Shedding a light on NZ's respiratory statistics
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Breathe Better September – huge step in the right direction
Breathe Better September, New Zealand’s first-ever respiratory awareness month is now reaching the finale. 
Rachel Crump from Tauranga says, "Breathe Better September has been very significant to our family after receiving the news of our daughter Chloe's bronchiectasis diagnosis.” The month allows everyone including families like the Crumps to raise awareness and get friends and workplaces involved. 
“Many colleagues, family and friends were shocked at New Zealand’s current statistics and were more than happy to get on board and support it. They felt more educated and aware of the importance of respiratory health in not only children but adults as well,” says Rachel.
Asthma educator Melissa Nikora from Dannevirke says, “Breathe Better September is a huge step in the right direction to raise awareness. We got the whole town involved including day care centres, kindys and schools and it was a great success. Children learnt to support their friends if they know they have asthma or other respiratory conditions.”
Melissa elaborates that there’s still more that needs to be done. “There’s still the perception that respiratory disease is a mild condition, when for some it can be life-threatening. The more we promote it, the more people may start to realise how serious it can be. I definitely want to be involved again next year,” says Melissa.

Krystal Ikitoelagi from The Langham Hotel, Auckland says, “Breathe Better September is a great way to engage staff and get them talking about respiratory conditions. It’s also a good way for us to give-back to a worthy cause.”
Breathe Better September has shed a light on New Zealand’s alarming respiratory statistics, while encouraging Kiwis to show their support for better breathing and healthy lungs. The campaign also encouraged all Kiwis to make small changes to their lifestyle, environment and health care in order to make a big difference on their breathing.
New Zealand has one of the highest rates of respiratory disease in the world. Over 700,000 Kiwis have a respiratory condition, it’s the third leading cause of death and costs the country $5.5 billion each year.
Respiratory disease includes asthma, bronchiectasis, bronchiolitis, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer and obstructive sleep apnoea.

Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ
Phone: 04 495 0097
For more information visit:

Quick facts 
• Respiratory disease is New Zealand’s third most common cause of death.
• Respiratory disease costs New Zealand more than $5.5 billion every year.
• One in six (over 700,000) New Zealanders live with a respiratory condition, and these rates are worsening.
• Respiratory disease accounts for one in eight of all hospital stays.
• More than half of the people admitted to hospital with a poverty-related condition are there because of a respiratory problem such as asthma, bronchiolitis, acute infection or pneumonia.
• People living in the most deprived households are admitted to hospital for respiratory illness over three times more often than people from the wealthiest areas.
• Across all age groups, hospitalisation rates are much higher for Pacific peoples (2.6 times higher) and Māori (2.1 times higher) than for other ethnic groups (Telfar Barnard et al., 2015).
Copyright © 2016 Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ, All rights reserved.

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