Announcing Ambassadors for Asthma Control

By May 5, 2015Press Releases

Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) launches program to recognize leaders in asthma awareness on World Asthma Day

May 5, 2015

The Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) today is launching a new program to recognize individuals who are helping to improve asthma awareness,  diagnosis, and care in countries around the world.

The GINA Ambassador program will highlight individuals who are involved in taking care of asthma patients in the clinic, improving public policy around asthma care, implementing GINA management strategies in their local community, developing asthma education materials, building multidisciplinary asthma care teams, and organizing World Asthma Day activities.

World Asthma Day is an annual awareness – raising event held today, the first Tuesday in May, and organized by GINA. The GINA Ambassador program is being  launched on World Asthma Day because it reflects the event’s positive theme, “You Can Control Your Asthma.”

“GINA’s development of an evidence – based asthma management strategy is only one step in improving asthma care around the world,” says Dr. Mark FitzGerald, Professor at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada and Chair of the GINA Board of Directors. “Clinicians and health care workers involved in asthma management form a crucial network to ensure the GINA strategy is widely disseminated and implemented. We wanted to recognize their efforts with the GINA Ambassador program.”

The first GINA Ambassador is Dr. Chen Yu Zhi, a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital of the Capital Institute of Pediatrics in Beijing, China. “Dr. Chen has been a leader in promoting good asthma care in China since 1987, when she helped to introduce inhaled asthma therapy to the country. She and her team have organized World Asthma Day activities since 1998,” says Dr. Claude Lenfant, Executive Director of GINA. “I have visited Dr. Chen on many occasions and have witnessed her longstanding efforts to improve asthma care and her close work with young patients to set them up for a lifetime of asthma control. It is for this work that we have named Dr. Chen as the first GINA Ambassador.”

Going forward, the GINA Board of Directors will name a new GINA Ambassador each month from countries around the world. Information about Dr. Chen’s work, and that of other GINA Ambassadors named in the future, will be posted on the GINA Website at http://www.ginasthma.org/GINA-Ambassador-Program.

Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases in the world, affecting more than 300 million people worldwide 1. It is characterized by recurrent difficulties with breathing, with symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness, and coughing. Asthma symptoms vary over time, and also from individual to individual.

Although asthma cannot be cured, it can be treated and controlled. Good asthma control means no, or very minimal, symptoms, and a low risk of asthma attacks or other negative outcomes. A person whose asthma is under good control can go to work or school, exercise, and participate fully in life.

GINA was launched in 1993 to work with healthcare professionals and public health officials around the world to reduce the burden of asthma. Asthma control is the focus of the GINA Global Strategy for Asthma Management and Prevention, a comprehensive and practical resource about how to diagnose, assess, and manage asthma. This and other GINA documents are available at www.ginasthma.org.

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1
Global Burden of Asthma Report, 2004. Available from: http://www.ginasthma.org