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Asthma awareness

World Asthma Day is being observed today. A report on the work undertaken by various agencies.

SUFFERING ELICITS two extreme reactions from man. It could either throw him into stupor or galvanise him into action that touches the lives of others who are equally unfortunate.

"Asthma runs in our family. My mother, sister and two brothers are asthmatic," said Dr. R. Narasimhan, founder trustee of the Respiratory Research Foundation of India, at a seminar organised to mark World Asthma Day, being observed today.

"We make efforts to sensitise the public to the dangers of pollution. We endeavour to bring together the various sinews of society — government, NGOs, academicians, professionals, medical practitioners and companies and the public — to fight the conditions that cause respiratory diseases," he said.

"The levels of pollution we find today send an ominous signal. This is going to be a millennium of respiratory diseases," warned Narasimhan.

Members of the foundation visit schools to educate children on the ill-effects of smoking. "It's easier to mould a mind that is five years old than one that's 50. This is the only viable strategy for creating a smoke-free tomorrow."

Inaugurated on June 10, 2001, the foundation has been organising seminars, lectures, debates and panel discussions and conducting research, TB, asthma, and anti-smoking awareness programmes.

"The trust is being sustained by a steadily growing number of donors. The Rotary Club of Madras North-West has sustained us in no small measure," Narasimhan said.

If you become a life member of the foundation, a minimum of five patients would be screened free of cost every year on your behalf.

The foundation can be reached at No. 24, Gopalakrishna Iyer Street, T. Nagar. Phone: 8312288. E-mail: rrfindia@hotmail.com.

PRINCE FREDERICK

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