Wednesday, February 11, 2015

GSK Launches the Search for Winners Against Asthma 2015

An estimated 235 million people worldwide suffer from asthma with 250,000 deaths being recorded every year. By 2025, 100 million more are projected to suffer from this medical condition. In the Philippines, there are over 10 million cases of people with asthma, which remains the most common chronic disease of childhood morbidity as measured by school absences, hospitalizations, and visits to the emergency room.

It is frustrating to know that despite the availability of guidelines and medicines for the treatment and management of asthma, majority of patients' condition remain uncontrolled thus leading to compromised lives. According to a study, only 1% of Filipino children has well-controlled asthma. That is such a low statistic!

Thus, what more Filipinos need to know is that yes, asthma can be a serious condition BUT it can be controlled! Having access to doctors and treatment has proven to significantly decrease asthma deaths and hospitalizations. People with asthma can and do lead normal and active lives. They can even excel!

Kim Chiu

This is proven by three Filipino celebrities who all have asthma and yet continue to accomplish much in their respective fields. Actress Kim Chiu, Journey lead singer Arnel Pineda, and Olympic skater Michael Christian Martinez are winners against asthma because they don't allow their condition to hamper their success and from reaching for their goals.

According to Michael, he began experiencing asthmatic bronchitis when he was just two months old. Amazingly, he credits his frequent hospitalizations and practices inside cold skating rinks to have helped improve his health. "Year after year, my health kept improving so my mother fully supported me to continue skating saying it's better to spend the money [for practices] than in the hospital." 

Arnel Pineda
Kim, who once experienced a very bad asthma attack while shooting in the middle of the ocean, is thankful for the life-saving medication that allowed her airways to open and let her breathe. 

Starting this February, Glaxo SmithKline (GSK) is launching the Search for Winners Against Asthma 2015. This campaign aims to choose and recognize 10 young asthmatic achievers from different walks of life aged 30 years and younger. They should be outstanding in their respective fields despite their condition and inspire other asthma sufferers that they, too, can win against asthma.

Michael Martinez (main photo)
The search runs until May 2015 and will be touring different schools and drugstore outlets to spread the advocacy and invite more people to join the campaign. Deadline for submission of entries is on March 31, 2015. All entries will be screened during the first week of April.

As we commemorate World Asthma Day on May 5, the top 20 finalists will be announced to be followed by online voting. The top 10 Winners Against Asthma will be awarded by the third week of May 2015.

(from left) Dr. Kim Silos, GSK Medical Affairs; Dr. Nep Ordonez; Kim Chiu;
Dr. Ma. Carmela Kasala; and Dr. Ma. Bella Siasoco
This advocacy campaign is supported by the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP), Philippine Academy of Family Physicians (PAFP), Philippine Society of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (PSAAI), Huawei, and Folded & Hung

For more information and to check out what the cool prizes are, visit Don't forget to nominate a friend or a loved one with asthma who you think deserves to be recognized as an inspiration!

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