, damp houses are bad for our health –particularly for those with respiratory problems.

There is also a well-established connection between poverty and poor respiratory health. Living in overcrowded, cold, damp houses is known to cause respiratory illnesses.

The Asthma Foundation applauds the recent budget allocation of $100 million of operating funding over three years to the EECA Warm Up New Zealand: Healthy Homes programme. This funding will target low-income households for home insulation, particularly those families with children and high health needs.

“Over 215,000 homes are now warmer, more comfortable and healthier thanks to the Warm Up New Zealand: Heat Smart programme. These warmer, healthier homes provide obvious health benefits, especially for those with respiratory illness,” said Robert Linterman, general manager residential at the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA).

“Independent research has shown that $5 worth of benefits arise from every $1 spent on insulating homes, with the total value of health benefits estimated at over $1.3 billion over the life of the measures,” said Mr Linterman.

“Many respiratory illnesses could be avoided if we all lived in warm, dry homes. ” says Dr Kyle Perrin, medical adviser of the Asthma Foundation.

“The great thing about this initiative is that it will be free for eligible households as a result of the Government grants and the generous support of third-party funders,” said Angela Francis, chief executive of the Asthma Foundation.

“The Asthma Foundation is focussing on prevention and the partnership with EECA confirms this emphasis. We say provide our children with good housing in order for them to have the best opportunity to grow strong and be well throughout their lives.”

Background
1. One in four New Zealand children and one in six adults has asthma.
2. New Zealand has the second highest rate of asthma in the world, following the UK.
3. People still die from asthma, with 79 deaths in 2006, 61 in 2007 and 65 in 2008.
4. About 800,000 New Zealanders are affected by asthma and other respiratory conditions.
5. New Zealand’s annual economic burden of asthma is conservatively estimated at over $800,000,000.
6. Asthma affects approximately 235 million people worldwide and the prevalence is rising.
7. Asthma causes an estimated 250,000 deaths annually worldwide.

About the Asthma Foundation
The Asthma Foundation is New Zealand’s sector authority on asthma and other respiratory illnesses. We advocate to government and raise awareness of respiratory illnesses, fund research for better treatments and educate on best practice. We provide resources on our website and support our affiliated asthma societies and trusts in providing education, support and advice. For more information, visit the Asthma Foundation’s website www.asthmafoundation.org.nz.

ENDS

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