Harsh Vardhan, Union Environment Minister and his Delhi counterpart Imran Hussain launched an asthma manual for schools to assist in building better management strategies for emergencies.
The manual, prepared by the Union Environment Ministry in collaboration with the Lung Care Foundation, aims at recognizing asthma among school children, especially in cities like Delhi with at least four to five months of poor air quality every year.
“Among 2,925 children screened, 24 percent were seen as probable asthmatics of which 18.2 percent (532) were diagnosed to have asthma, and only 6.2 percent had previously diagnosed asthma by a physician,” said a statement from the foundation. According to Abhishek Kumar, co-founder, and CEO of Lung Care Foundation, in a survey held in some schools of Jaipur, 25 percent children were found to be asthmatic while in Bengaluru 10-15 percent children were diagnosed with the disease.
“Many children had lost lives in schools due to asthma attacks and the lack of emergency measures. The disease remains highly under-diagnosed in children,” Kumar said. The foundation states that the current prevalence of asthma is 18.2 percent which is rapidly rising as a trend. The manual describes how a school administration should act in case of an emergency. It focuses on recognizing childhood asthma and how schools may provide a safe and supportive environment.