World Asthma Day is organised every year on the first Tuesday of May to raise awareness about respiratory disease and bring together researchers, medical professionals, pharmacologists and healthcare groups to try to discuss ways to mitigate it collectively. Asthma makes breathing difficult due to the buildup of mucous that constricts the airways. During the bout of an asthma trigger, the bronchial tube linings swell, which reduces the constant exchange of air with the lungs. It leads to insomnia, weariness and lethargy.
Symptoms may vary depending on the person, but extreme coughing, inability to breath, chest pain are the most common symptoms. Asthma attacks can occur at any time of the day and it's most severe after strenuous physical activity or at night. As per the World Health Organisation (WHO), over 300 million people globally are affected by asthma. There’s no permanent cure for asthma but it can be controlled and managed if precautions and medications are taken. The World Asthma Day date this year is set for May 3, 2022.
The first World Asthma Day was observed in 1998. It started as an endeavour by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), a medical guidelines organisation set up in 1993. More than 35 countries participated in the maiden World Asthma Day that was held on the sidelines of the World Asthma Meeting in Barcelona, Spain. Since then, World Asthma Day has been held every year on the first Tuesday of May, and participation has grown manifold in these two decades. It is the primary event to raise awareness about asthma and take a collective, collaborative approach against it.
According to the Global Asthma Report 2018, more than 1000 people succumb to asthma daily. The numbers are frightening and call for massive awareness, affordable and quality healthcare and a concerted global approach. Over 300 million people are afflicted with asthma every year, and what's worse is that it is not at all diagnosed in most cases and thus leads to untimely death. Early diagnosis and timely treatment, for which awareness is crucial, can save lives. The numbers are increasing each year and unless there's global cooperation and widespread awareness, the disease will continue to spread rampantly. This is where the need for World Asthma Day arises.
As per the WHO, the theme for World Asthma Day 2022 is ‘Closing Gaps in Asthma Care’. This year’s theme aims to highlight the gaps existing in asthma care that need urgent intervention in order to reduce the prolonged suffering of patients as well as cut down on costs of treatments. The WHO and GINA plan to implement these changes with recommendations to hospitals around the globe based on scientific evidence. However, there are some challenges in properly implementing and conveying the messages to all parts of the globe, especially more remote regions.
Various health agencies and prominent hospitals around the world organise events and functions to increase awareness about asthma amongst the general public. For instance, the European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients Associations (EFA) created a ‘Know your air for health’ website in order to draw attention to rising pollution levels and how they are negatively affecting asthma patients. Similar steps are taken/events are organised by local authorities to help the cause of asthma patients. You can check with your local hospitals and NGOs to see which events are being planned for World Asthma Day.
Here are some useful steps and actions you can take to do your part for World Asthma Day 2022:
Groups and organisations can invite health professionals for a discussion on the ways to detect symptoms and seek treatment.
Any outdoor excursion can be conducted along with a few asthma patients and medical professionals. It will provide useful information on how anyone suffering from asthma can control it outdoors if a sudden attack occurs. Schools, colleges, universities and other educational institutions can conduct interactive awareness drives.
Everyone can take a few minutes out of their daily routines and trend #WorldAsthmaDay and #WAD on social media platforms during World Asthma Day 2022.
If you have the funds to spare, you could donate money, medical equipment, etc. to non-profit organisations that are working relentlessly for treating asthma patients.
World Asthma Day creates public awareness about asthma with various themes each year. Active civil participation, broad-scale collaboration and a cooperative approach are essential in the fight against this disease. A dedicated annual Asthma Day helps achieve all of these objectives and remind people about the common precautions, symptoms and available medications. In order to protect yourself and your family against respiratory tract diseases, it is important to avoid air pollution. Further, while you take the necessary precautions, uncertainties are bound to happen. Here’s why you need a good health insurance plan to avail the best of medical facilities. If you plan to buy a health insurance plan with comprehensive coverage, Bajaj MARKETS is just the right platform for you.
Asthma tends to be hereditary, so there's a likelihood of a child developing it if someone in the family already has it. Dust particles, pollen, air pollution, smoke can exacerbate asthma symptoms.
It's not at all clear whether air purifiers have any effect on reducing the intensity and duration of asthma attacks. However, it can be tried if the air is too polluted.
There's no complete cure for asthma yet, but there have been cases where disease vanishes after years of regular medication. However, it may recur again in the patient.
Asthma can begin at any age, however, over 50% of patients report their first symptoms before the age of 10. There are also many cases of children below the age of 6 getting asthmatic attacks.
Every year, World Asthma Day falls on the first Tuesday in the month of May.