World Asthma Day 2023: Does the World Lack Asthma Awareness?

World asthma day

On asthma, the WHO calls for community awareness as well. “People with asthma and their families need education to understand more about their asthma, their treatment, triggers to avoid, and how to manage their symptoms at home. It is also important to raise community awareness, to reduce the myths and stigma associated with asthma in some settings,” says WHO.[1] 

World asthma day is observed across the globe on the first Tuesday of May. This year it will be celebrated on the 2nd of May. It is an annual event organised by the Global Initiative for Asthma[2]  (GINA) in collaboration with various healthcare groups and asthma educators to spread awareness and care about asthma.

What do you know about the history of World Asthma Day?[3]  What is its significance? And how does spreading awareness towards asthma improve general public health?

Awareness towards asthma will help to improve general public health. Creating an asthma-friendly environment helps patients to live healthier life and also helps prevent the disease. As [4] we will see in this article, how awareness towards asthma will help the general public.

History of World Asthma Day

Since 1984, May has been declared to be “National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month” by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), so World Asthma Day acts as a great launching pad for a month of heightened awareness of these common and chronic conditions.

Asthma affected an estimated 262 million people in 2019 and caused 455 000 deaths, according to WHO[5] , which[6]  demands creating an asthma-friendly environment.

The death rate from asthma has nearly doubled since the 1980s, but the condition is not new and it has deteriorated the general public health. There is mention of asthma in scriptures from China in 2600 B.C., and Ancient Egypt also mentions the symptoms of breathlessness and respiratory issues.

The first World Asthma Day was celebrated in 1998 in more than 35 countries along with the first World Asthma Meeting held in Barcelona, Spain.

Since then, the day has become one of the most important asthma awareness events.

Significance of World Asthma Day

World Asthma Day is set aside to address issues such as “equal access to diagnosis and treatment (medicine).” Emphasis is also on improving asthma-related general public health, communication and educating people with the condition about their various treatment options.  

According to GINA, efforts are made to ensure that international respiratory communities work together with patients and healthcare providers to implement asthma care solutions both, locally and globally.

What is Asthma?

Asthma is a non-communicable disease affecting both children and adults. It is mainly caused when the air passages in the lungs narrow down to inflammation and tightening of the muscles.

Asthma’s severity varies from person to person and for general public health it greatly depends on viral infections, dust, smoke, fumes, weather conditions, pollen, animals, soaps and perfume.

It is a condition that cannot be cured, but effective measures like creating asthma friendly environment can lessen the chances of its danger.

Staying in clean asthma-friendly environments, regular exposure to fresh and clean air, avoiding drugs, and quitting smoke can be really beneficial.

Symptoms of Asthma

The common symptoms of asthma are:

  • Cough, wheeze, shortness of breath and tightness in the chest.
  • Asthma symptoms are intermittent and worsen at night and during exercise.
  • Among other common symptoms of asthma are anxiety, early awakening, fast heart rate, or throat irritation.

Who is at greater risk?

These are the group of people who are more susceptible to asthma:

  1. Overweight or obese individuals are at a greater risk of asthma.
  2.  People who have allergic conditions like eczema and rhinitis have a higher risk of developing asthma.
  3. Those with a family history of asthma are more likely to develop asthma.
  4. Apart from this low-birth weight, prematurity, exposure to tobacco smoke and other sources of air pollution, as well as viral respiratory infections also make an individual susceptible to asthma.

How it can be prevented?

Asthma cannot be cured; however, it can be managed. These are some expert’s advice to curb the disease:

  1. Timely detection and regular medications [7] are the only way towards the management of the condition, thus people with this condition should not refrain from taking their medications.
  2. Lack of awareness among the patients and caregivers, lack of access to the right diagnosis and treatment modality, and in some cases,
  3. Reluctance to accept the diagnosis, are a few major causes for the rise in asthma cases in the country.
  4. Patients with severe to moderate asthma have to take long-term medication daily to control the underlying inflammation and prevent symptoms and attacks,

Releated Posts:



get daily update to join our Magazine