Do you know what Kim Chiu, Arnel Pineda and Michael Christian Martinez have in common? They all have Asthma yet have accomplished so much in their respective fields.

Do you know of a friend, loved one or relative who are winning against asthma as well?

Do you want them recognized as winners against asthma just like Kim, Arnel and Christian?

GSK has launched last February 5 the Search for Winners Against Asthma 2015. The campaign aims to choose and recognize 10 young asthmatic achievers from different walks of life.

The advocacy likewise introduces Olympic figure skater Michael Christian Martinez as the new face of the campaign. Martinez, an asthmatic, began experiencing asthmatic bronchitis when he was just two months old.

He recalls being in the hospital frequently and says the cold rink actually helped improve his health. “Year after year my health keeps improving, so my mother fully supported me to continue skating saying it’s better to spend the money on skating than in the hospital.”

The program is a nationwide search for young asthmatic achievers aged 30 years and younger who are outstanding in their respective fields despite having asthma and inspire asthma sufferers that they, too, can win against asthma.

The rationale for the target age group is driven by the fact that asthma is one of the most important chronic disease during childhood causing substantial morbidity1. Uncontrolled asthma is associated with a reduced lung function, impaired performance in physical exercise, and impaired quality of life5. More severe asthma leads to more frequent school absenteeism which may negatively affect an individual’s level of education and, possibly, choice of career5. People within this age group are in the process of developing the necessary knowledge and skills that will enable them to achieve their goals in life and asthma should not deter them from realizing their full potential. Thus it is necessary at this early stage to raise their awareness on asthma and how they can win against it.

Kim Chui with Samantha Purvor
Kim Chui chatting with Samantha Purvor on how she deals with her asthma in a postitive way and how important it is to always have rescue medication on hand.

The Search for Winners Against Asthma will run from February until May 2015 and will be touring different schools and drugstore outlets to spread the advocacy and invite more people to join the campaign.

The deadline for submission of entries is on March 31, 2015. All entries will be screened during the first week of April. As we celebrate World Asthma Day on May 5, the top 20 finalists will be announced and will be immediately followed by online voting. The top 10 Winners Against Asthma will be announced and awarded by the 3rd week of May 2015.

This advocacy campaign is supported by the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP), Philippine Academy of Family Physicians (PAFP), Philippine Society of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (PSAAI), Huawei and Folded & Hung.

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It is estimated that asthma affects around 235 million people worldwide2 with 250,000 annual worldwide deaths recorded. Another 100 million people are projected to suffer from the disease by 2025.3

In the Philippines, there are over 10 million cases of people with asthma4 and remains the most common chronic disease of childhood morbidity as measured by school absences, emergency visits and hospitalizations.1

Despite the availability of treatment guidelines and medicines for the treatment and management of asthma, the majority of patients with asthma remain to be uncontrolled thus leading to compromised lives. According to the AIRAP 2 study, only 1% of children with asthma in the Philippines are well- controlled. 5

90% of asthma patients expect to have symptoms as part of their condition.6 53% of asthma patients regularly use rescue medication at least once per day to cope with their symptoms.7 In the Asia Pacific, which includes the Philippines, activity limitation caused by asthma was considerable. A mean of 44.7% of respondents reported that normal physical activity was compromised, and 37.9% believed that their choice of job or career was limited. A total of 52.7% of respondents said that sports and recreation were affected, and 37.6% believed their lifestyle was restricted. Almost 50% reported sleep disturbances.4

Asthma can be a serious condition but it can be controlled. Access to doctors and treatment has been shown to significantly decrease asthma deaths and hospitalizations.8 People with asthma can lead normal and active lives. They can even excel.


In February 2014, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) launched Win Against Asthma Today — an integrated advocacy campaign aimed at increasing awareness and amplify existing efforts to spread information about asthma and how it can be managed.

The campaign also encourages patients to consult their doctors and discuss the best way to manage their asthma.

A lot of asthma patients do not realise that they are settling by accepting as normal the lifestyle restrictions resulting from uncontrolled asthma. Patients unnecessarily accept symptoms, assuming that frequent symptoms, exacerbations and lifestyle limitations are an inevitable consequence of having asthma. They may feel that although current treatments can alleviate their asthma symptoms, they just need to accept and bear that it normally happens. This is where the partnership and constant consult with their doctors become very important.

Kim Chiu with Janis Pincaro, Francis Del Val, Dr Nep Ordonez, Dr Carmela Kasala, Dr Bella Siasoco, Dr Badette Arcilla, Joanne Seno and Maya Leander
Kim Chiu with Janis Pincaro, Francis Del Val, Dr Nep Ordonez, Dr Carmela Kasala, Dr Bella Siasoco, Dr Badette Arcilla, Joanne Seno and Maya Leander

To prove that the disease should not be a deterrent from living one’s life to the fullest, real asthma patients were invited to provide testimonies of their experiences and how won against the illness. Celebrity asthmatics, Kim Chiu and Arnel Pineda became the featured ambassadors for the first wave of the campaign.

As more asthma patients become aware that they can win against asthma just like Kim and Arnel, the campaign aims to strengthen its pool of ambassadors to continuously inspire more patients to take control of their asthma.


1 International study of asthma and allergies in childhood (ISAAC): rationale and methods, 1995
2 The global asthma report 2011
3 Global Initiative for Asthma. GINA Report Global Strategy for Asthma Management and Prevention. December 2011
4 Eur Respir Rev 2006;15:10–16
5 Allergy 2013; 68:524–530
6 Bellamy D et al. Prim Care Resp J 2005; 14:252-258
7 Demoly et al. Eur Resp Rev 2010; 19: 150-15
8 Thorax 2006; 61:663–670
* Official GSKP Corporate Profile