World Asthma Day – May 5, 2021

FOR MEDIA WORLDWIDE                                                    Feb 18, 2021

World Asthma Day (WAD) (May 5, 2021) is organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma, (GINA) (www.ginasthma.org), a World Health Organization collaborative organization founded in 1993.  WAD is held each May to raise awareness of Asthma worldwide.

WHO recognizes that asthma is of major public health importance. According to WHO, it was estimated that more than 339 million people had Asthma globally (1) and there were 417,918 deaths due to asthma at the global level in 2016. (3, 4)

Although asthma cannot be cured, it is possible to manage asthma to reduce and prevent asthma attacks, also called episodes or exacerbations.1

This year’s World Asthma Day theme is “Uncovering Asthma Misconceptions”. The theme provides a call to action to address common widely held myths and misconceptions concerning asthma that prevent persons with asthma from enjoying optimal benefit from the major advances in the management of this condition. Common misconceptions surrounding asthma include:

  1. Asthma is a childhood disease; individuals will grow out of it as they age.
  2. Asthma is infectious.
  3. Asthma sufferers should not exercise.
  4. Asthma is only controllable with high dose steroids.

The Truth is:

  1. Asthma can occur at any age (in children, adolescents, adults and elderly)
  2. Asthma is not infectious. However, viral respiratory infections (such as common cold and the flu) can cause asthma attacks. Or In children, asthma is frequently associated with allergy, but asthma which starts in adulthood is less often allergic.
  3. When asthma is well controlled, asthma subjects are able to exercise and even perform top sport.
  4. Asthma is most often controllable with low dose inhaled steroids

GINA would like to address these myths and misconceptions by inviting our you to submit a short video that addresses and corrects a misconception of asthma commonly held in your country or region.  Videos should be no longer than 15 seconds in duration. For more details on their format please contact us for an example and a draft outline. Email your ideas and videos to : k.rurey@ginasthma.org (the deadline for their submission is March 30, 2021).

We are planning to assemble a compilation of addressable myths and misconceptions about asthma from around the world and post them on social media to increase awareness of asthma.

World Asthma Day was first held in 1998, and has grown each year to become one of the most important Asthma events globally. On World Asthma Day, hundreds of awareness-raising activities will take place in countries all over the world. Further information about GINA and World Asthma Day can be found at GINA’s website: www.ginasthma.org. Documents detailing GINA’s global strategy for diagnosis, management, and prevention of asthma are also available at www.ginasthma.org.

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References:

  1. World Health Report. Geneva: World Health Organization. Available from URL: http://www.who.int/respiratory/asthma/en/, 2018.
  2. Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 328 diseases and injuries for 195 countries, 1990–2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016. Lancet 2017; 390: 1211–59.
  3. Network GA. The Global Asthma Report, Auckland, New Zealand. (2018).
  4. Global Health Estimates 2016: Deaths by Cause, Age, Sex, by Country and by Region, 2000-2016. Geneva, World Health Organization; 2018.
  5. Global Health Estimates 2016: Disease burden by Cause, Age, Sex, by Country and by Region, 2000-2016. Geneva, World Health Organization; 2018.