On average, a person can expect to take more than 700 million breaths in their lifetime. Living with a chronic lung condition, such as asthma or cystic fibrosis, means a child has to fight for almost every one of those breaths. This holds true for asthmatics, who often gasp for breath and require inhalers to help clear their airways.
Despite remarkable medical advances over the past few decades, non-communicable diseases result in 40 million deaths worldwide each year. About 25 percent of these deaths are caused by diseases of the respiratory system that begin in childhood such as asthma, chronic lung disease of prematurity, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cystic fibrosis. Acute respiratory infections including bronchiolitis, pneumonia and influenza are a major cause of hospital admissions and mortality in children worldwide.