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‘STOP’ for Asthma – World Asthma Day

‘STOP’ for Asthma – World Asthma Day

Written by Dr. Lakshmi Venkataraman, MD
Medically Reviewed by 
The Medindia Medical Review Team on May 6, 2019 at 4:51 PM
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  • World Asthma Awareness day is observed on the first Tuesday of May annually across the world.
  • World Asthma Day aims to educate the general public and create awareness about asthma and to support persons with asthma and their families cope better with the condition
  • Asthma is a chronic disease of the airways, which cannot be cured but symptoms can be controlled with medications

World Asthma Awareness day is observed every year on the first Tuesday of May across the globe to educate the general public and create awareness about asthma and to support asthma patients and their families to cope better with the condition.

History & Aims of World Asthma Day

World Asthma Day was initiated in 1998 during the first World Asthma Meeting (WAM) in Barcelona, Spain. More than 35 countries across the world participated. Over the last few decades, the event has grown in size and has come to be regarded as the world's foremost event dedicated to raising asthma awareness.

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‘STOP’ for Asthma – World Asthma Day

Similar to other awareness events, a theme is created to focus during the entire year to raise awareness asthma awareness and to support persons with the condition. This year (2019) the chosen theme is 'STOP for Asthma' to physicians and health care personnel involved in treating patients with asthma as given below:
  • S -Symptom evaluation
  • T -Test response
  • O-Observe and assess
  • P - Proceed to adjust treatment

Aims of Global Initiative for Asthma & World Asthma Day

  • Work with health officials and health workers globally to decrease the mortality and morbidity associated with asthma
  • Make better and effective treatments accessible to all asthma patients in every part of the world
  • Supporting asthma research

How We Can Raise Awareness & Help Asthma Patients

  • Download posters and information from the official website and share widely with family and friends through social media such as Facebook and Twitter
  • Make a personal contribution or raise funds through events such as marathon or walkathons and donate to the campaign
  • Organize a gala or fun event and raise money for the campaign
  • Clinics and hospitals can display prominent posters about asthma and available treatments and can offer free check-ups to encourage people to seek treatment
  • Print and visual media must carry informative and educational articles and programs with a strong visual component to reach the masses
  • Distribute leaflets on asthma to educate the general public visiting prominent locations in the neighborhood such as parks, malls and libraries
  • Involve local administration in the event to ensure that affordable treatments are made available to everyone irrespective of socioeconomic status
  • Encourage participants, family and friends to show solidarity for the campaign by following a car-free day and to quit smoking

Asthma Facts & Figures

  • Globally, 1 in 13 persons has asthma
  • It is a chronic condition and has no cure but symptoms can be effectively treated
  • The five nations with the highest occurrence of asthma include Australia(21.5%), Sweden (20.2%), UK (18.2%), Netherlands (15.3%), and Brazil (13.0%) 
  • An attack of asthma can be triggered in persons with an allergy to various things including dust, grass or weed pollen, cockroaches, cobwebs or animal dander. Other risk factors include chemical irritants in the air, such as smoke, vehicle exhaust, industrial fumes, exposure to strong smells such as perfumes
  • In the US alone, about 11 persons die each day fro asthma
  • Asthma is seen more commonly in children than adults
  • It is also one of the top reasons for children missing school
  • Most patients can lead full productive lives with proper precautions & treatment
  • Adults are four times more likely to die of asthma compared to children

Living with Asthma and Preventing Attacks

  • Take your medications regularly as prescribed by your doctor
  • Remember to carry your medications during travel
  • Always keep an inhaler at hand for emergencies
  • Avoid known triggers such as dust or pollen or even certain foods
  • Quit smoking as it can further damage the lungs
  • If you are allergic to animal fur, restrict the entry of pets to your room or avoid keeping pets
  • Keep your house dust free by regular cleaning and wiping of dust particles on surfaces, change or clean air filters regularly, keep bedding clean and dust free and avoid smoking indoors
  • Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight as obesity increases the risk of asthma
  • If you suffer from exercise-induced asthma, take proper precautions before strenuous activities in consultation with your doctor
References :
  1. World Asthma Day - (https://ginasthma.org/wad/)
  2. Asthma Facts and Figures - (https://www.aafa.org/asthma-facts/)

Source: Medindia

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