Health

Lung Association Tackles Asthma in Communities of Color

In the U.S., 24.8 million people are living with asthma, including 5.5 million children. While asthma affects all people, groups like children and low-income individuals are most likely to have asthma and suffer from severe asthma attacks, hospitalization and even death says the American Lung Association.

Asthma morbidity and mortality also disproportionately impacts Black and Hispanic individuals.

To improve health and prevent asthma-related emergency hospital visits, the ALA is expanding its asthma intervention work with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The lung association received a five-year, $1 million cooperative agreement from the CDC last week where they will support the health agency’s objective of preventing 500,000 emergency department and hospital visits by Aug. 31, 2024.

Through this project, the ALA says it will help increase knowledge and adoption of evidence-based strategies to control asthma in communities most impacted through its broad network of established partners, proven programs and effective policies.

In turn, the effort will create asthma-friendly environments where people live, work, learn and play.

“Millions of Americans are living with asthma. And while it’s a chronic condition, with the right support symptoms can be managed and controlled. No one should have to go to the emergency department or be hospitalized multiple times a year, or even lose their life to this disease,” said American Lung Association President and CEO Harold Wimmer. “Everyone deserves the opportunity to lead a full and active life. We’re proud to help bring proven strategies to trusted community organizations and partners to ensure that everyone gets the support they need not just to survive with asthma, but to thrive. And this is especially important for groups and individuals disproportionately impacted by asthma.”

The ALA adds controlling asthma and asthma-related hospital visits is even more important during the coronavirus pandemic where COVID-19, a respiratory disease caused by the virus attacks the lungs.

A new survey from the group finds Americans are most concerned about loved ones’ lung health since the pandemic began, as well as protecting their personal lung health, including quitting smoking or vaping.

Most survey respondents were also open to annual vaccination if recommended, but a third of parents were unwilling to have their kids under 16 vaccinated, an approach the ALA disagrees with.

“The pandemic has laid bare the critical importance of lung health,” Wimmer said. “Americans’ willingness for annual vaccinations is promising, and would help avoid additional illnesses, however it’s concerning that more than a third of parents would not vaccinate their child if recommended.

“As clinical trials proceed and more information is available, the American Lung Association will work to ensure that Americans have fact-based, trusted information about the vaccine for kids, to help families make informed decisions for themselves,” he said.

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Sarafina Wright –Washington Informer Staff Writer

Sarafina Wright is a staff writer at the Washington Informer where she covers business, community events, education, health and politics. She also serves as the editor-in-chief of the WI Bridge, the Informer’s millennial publication. A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, she attended Howard University, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. A proud southern girl, her lineage can be traced to the Gullah people inhabiting the low-country of South Carolina. The history of the Gullah people and the Geechee Dialect can be found on the top floor of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. In her spare time she enjoys watching either college football or the Food Channel and experimenting with make-up. When she’s not writing professionally she can be found blogging at www.sarafinasaid.com. E-mail: Swright@washingtoninformer.com Social Media Handles: Twitter: @dreamersexpress, Instagram: @Sarafinasaid, Snapchat: @Sarafinasaid

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