The Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) collaborates with health care groups and asthma educators world-wide to raise awareness about asthma, and celebrates World Asthma Day on the first Tuesday of May every year. The aim is to improve asthma awareness and care throughout the world, involving health care professionals, educators and members of the public who would be interested in volunteering such services.
The theme for World Asthma Day 2014 is "You Can Control Your Asthma", with a subtheme, "It's Time To Control Your Asthma". The activity organizers are further encouraged to complete the sentence, "It's time to...", as found relevant to their activity programmes and target audience.
AdvertisementThe first World Asthma Day was conducted in 1998 in more than 35 countries, with the World Asthma Meeting centered in Barcelona, Spain. Ever since, this awareness day has seen increasing number of participating countries, and has become one of the most important asthma awareness and education events in the world.
The objective of the World Asthma Day celebrations is to create awareness of the disease, taking care of the sufferers, educating about preventive measures and management of the condition. The educators and researchers contribute towards this day by updating on the recent research and development in medical facilities and medicinal help for the disease.
The GINA presents various pocket books listing guidelines for preventing asthma in general, diagrams with step-by-step instructions on using inhalers and spacers, preventing sudden asthma attacks in patients and managing an asthma attack before it proves to be very serious or fatal.
There are various activities that can be organized on the World Asthma Day.
Various activities for the educators recommended are:
• A public open day asthma screening camp can be held.
• Organize programs on radio or television to educate the public about the meaning and strategies of asthma control.
• Host a panel discussion group for parents with children having asthma and how they manage sudden asthma attacks or prevent them.
Awareness among Children:
• Schools can hold child-oriented activities and encourage children to express their ideas in the form of holding drawing competitions, debates, poetry, etc.
• Creative games can be organized to educate children about asthma control and prevention.
• Invite physicians to school to hold quiz about asthma and recommendations for asthma control.
The general public can contribute to the World Asthma Day in many ways.
• Publicize World Asthma Day with posters and ribbons.
• Carry out survey about the number of people suffering from asthma, the measures they take to control the attacks and rates of hospitalization for asthma.
• Invite celebrities and important people to spread the message and support the cause.
• Increase awareness to create smoke-free and allergen-free establishments.
• Organize a road show with creative games like holding breath competition, etc and spread the message of having a pollution-free environment.
• Organize day trips or hikes to a clean air environment for asthma patients, preferably accompanied by a qualified physician.
For Asthma Patients:
• Educate the importance of Inhaler and Spacer, and how, when and why these devices should be used.
• Teach the use of the devices at times of emergency.
• Advise to avoid pollution and allergen-environment.
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