The campaign aims to inspire children living with asthma as well as caregivers to rise above the condition and unlock their potential.
This World Asthma Awareness month, Cipla launched its general patient & public awareness initiative – ‘Tuffies’ – directing more targeted awareness on improving respiratory care amongst children, especially those living with asthma. Overcoming myths and stigma associated with chronic respiratory diseases like asthma and its treatment, the Tuffies campaign is targeted at engaging children between the ages 5 through 10 yrs of age and their caregivers. Sonali Bendre launched the campaign by unveiling the Tuffies Comic Book and introducing the Tuffies Team, a group of relatable, young, adventurous characters.
A widespread non-communicable disease, asthma is the most common chronic condition among children affecting nearly 7.9% of Indian children2, with about 80% of asthmatics experiencing symptoms during the first 6 years of their life3. Insufficient awareness about the disease, misconceptions and perceived myths associated with its cornerstone treatment i.e. inhalation therapy, have resulted in many cases of asthma going undiagnosed and even untreated. All this ultimately results in poor control of asthma, leading to a significantly impacted quality of life that includes frequent hospitalizations and missed school days.4.
The Tuffies Comic Book features - Vicky, an aspiring detective who lives with asthma but does not let it hold him back, along with his sister Mini, best friend Gullu and Vicky’s trusted companion Mr. Puffy. These characters will remain central to the Tuffies campaign. The comic book will showcase the Tuffies team as they tackle challenging situations and solve mysteries in their hometown with Mr. Puffy providing guidance and motivation through his mantra ‘Breathe in and count to ten, breathe out and let go of doubt’. Through their adventures, the campaign aims to spread the message that asthma should not limit a child's potential, as long as they take the right treatment and adhere to it. While the campaign launches with the comic book, an animated video series is to follow.
Speaking on the launch of the campaign Dr. Vikas Gupta, India Rx Head, Cipla Ltd. said, “Patients are at the heart of everything we do at Cipla, and this ethos is reflected in the efforts we have made to transform the lives of those living with asthma. Through our public awareness campaigns, we have made significant strides in raising awareness about the condition and trying to set the record straight on one of its recommended treatments i.e. inhalation therapy. Broadening our focus and for the effective management of this condition in the country, we’re excited to launch the ‘Tuffies’ campaign. With this campaign we aim to inspire children to overcome limitations and help create more open channels of communication for caregivers to make informed decisions in consultation with their child’s physician. This further deepens our efforts to bring about a positive change in people’s perception towards asthma and its treatment”.
Adding her thoughts Actor Sonali Bendre said, “Cipla’s work in the asthma awareness space has over the years sparked a social movement that has served as inspiration for asthmatics across the country. And now, with the Tuffies campaign, the company extends its focus toward helping children with asthma and their parents by; combating misinformation related to the condition, enabling informed decision-making, and encouraging children to overcome their limitations. Launching the campaign with a comic book, which can entertain and inform is truly a smart way of spreading awareness about a health condition, especially amongst little ones. And as a mother, it gives me immense delight to be able to lend my voice and platform to a campaign, that has such a strong message and cause.”