State health officials are planning to boost education efforts to help Iowans dealing with asthma. Janelle Thier with the American Lung Association of Iowa says they’ve developed a new “Iowa Asthma Plan.” That plan is updated every five years by the American Lung Association, the Iowa Asthma Coalition and the Iowa Department of Public Health.
“We’re just taking a closer look to see how we can reach more individuals with a more strategic plan,” Thier said. “We’re gathering more partners and just have a better idea of where we’re going.” The plan identifies strategies for asthma management, including tip to decrease asthma environmental triggers. Thier says they’re hoping to reach more children by implementing asthma action plans in every school.
“We’re also looking to possibly (expand) the self-carry inhaler law to (cover) before and after school programs,” Thier said. “Right now, it’s only during school that students are allowed to carry their own inhalers.” According to the most recent Health in Iowa report, more than 200,000 Iowans now have asthma. Around 52,000 of those Iowans with asthma are children.