May is Asthma Awareness Month

SANTA FE, NM –  The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) reports uncontrolled asthma leads to nearly 8,000 emergency department visits every year, according to data collected and analyzed by the NMDOH Epidemiology and Response Division (ERD).

During National Asthma Awareness Month this May, the NMDOH urges New Mexicans to learn about asthma control and the variety of approaches NMDOH and its partners deliver to help improve and sustain asthma control services throughout the state. 

“Wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and coughing are serious asthma symptoms,” said Department of Health Cabinet Secretary Kathy Kunkel. “Although asthma cannot be cured, it is possible to manage the disease by reducing and preventing asthma-related hospitalizations.”

The department’s ERD works to provide online public health information on asthma and air quality education for New Mexico communities in several ways:  

  • The New Mexico Asthma Control Program develops strategies with communities and health systems to improve and expand the reach of comprehensive asthma control services.  
  • Our New Mexico Environmental Public Health Tracking Program provides searchable data for asthma and air quality and health education:
  • There you’ll find specific asthma data at https://nmtracking.org/health/breathing/Asthma.html.
  • In addition, the 5-3-1 Smoke and Health Campaign which provides guidance for New Mexicans during wildland fires, prescribed burns and smoky days.
  • Also offered is the results of a recent project, documented on the NMDOH YouTube account using the photovoice approach to assess the views and perspectives of Spanish-speaking households in New Mexico impacted by asthma. The findings of the project are helping health professionals understand barriers to asthma control and identify potential activities to reduce the number of annual emergency visits due to asthma.

For asthma related questions, email the Asthma Control Program at doh-eheb@state.nm.us.

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