Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) launched five-year campaign on World Asthma Day


May 4 is World Asthma Day. Dozens of events are planned worldwide in schools, hospitals, small village squares, and bustling city shopping malls, all with the positive theme “You Can Control Your Asthma.”

Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases in the world, affecting more than 300 million people worldwide.  It is characterised by recurrent breathing problems and symptoms such as breathlessness, wheezing, chest tightness, and coughing. Asthma cannot be cured, but with proper treatment most patients can achieve good control of their disease.

“A major contributor to the burden of asthma is hospital stays that result from severe asthma attacks,” said Tari Haahtela, managing director of Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA)  Executive Committee who has conducted research on how countries and health care systems can reduce the burden of asthma.

“However, most of these hospitalisations are preventable with better asthma control.”

Asthma control means no, or very minimal symptoms and very infrequent asthma attacks. A person whose asthma is under control can go to work or school, exercise and participate fully in life.

For this reason, on World Asthma Day 2010 GINA launched a global campaign to reduce asthma hospitalisations by 50% over the next five years. The goal is to improve asthma control for the largest possible group of patients, so that serious attacks are unlikely to occur and hospitalisations become unnecessary.

World Asthma Day is an annual event, held the first Tuesday in May annually.

Challenges Vol3Issue2, 2010 (Challenges Magazine is a journalism skills training project for persons with disabilities started in 2007)