Berok India: Let’s make India breathefree

Umang Vohra

November 3, 2020

If one were to diagnose the pulse of India, it wouldn’t be a shocking revelation to find that historically, the country was often not burdened with diseases, as much as the social stigmas associated with them. A fact that has fundamentally hindered patients from getting diagnosed accurately or even opting for the right treatment. For a country celebrated for its outstanding advancement in science and technology, when it comes to healthcare, there’s much left to be desired.

In the past, when the Government had undertaken this mandate, we successfully contained several unabated epidemics / pandemics – be it HIV/AIDS, polio or the 2009 H1N1 Flu. With India shouldering the highest respiratory burden for #Asthma and #COPD related DALYs and for the 1.3bn population currently battling the COVID-19 pandemic’s surgical strike on the lungs, every breath matters.

Today, India has over 93 mn patients suffering from Asthma, COPD and other respiratory ailments, more than even diabetes. Of this, 37.9 mn are asthmatics and 90% of them don’t seek appropriate treatment due to social stigma and misconceptions around respiratory illnesses and inhalation therapy. What’s even more worrying is that the impact of asthma on quality of life is far greater than as perceived by the patients. If the escalating disease burden wasn’t appalling enough, lack of accurate and confirmative diagnosis of asthma adds to the looming threat.

As pioneers in respiratory for the past 6 decades, Cipla proudly undertakes the onus of being the custodian of lung care. Towards this in the year 2000, we launched the Breathefree initiative to promote patient awareness about asthma management and enable healthcare practitioners, diagnose and treat the ailment effectively.

#BerokZindagi – a first-of-its-kind patient awareness campaign aimed to tackle social stigma around asthma, educate patients about inhalers and their benefits in asthma management and help asthmatics live an unstoppable life. Last year, through the #InhalersHainSahi campaign, we reached out 300 mn Indians, and organised health screening for 250,000 people through #BerokZindagi Yatra.

Our mission doesn’t stop here. Each year we touch the lives of ~2 mn asthmatics and we will continue our humble efforts until each and every asthmatic enjoys a #BerokZindagi.