World Asthma Day 2008 will take place on tomorrow (Tuesday). The day is observed on the first Tuesday in May. The day would be observed throughout the globe including Pakistan.
This year’s event will continue the focus on the positive theme introduced for WAD 2007, ‘You Can Control Your Asthma.’ This theme is consistent with the emphasis on asthma control set out in the latest versions of the GINA guideline documents, and will help to spread the word that asthma control is the goal of treatment and can be achieved in the vast majority of asthma patients with proper management.
The Global Initiative is organizing World Asthma Day for Asthma (GINA) in collaboration with healthcare groups and asthma educators to raise awareness on asthma and improve asthma care throughout the world. Each year GINA chooses a theme and organizes preparation and distribution of World Asthma Day materials and resources. Healthcare professionals, educators and members of the public who want to help reduce the burden of asthma organize World Asthma Day activities in every country.
The primary goal of this day is to improve awareness about the disease among healthcare providers and workers, government officials, general public and all those under the grip of this disease.
The first World Asthma Day, in 1998, was celebrated in more than 35 countries in conjunction with the first World Asthma Meeting held in Barcelona, Spain.
Participation has increased with each World Asthma Day held since then, and the day has become one of the world’s most important asthma awareness and education events.
Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases in the world. The conservative estimates are that about 300 million people are suffering from the condition worldwide. In India, there are 40 million who have the disease and the numbers are rising everyday.
In recent decade there has been a global increase in the burden of the disease among both children and adults, one of the heavy price that we have to pay for the modern urbanization and increase in atmospheric pollution. By 2025 there are likely to be 400 million asthma sufferers worldwide.
The more worrying aspect of the disease is that it accounts for about one in every 250 deaths worldwide and 90% of these deaths are preventable. Most deaths are due to delay in seeking help and sub-optimal long-term treatment strategies due to the lack of education and awareness about the disease.
An asthma attack with cough, difficulty in breathing, wheezing, gasping for breath, chest squeezing, leads to lung infection and tiredness. The problems of asthma is not only because of the direct complications of the disease, but includes socio- economic factors and it is not surprising that asthma is a leading medical cause of absenteeism of children from school and adults from work.
The attack can be seasonal, when even a breath of fresh air can turn dangerous, when the pollen count is high in the atmosphere.The News