World Asthma Day is an international day observed on 05 May every year. World Asthma Day is observed in order to increase awareness about the disease among its patients as well the common people. It also aims to encourage different organizations to join hands in improving the lives of people living with asthma.
World Asthma Day during COVID-19 Pandemic
Due to the unfortunate COVID-19 outbreak this year, main stakeholder-organizers of this day have decided to postpone the global campaign planned on 5 May, 2020. They have opted for virtual activities this year. To help the patients living with asthma to deal with COVID-19 situation, the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) has also come up with an Interim Guidelines of Asthma Management During COVID-19 Pandemic. To read the guidelines please visit ginasthma.org
Theme of World Asthma Day
Every year World Asthma Day is celebrated around a theme. The theme of World Asthma Day 2020 is “Enough Asthma Deaths”.
About World Asthma Day
World Asthma Day is an initiative of Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA). GINA is the main organizer of World Asthma Day coordinating all major preparations across the globe. It collaborates with different stakeholders worldwide to make the events successful. Stakeholders include medical professionals, asthma disease experts, academicians and educators. A decision has been taken to observe the World Asthma Day permanently on 5 May from the year 2020 onward.
GINA also facilitates distribution of materials and resources raising awareness about Asthma. Dissemination of information is also done through the internet. GINA maintains an internet-based platform – the World Asthma Day Internet Headquarters. The platform provides various resource-materials on Asthma and its treatment.
Objective of World Asthma Day
To raise awareness among common people about Asthma- it’s symptoms, causes, prevention, treatment and management.
Background : In the year 1998, around 35 countries joined hands together to observe the first ever World Asthma Day. The very first meeting was held in the city of Barcelona, Spain. Importance of this observance has increased many fold since its inception.
World Asthma Day Activities
- Free-screening clinics at local hospitals
- Meeting & Discussion Forums- to raise awareness about the disease
- Organizing awareness programs and events
- Website Campaigns
- Advertisements – print, electronic & digital media
- Radio Talks
- Awareness Exhibitions
What is Asthma?
Asthma is a respiratory disease. It is chronic in nature which means it persists with the patient for a very long time, sometimes lifelong. The asthmatic condition may range anywhere between mild to severe. Asthma causes difficulty in performing any function related to lungs as the condition intermittently inflames and narrows the lungs’ airways. Lungs’ airways experience swelling due to the inflammation.
Sometimes, asthmatic symptoms worsen leading to an asthma attack. These attacks could be life threatening as well and occur more frequently in severely asthmatic patients. Thus, the disease requires proper management.
Causes: As per the experts, the cause of this disease is not known. It varies from person to person but usually starts as a response to an allergic environment by a person’s immunity system.
Symptoms: Chest tightness, Coughing, Shortness of breath, Wheezing
It is to be noted that coughing in most asthma patients is observed more significantly at night or during early morning. Also, the symptom of “wheezing” basically means that the patient experiences a whistling sound while exhaling.
Prevention of Asthma
Doctors generally prescribe preventive medication for controlling and managing the disease.
Asthma triggers like air-pollutants, dusts, pollens, etc. can be easily identified and avoided by monitoring the breath and usage of quick-relief inhalers. Medication at regular intervals is considered as one the most effective ways to control the disease.