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New Delhi : Union Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences, Environment, Forest & Climate Change Dr Harsh Vardhan launched Asthma Manual for Schools here on October 31, 2018. The Manual has been compiled by Lung Care Foundation, a not-for-profit organization, and has been reviewed by leading doctors across India including doctors from- AIIMS (New Delhi), Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (New Delhi), Fortis (Kolkata) and Apollo (Bengaluru).

Translated in 11 different languages, the Manual will be adopted by Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change for implementation in over 1 lakh schools through Eco-Clubs across the India. It is a compilation of simple, easy to understand information to know about childhood asthma and best practices that schools can implement.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Harsh Vardhan said, “ The Asthma Manual for Schools will help all stakeholders in the school eco-system to understand the basics of asthma and offer reasonable and implementable solutions towards creating an environment where Asthma is effectively managed and children with asthma can be healthy, happy and lead an active school life.’’  The Minister further said, “From my personal experience from the Pulse Polio Campaign, I am sure with the combined efforts of the Teachers, School administration, Parents and Children, we will be able to create an Asthma supportive environment in schools and ensure the safety of every child in our country.”

Highlighting the importance of this initiative, Abhishek Kumar, CEO & Co-Founder, Lung Care Foundation, said, “ With an increasing number of children with an Asthmatic tendency in India, such information becomes all the more important.”

Over 10 per cent of school going children suffer from Asthma. Poorly Controlled Asthma can lead to the retardation of physical growth of a child. It may also cause psychological impact from absenteeism and inability to keep up with the peer group because of the child’s frequent visits to medical care facilities. Lately, there have been several cases of even deaths in school due to lack of awareness about Asthma and the steps to be followed in case of an emergency.

The information and recommendations provided in this manual are evidence-based responses to the asthma-related needs of schools in India. This manual is designed to be used by any member of the school community including teachers, school administration, parents and the students themselves.

The manual is first of its kind in India and will help provide a safe environment for students across India, According to a PIB release.

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