World Asthma Day

World Asthma Day

world asthma day

 

World Asthma Day falls on the first Tuesday of May each year. Since 1984, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) has declared May to be “National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month”, so World Asthma Day acts as a great launching pad for a month of heightened awareness of these common and chronic conditions. This year’s day to celebrate is Tuesday 7th May. 

The Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) organises the day to promote recognition, education and celebration of asthma awareness and it has become one of the world’s most important asthma awareness and education events in the world. Even in its first year, when it was synchronised with the first World Asthma Meeting in Barcelona, 35 countries became involved.

World Asthma Day 2024

GINA has chosen “Asthma Education Empowers” as the theme for the 2024 World Asthma Day. This resonates deeply with us at ASL – we strongly believe in education and it is firmly embedded in our mission statement:  to help people create the healthiest possible indoor environment through science, certification, education and innovation. 

We action this statement through our asthma & allergy friendly® Certification Program, a program that scientifically validates household products and building materials to be more suitable for those impacted by asthma and allergies, thereby empowering individuals to make better buying decisions. Over 60% of asthma and allergy sufferers find it difficult to choose appropriate products for their homes so our mark helps educate consumers to create a healthier home environment.

Clients and retailers of the program are also educated by the provision of promotional and marketing support, findings from research, and access to extensive educational material. Our  iAir Academy offers educational courses that cover various aspects of indoor air quality relating to a healthier indoor environment.

Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, an AAFA initiative

Since 1984, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) has declared May to be “National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month.” It is a peak season for people with asthma and allergies and a perfect time to educate patients, family, friends, co-workers, and others about these diseases. This year AAFA is celebrating 40 years of designating May to raise awareness and save lives.

GINA

GINA was set up in 1993 in collaboration with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, USA, and the World Health Organization. Its objectives were clear: to increase asthma awareness, improve asthma management, reduce mortality and morbidity and increase accessibility and availability of effective asthma therapy. It also planned to promote identification of reasons for the increased prevalence of asthma and promote study of the association between asthma and the environment. Leading asthma experts from around the world help shape these strategies and plan their educational programs. GINA also maintains the World Asthma Day Internet Headquarters, where materials and resources are posted for downloading and a complete listing of activities around the world is constantly updated.

Asthma

Breathing-Indoor-Air-Quality-Allergy-Standards World Asthma Day

Asthma is a chronic disease of the lungs. The  airways narrow and swell and produce extra mucus. It causes recurrent attacks of breathlessness, cough, chest tightness or wheezing which can vary in severity from person to person and can change in severity in any individual over time. Asthma symptoms frequently cause night-time wakening, daytime fatigue, reduced activity levels, and school and work absenteeism. It is estimated that asthma affects 260 million people worldwide and is responsible for over 450000 deaths each year. 

The good news is that good asthma control means no or very minimal symptoms and a low risk of asthma attacks. A person whose asthma is under good control can lead a full and normal life, attending school and work, participating in exercise and sports. Some top athletes have a diagnosis of asthma but, as long as they manage it well, they can excel in their field.

However, in many countries, particularly in low and middle-income countries, health systems may not have the capacity to implement existing guidelines, and patients do not have access to affordable, good quality asthma medications. About 250,000 people die each year–that is 1,300 deaths every single day. Most of the deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.  The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include ‘access to safe, effective, quality-assured and affordable essential medicines for all’. Governments of over 190 countries globally have committed to achieve these Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, another of which is to reduce premature mortality due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs), asthma being one of them. World Asthma Day is a significant part of the world’s responsibility to achieve these goals.  

Annual Themes

Since its inception in 1998, World Asthma Day has been assigned a different theme each year.  

In 2018 the theme was ‘Allergy and Asthma’. This theme facilitated education and learning about what these two conditions have in common. Asthma and allergies often occur together. The same allergens that trigger hay fever symptoms often also trigger asthma symptoms- dust mites, pollen and pet dander for example. For some people it may be that food allergies cause asthma symptoms. In these types of allergic asthma, avoiding the triggers is the most important step in combating the conditions. Education around healthy homes and indoor air quality is invaluable as by creating a healthy indoor environment free from triggers such as dust mite, VOCs and pet dander the risk of asthma and allergies is reduced.

Though allergic asthma is very common, there are other types of asthma with different kinds of triggers for example, asthma can be triggered by exercise, infections, cold air or stress. For many people there is more than one kind of asthma trigger. Previous themes for World Asthma Day have been ‘You Can Control Your Asthma’ and ‘Reduce the Burden of Asthma’, which have focused in on how careful management can have a huge effect on the lives of those impacted by the disease.

As individuals, we can promote World Asthma Day by, using social media and the internet to reach out to people who are concerned with asthma and by encouraging family members and friends with the diagnosis to educate themselves fully. It is estimated that only 7% of asthmatics know all the symptoms of an asthma attack. World Asthma Day gives us all an opportunity to change that. Simply spread the word. 

 


By |2024-05-07T07:41:04+00:006 May 2024|Tags: , , , , , , , |Comments Off on World Asthma Day