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Asthma is a chronic condition that is too common among children as well as adults worldwide. It is a disease where inflammation occurs in the airways leading to blockage in lungs, which causes breathing difficulties. Hence, to spread awareness about the disease and the people suffering from the disease, the World Asthma Day is observed every year on the second Tuesday in the month of May. This year in 2023, the event is observed on 2nd May.
World Asthma Day is an international event being organized by GINA or Global Initiative for Asthma together with worldwide healthcare groups. The condition of asthma is a global problem with millions of people suffering from it, worldwide.
Let us take a look at the history and significance of this day.
Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), which organizes World Asthma Day, was launched in 1993 as a collaborative organization of World Health Organization (WHO) and several other health initiatives worldwide. The first event of World Asthma Day took place in 1998 in Barcelona, Spain with over 35 participating countries. Over the years, the event has grown manifold with the increasing participation of countries worldwide. In fact, it has progressed as one of the significant world asthma awareness events in the present time.
The history of asthma as a disease goes back to thousands of years. Asthma was mentioned in the Chinese scriptures way back in 2600 B.C. Even ancient Egypt has in their age-old scriptures mentions the symptoms of respiratory issues and breathlessness.
Asthma was accurately described by doctor Henry H. Salter in the 19th century. He used medical sketches to show the condition of the lungs during an asthma attack. William Osler who co-foundered Johns Hopkins Medical School noted that there are similarities between allergic conditions and asthma. More comprehensive analysis of the disease was found in the 1980s which confirmed the disease as an inflammatory disorder.
As per WHO, over 262 million people suffered from asthma in 2019, whereas it led to the death of 460,000 people in the same year.
The theme for World Asthma Day as given by GINA is – ‘Asthma Care for All’. The theme clearly specifies the advancement of medical care in terms of availability of quality facilities so that the number of people dying from this disease can be restricted, especially in poor countries with limited medical access.
The theme of this year’s World Asthma Day encourages countries that are resource-rich to execute programmes for asthma management to aid in prevention and diagnosis of the disease among fulfilling other objectives.
As stated above, asthma is a common chronic condition among kids and adults globally. As per WHO, asthma is one of the factors of poverty in countries with low and middle-income. In 2019, India had over 3.4 crore people suffering from asthma as per the Global Burden of Disease Report (GBDR).
Asthma is recognised as a disease that needs priority implementation for diagnosis, prevention and treatment by organizations like the WHO and the United Nation (UN).
The World Asthma Day is important in many ways, such as;
Asthma can be caused due to various factors. It is a disease that can’t be cured permanently. However, if you manage asthma properly with the right medication and treatment, it can be controlled. On world asthma day, educate yourself about the causes, symptoms and other aspects of the disease to prevent it or manage it well to stay safe.
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The World Asthma Awareness Day is observed to create awareness about this respiratory disease and to help patients worldwide with good medical facilities by bringing together healthcare experts
Generally, asthma is likely to run in the family. So, if a person has asthma in the family or if the parents are asthmatic, the children are more likely to be under the risk of the disease.
The month of May is generally considered as asthma awareness month.
Yes. Asthma is a chronic or long-term disease which is caused due to inflammation and narrowing of the airways.
Yes, the risk might aggravate due to the growing age of people. Hence, one must avail good treatment and medication.
It is celebrated on the first Tuesday of May every year.
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