World Asthma Day 2016
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Press release
2 April 2016

World Asthma Day 2016
The annual World Asthma Day will take place on 3 May this year, to improve awareness and care of asthma around the world.

“It’s highly likely that every Kiwi knows at least one person that is or has been affected by asthma,” says Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ Chief Executive John Wills. “The statistics in New Zealand are absolutely shocking.”

Asthma statistics in New Zealand:
  • Over 460,000 New Zealanders take medication for asthma:
    • 1 in 9 adults
    • 1 in children.
  • 7,364 hospital admissions caused by asthma in 2013 – of which over 50% were children below the age of 15.
  • The cost of asthma to the nation is over $800 million per year.
  • Māori, Pacific peoples and low-income families are 3 times more likely to be hospitalised by asthma.
  • On average, 67 Kiwis die from asthma each year.

Despite the huge prevalence of asthma in New Zealand, it is hardly known that the range of severity of asthma varies between individuals. A lot of people have mild or controllable asthma, yet some have severe life-threatening asthma, for example what is called ‘brittle asthma’.

Davis Herniman, 10-years-old from Mt Maunganui has brittle asthma. His nurse Steph Parker says, "He has an amazing Mum who is solely responsible for this fellow being alive.” Davis’ Mum is dedicated to looking after him and his life-threatening condition. View the video here.

“Despite New Zealand having one of the highest rates of respiratory disease in the world, no one talks about it,” says Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ Chief Executive John Wills. “We encourage everyone to start talking about it more.”


For more information or to interview John Wills please contact:  

Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ
Phone: 04 495 0097 

All statistics from: Telfar Barnard, L., Baker, M., Pierse, N., & Zhang, J. (2015). The impact of respiratory disease in New Zealand: 2014 update. Wellington: Asthma Foundation.

Copyright © 2016 Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ, All rights reserved.

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