5 April 2011
Asthma in Aotearoa: not a pretty picture
Imagine that every, single person in Hamilton has asthma.
That’s how many New Zealand children live with the challenges, fears and disadvantages of asthma.
“At well over 200 000, the number of New Zealand children with asthma is far greater than the population of the Hamilton
urban area [203 000],” the Asthma Foundation’s Chief Executive, Angela Francis, says.
The Asthma Foundation has calculated estimated children’s asthma prevalence figures for New Zealand’s regions as well,
which will shock many New Zealanders. The figures are based on 1 in 4 New Zealand children having asthma and census 2006
regional population numbers.
For example in Auckland, it’s estimated about 70 000 children have asthma (nearly as many people as in the Rodney
District) and in Wellington about 23 000, or the population of Johnsonville.
“And, this is not just about numbers, but children’s everyday lives. We’re committed to alleviating the fear, pain and
disadvantage that children with asthma face. The wheezing; the breathlessness; the days off school.
The sudden, scary trips to hospital, ” Angela says
Asthma Awareness Week is 27 April until 3 May with Balloon Day on Friday 29 April. In addition to its message that “1 in
4 children struggles to blow up a balloon. Asthma won’t let them”, the Asthma Foundation is asking New Zealanders to
join them in Keeping our Kids out of Hospital.