Take Control This World Asthma Day

Take Control This World Asthma Day Asthma Society of Canada partners with Walmart Canada to provide vital asthma and allergy information to Canadians

TORONTO, May 3 /CNW/ – In honour of World Asthma Day, the Asthma Society of Canada (ASC) is pleased to announce the expansion of its national support program Allergies Count Too (ACT) NOW, a service that addresses a gap in allergy education and provides critical information to people affected by respiratory allergies. Canadians living with asthma and associated allergies are encouraged to visit their local Walmart pharmacies to learn more information about the program as well as respiratory allergies, potential triggers and management.

Developed in response to increasing public enquiries for information on asthma and related respiratory allergies, ACT NOW will provide convenient access to up-to-date asthma and allergy information. Through the ACT NOW program Certified Asthma/Respiratory Educators will offer support and education about asthma and respiratory allergies in English and French to people who reach out to the ASC’s Support Line via phone (1-866-787-4050), email (info@asthma.ca) or the program website www.asthma.ca/allergies. This free service is available across Canada.

“World Asthma Day is an ideal time to raise awareness of the impact and severity of chronic respiratory disease across Canada. The Society is receiving a growing number of enquiries about respiratory allergies, how to control and treat them, what medications are available and what potential triggers might be,” says Christine Hampson, President and CEO of the ASC. “Effective treatment of seasonal or perennial allergies can improve asthma control and may even help prevent the development of asthma.”

Asthma is one of the most common causes of emergency room visits in Canada for school aged children and is a leading cause of school and work absenteeism. In Canada, 12 per cent of childreni and eight per cent of adults have asthma – approximately 2.5 million people.ii In addition, about 20 to 25 per cent of Canadians have allergic rhinitis.iii Research shows that 80 per cent of people with asthma also suffer from allergic rhinitis, and that not treating allergic rhinitis could lead to more symptomatic asthma.iv According to the estimates from the World Health Organization, approximately 150 million people worldwide are affected by asthma and more than 180,000 deaths are due to asthma each year.v

ACT NOW will provide education on asthma and respiratory allergies only. For information on food allergies and anaphylaxis, ASC recommends Anaphylaxis Canada as a key source in providing support and education for patients and the community. For Canadians who have asthma or have someone in their life affected by asthma, we encourage you to join the National Asthma Patient Alliance (NAPA). You can learn more about this advocacy resource and volunteer network at www.asthma.ca/napa.

The Allergy and Asthma Education Support Program (ACT NOW) is made possible by an unrestricted educational grant from Glaxo SmithKline Inc. World Asthma Day awareness activities have been generously supported by Walmart Canada, Glaxo SmithKline Inc. and Johnson & Johnson Inc.

World Asthma Day Photo and Interview Opportunities

Walmart Canada will distribute asthma information in 275 English stores nation-wide this week. Select locations will offer in-store consultations where Canadians can speak with a pharmacist and learn more about asthma, allergies and management options. Today, media are invited to the following locations for interview and photo opportunities with a pharmacist and a person with asthma:

Date: Tuesday, May 3, 2011 Time: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Store locations and addresses:

Toronto, ON
900 Dufferin Street
M6H 4A9 Vaughan, ON
101 Edgeley Blvd.
L4K 4Z4 Oshawa, ON
680 Laval Drive. L1J 0B5

Winnipeg, MB
1001 Empress Street
R3G 3P8 Calgary, AB
4705-130th Avenue.
T2Z 4J2 Bedford, NS
141 Damascus Road. B4A 0C2

About the Asthma Society of Canada www.asthma.ca
The Asthma Society of Canada seeks to provide ‘evidence-based,’ market tested, age appropriate asthma information, education, management tools and support programs for Canadians with asthma. The Asthma Society of Canada seeks to represent the views and best interests of Canadian asthma consumers with other key stakeholders: government, industry, healthcare providers, and community agencies. The Society also engages in and facilitates dialogue and debate on issues impacting Canadians with asthma. The Asthma Society of Canada is a registered charitable organization. You can follow the Asthma Society on Twitter @AsthmaSociety.

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