Asthma education for our culturally diverse community

The Aiming for Asthma Improvement in Children Program (AAIC), an initiative of the Respiratory Department at SCH, has won the Multilingual Health Information Awards, Patient Safety Category, for their newly developed resources around ‘Working together towards asthma improvement and zero deaths’.

Asthma can be a life threatening condition and children can experience an asthma flare up at any time. The NSW Child Death Review Team noted that between 2004 and 2013 there were 20 childhood asthma deaths, with 10 of these occurring over a two year period. Importantly, nine children were from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) population. Recognising a significant lack of asthma first aid materials for the CALD population, including using a spacer and puffer device instructions, AAIC has responded by developing a translated series of educational audio-visual videos and posters. These resources align with the Kids Asthma First Aid Plan video and poster, a nationally recognised resource already widely available in English print and media resources.

Deaths from childhood asthma are avoidable. Education and symptom management are key factors to the prevention of asthma attacks, and keeping our kids healthy. The instructional videos demonstrate the correct procedure for administering asthma medication using a metered dose inhaler with a spacer device (+mask) to children of all ages. Evidenced based recommendations/guidelines support the use of spacer devices for the treatment and management of asthma in all children.

The resources developed by AAIC support patients and their families through education around asthma first aid and best practice asthma management, they are available here.