The Fono

Health & Social Services

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Asthma

Imagine your airways tightening up, partially closing, swelling inside and clogging up with mucus. It is hard to breathe in and even harder to breathe out. Asthmatics know this feeling all too well – it happens every time their illness strikes. 

Most people know someone with asthma – the illness hits New Zealand hard affecting 600,000 Kiwis, according to the NZ Asthma Foundation.

One in six NZ adults and one in four of our children experience asthma symptoms, often triggered by allergens, some medicines, physical activity, smoke, flu and weather changes.

In adult Maori, asthma affects 22% while 15% of non-Maori are sufferers, and in Pacific people it is more prevalent (20%) than in other adults.

Studies have linked socio-economic disadvantage with difficulty in accessing primary health care needs, leading to hospital admission for asthma.

The Fono knows all too well about how asthma disproportionately affects Maori and Pacific people, and lower socio-economic groups.

Our Respiratory Clinic provides ongoing support – outreach, education and free visits – for families and patients living with asthma.

Relationships between health professionals and patients are nurtured to ensure better health outcomes, while teaching, sharing knowledge and skills between co-workers is strived for, to ensure the same message is relayed uniformly to patients.

The service is not limited to enrolled patients at The Fono – casual and non-funded patients can also use the Respiratory Clinic.

Families living with members who are asthmatic, relatives who wish to know more about managing asthma, and students who are on placement often use the busy clinic.

If you have asthma, it is important that you do what you can to manage your own condition. Use inhalers if prescribed by the GP, see an asthma nurse if you need more information, ask as many questions as possible and update your contact details with your GP - so we are able to contact you. These are all simple things you can do to help.

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Respiratory Clinic 

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