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Engaging New Zealand This World Asthma Day

To celebrate World Asthma Day, Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ (ARFNZ) will host a day of asthma livestreams tomorrow, May 5, from 11am onwards.

World Asthma Day is an annual awareness campaign hosted by Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ (ARFNZ) to educate Kiwis about one of New Zealand’s most prevalent respiratory diseases. This year, the focus will be an online Q&A with respiratory physician Dr James Fingleton, to discuss asthma-related issues from the New Zealand community.

Dr Fingleton is a respiratory physician and ARFNZ Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) member alongside other highly esteemed respiratory physicians, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and public health experts, and says that now more than ever we need to keep on top of our respiratory health.

"World Asthma Day is a fantastic opportunity to share and promote awareness, and encourage self-management of asthma," says James. "However, our current lockdown circumstances can make traditional outreach challenging, so I’m very happy to provide the time to help our community."

Letitia Harding, Chief Executive of ARFNZ, says the livestreaming events are part of a campaign of prolonged and far-reaching engagement.

"1 in 7 Kiwi children have asthma, as well as 1 in 8 adults," says Letitia. "Asthma also has a large prevalence within our schools and communities, especially among Māori and Pacific populations, and historically some areas have been more difficult to reach than others.

"We hope that the variety in the World Asthma Day content will allow for people to learn more about asthma, even if they wouldn’t usually consider it a priority.

"The Foundation strives to provide resources and education across all areas of the community, including providing free asthma spacers to asthma societies across New Zealand, developing the National Asthma Guidelines, and providing asthma management plans in a multitude of languages."

Dr Fingleton’s Q&A will be part of a series of Facebook Live stream events on Tuesday, May 5, with the line-up including:

11am - Sailor the Puffer Fish Asthma Musical with Chris Lam Sam

1pm - Crafting with Kikorangi the Asthma Fairy

4pm - Q&A session with Asthma Expert Dr James Fingleton

5pm - ‘Donate My Coffee’ prize draw, sponsored by De'Longhi

For more information about the events, or to learn more about World Asthma Day, visit

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