Educational asthma show Sailor the Puffer Fish has just finished its Wellington tour, and the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ is pleased to announce it was a huge success. 

The show toured between 4-14 March 2019, performing at 27 schools and educating 5,110 students and teachers in the Wellington region.

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Photo caption: Sailor the Puffer Fish and Chris Lam Sam performing at Kahutara School in Martinborough

Jocelyn Manawaiti from Room 11 at Kenakena School in Kāpiti says, “Thank you for one of the best shows we've had. I learnt so much from it, I didn't know exactly how to deal with an asthma emergency and feel grateful that now I do. You were both entertaining and managed the whole school very well especially in an outside assembly. After talking with the children they were able to recall the information really well, thank you for coming you are doing a valuable service.”

The Sailor the Puffer Fish show was initially created after recognising a need for stronger asthma education in New Zealand schools, in response to losing three Waikato school children due to asthma attacks over recent years. Currently one in seven children live with asthma within New Zealand and 3,050 children are admitted to hospital each year.  

Once the schools have completed the education, they are invited to apply for Asthma Friendly School certification, which requires the school to establish an asthma policy, maintain a first aid kit and provide an emergency reliever inhaler. The certification means parents and caregivers can easily identify which schools have staff that are educated, and know what steps to take in an asthma emergency.

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Photo caption: Asthma Friendly School certificate in the window of South Featherston School

Tara Klaricich, Principal of South Featherston School says, “We have our certificate up, pride of place, in our notice board by our office. I've also put the asthma poster up in our sick bay. The children really enjoyed a very engaging show about a very serious matter. It’s always funny to watch our older kids start off 'Too cool for school' at the start of these events, and then being totally ok with taking part (albeit on a reserved "I'm nearly an adult" level) by the end! Well done, you all!”

The Wellington tour was funded by TG Macarthy Trust and the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ is incredibly grateful to have received this funding – which educated 5,110 students and awarded 27 primary schools as ‘Asthma Friendly’ certified in the Wellington Region.

For more information on becoming an Asthma Friendly School please call 04 499 4594 or email info@asthmaandrespiratory.org.nz

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