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Spring 2015

Breaking News

¡Nuevos recursos sobre el asma en español!
New Bilingual Asthma Resources

From 9 million to nearly 53 million: that’s how much the Latino population has grown in the United States since 1970. New immigrants, many of whom speak primarily Spanish, account for nearly 36 percent of this total (source: U.S. Census Bureau).

Now, consider that 1 of every 11 Latino children under the age of 15 living in the U.S.—some 5.6 million total—has asthma. (source: CDC/NCHS, National Health Interview Survey, January – March 2014)

Father and daughter

“Because Latinos shoulder a disproportionately large asthma burden, and many of those at greatest risk have limited literacy in English, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHBLI)—in partnership with the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP)—created asthma resources in Spanish so that they and their children can learn to breathe easier,” said Rachael Tracy, M.P.H., NAEPP Coordinator.

The new Respirar es vida: el control del asma en nuestros niños (A Breath of Life: Asthma Control for My Child) resources include a manual, video, and worksheets for parents of 5- to 11-year-olds, plus a set of 27 bilingual picture cards to be used by community health workers (CHWs)/promotores. The materials are based on the NAEPP’s guidelines for the diagnosis and management of asthma and six accompanying priority messages, and were designed for and pilot-tested with CHWs/promotores and parents of children who have asthma. Other asthma care providers can use them, too.


Cover of new training manual for community health workers

“The intent is to train promotores about asthma so that they can teach Latino parents of children with asthma to better understand and manage the disease,” noted Gloria Ortiz in a “Reducing Asthma Disparities in the Latino Community” webinar hosted by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s (NHLBI) National Asthma Control Initiative on November 4, 2014. “A promotora has the opportunity to dispel myths and break down barriers as only someone who is sensitive to language and cultural differences within the highly diverse Latino community can do best.”

Ms. Ortiz, a public health analyst with the Health Resources and Services Administration, is formerly of the NHLBI and was a key player in developing the new resources.


A Northeast Valley Health Corporation asthma education class teaches members of the Latino community about the disease.

So was Rosa V. Garcia, Asthma Program Coordinator, Northeast Valley Health Corporation–San Fernando Valley, CA, who tested the materials with her promotores and patients. During the “Reducing Asthma Disparities in the Latino Community” webinar, Ms. Garcia noted that she found the resources to be flexible, simple to use, easy for low-literacy patients to follow because they contain visuals, and interactive because they include worksheets.

Ms. Garcia is not alone in applauding the availability of these new materials. “It’s incredibly exciting that the NAEPP created these resources to enable communities to improve asthma care for Latino children with the expectation that we can eliminate disparities in asthma outcomes,” said Michelle M. Freemer, M.D., Program Official, Division of Lung Diseases, NHBLI, and Asthma Disparities Workgroup member.

The Respirar es vida resources will be available online later this year.

Next: GIP in Focus


Last Updated May 2015

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