By Spencer Whitney
The Alameda County Asthma Coalition, Bay Area Air Quality Management District, and the Northern California Breathmobile celebrated “World Asthma Day,” focusing on the need to work for more solutions and to continue to raise awareness about the condition.
Among those who turned out for the event were featured speakers representing Hon. Rob Bonta, State Assembly; Hon. Keith Carson, Alameda County Board of Supervisors, Oakland Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney; and, the Port of Oakland.
World Asthma Day is part of the global effort to mobilize resources in the fight against asthma. The Alameda County Asthma Coalition is a group of community members who advocate for increased awareness, effective medical care and reduction of asthma triggers.
Research indicates asthma is the number one cause of school absenteeism and the third leading cause of emergency hospitalization among children each year, according to The Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Brigitte Cook, speaking for Councilmember McElhaney, stated that the councilwoman’s son has recently suffered an asthma attach and had to receive treatment. Cooks stressed the importance of the community nonprofits that aggressively provide care and resources, like the Prescott-Joseph Center in West Oakland.
The Prescott-Joseph Center launched the Northern California Breathmobile in 2009 and is a main source for asthma awareness within the Easy Bay. The Breathmobile is a mobile health van that travels to elementary schools throughout the East Bay providing free asthma screening, medical testing and treatment to economically challenged families.
Significantly, young people and their families that are regularly treated by Breathmoblle medical personnel almost completely eliminate respiratory crises that result in emergency room visits and missed school.
“As we recognize World Asthma Day, we must recognize that healthcare is a human right,” said Jacqueline Orpillafrom, representing Rob Bonta. “Together we can promote the solutions to reduce the effects of asthma and other diseases.”
Courtesy of the Oakland Post, May 8, 2014 (www.postnewsgroup.com)