News Release Archive

HEALTH--Developing a Provincial Strategy for Asthma
Nova Scotia is taking a significant step toward developing a
provincial asthma strategy with a conference on asthma this

The event will involve a cross-section of key stakeholders from
across the province and will address issues surrounding asthma
and how to manage it.

Asthma is the most common chronic disease among children. One in
10 Canadians suffers from some degree of the disease. The burden
of asthma on the health care system through emergency-room
visits, treatment and hospitalizations continues to be of

"This conference demonstrates our commitment to focus on health
promotion and disease prevention," said Health Minister Jim
Smith. "It is my hope that by the end of this event we will have
a much clearer vision of the scope of the problem and some
concrete advice on addressing the most pressing issues."

A joint effort of the Department of Health, the Lung Association
of Nova Scotia and the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers' Association
of Canada, the conference will be led by internationally renowned
speakers and facilitators and will involve representatives from
government, industry, schools, other non-governmental
organizations and families coping with asthma.

"The Lung Association of Nova Scotia is pleased to participate in
the Minister of Health's Conference on Asthma," said Bill
VanGorder, CEO and president of the lung association. "It's a
unique opportunity to bring together a diverse group of health
professionals and patients to help identify key issues on asthma
in Nova Scotia."
The conference is taking place Saturday, Nov. 22, at the Westin
Nova Scotian Hotel in Halifax.

Asthma is an inflammatory disease which is difficult to diagnose.
It causes airway muscles to tighten and the airway lining to
become inflamed and swollen. The production of mucus can also
narrow the airway.

The cause of asthma and a cure for the disease are currently
unknown. However, smoking, second-hand smoke, furry pets,
allergens, dust and humidity can trigger asthma attacks.


Contact: Lori MacLean
         Department of Health

ngr                 Nov. 21, 1997                 2:00 p.m.