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World Asthma Day 2020: Current Theme, History and Key Facts

World Asthma Day 2020: It is observed every year on the first Tuesday of May. This year it falls on 5 May. The day spread awareness about asthma disease and care around the world. Let us have a look in detail about World Asthma Day, its history, significance, what is asthma, its symptoms, prevention, control measures, etc.
May 5, 2020 07:45 IST
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World Asthma Day
World Asthma Day

World Asthma Day 2020: The event is annually organised by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) to increase awareness about the chronic respiratory disease asthma, its precautions, prevention and care around the world. Nowadays, this disease is prevalent in children also.

Due to COVID-19 pandemic, this year the global campaign that was planned to be launched at the World Asthma Day is postponed. Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease due to which a patient is not able to breathe properly. 

World Asthma Day 2020: Theme

The theme of World Asthma Day 2020 is "Enough Asthma Deaths". 

The theme of World Asthma Day 2019 was "STOP for Asthma”. Here the theme represents symptom evaluation, test response, observe, assess and proceed to adjust treatment. The Global Initiative of Health (GINA) organise checkup camps across the world to diagnose and treat asthma. Even National Institutes of Health (NIH) also organise medical camps, provide free checkups and medicines for the patients suffering from Asthma.

World Asthma Day: History

In 1998, first World Asthma Day was celebrated in more than 35 countries in conjunction with the first World Asthma Meeting in Barcelona, Spain. As participation increases and the day has become the world's most important asthma awareness and education events. It aims to educate people on how best to get control over this respiratory problem and other allergic diseases.

What is Asthma?

Asthma is a long-term chronic lung disorder which affects the lungs and the way that we breathe. It is a non-communicable disease. It is caused due to the inflammation in the airways, causes chest tightness, coughing, breathlessness and can range in severity from mild to life-threatening.

Nowadays, it is the most common chronic condition in children. In this disease, the airways become narrower and are filled with mucus which further blocks the airflow. If asthma is not controlled in time, it could leave a person breathless.

It can be caused due to allergic reactions from dust, smoke, fumes, pollen grains, grass, chemical irritants in the workplace, air pollution etc.

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Do you know that if a person is suffering from Asthma, the inside walls of the airways which is known as bronchial tubes become swollen or inflamed? Due to which they become extremely sensitive to irritations and increase their susceptibility to an allergic reaction.

When a person is suffering from an allergic reaction, the airways get swollen, the muscles around it become tighten and make it difficult for air to move in and out of the lungs. There are several types of Asthma disease and various factors are responsible for the cause of the disease.

Symptoms of Asthma

As we know that currently there is no cure for Asthma disease but symptoms can be controlled via treatment. It is better to take prevention and control measures like make to learn people about asthma, its signs and symptoms, avoid tobacco smoking, air pollution, cold and flu etc. From person to person its signs and symptoms may vary. Some symptoms of Asthma are:

- Wheezing

- Breathlessness

- Coughing

- Chest tightness or pain

- Shortness of breath due to which person not able to breathe properly.

Is Asthma a curable disease?

Asthma can't be cured, but if managed properly with the right treatment at the right time it can be controlled to prevent patients from having asthma attacks or reduce the number of asthmatic patients.

Special inhaler or daily medicine can be taken for the treatment of Asthma disease.

Also, the patient should avoid going to the smoky area. He or she should know why and how asthma possibility increases.

Asthma patients use inhalers so that they can breathe properly with the help of medicine. This medicine reaches their lungs quickly and starts to make them feel better.

How is World Asthma Day celebrated?

As, on 1st Tuesday of May World Asthma Day is celebrated annually, so May month is considered as Asthma Awareness Month.

To encourage the people to take care of their asthma “National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP)” is organised.

- Those who are suffering from Asthma are encouraged to write the Asthma Action Plan (AAP) like what medication and facility they want to take care of asthma disease.

- NAEPP’s biggest step is APP taken to bring together the clinicians, patients and others who take care of the asthmatic patients to work together jointly in order to seize control over asthma.

But this year, due to COVID-19 pandemic, events are not organised on World Asthma Day but it is necessary to follow good handwashing hygiene, proper social distancing and patients of asthma should continue asthma medications as prescribed by the doctor.

Some activities that are performed:

- To start with the best treatment Asthma free check-up camps are organised.

- In the required areas new asthma clinics and pharmacies are opened.

- In several countries, Asthma Societies celebrates World Asthma Day on the national level.

- Through TV channel and news channels, various awareness messages are distributed like “fighting asthma with every breath”.

- Several schools provide classes to spread awareness about Asthma disease, its symptoms, precautions and preventions.

- For the awareness of public Asthma posters, banners are distributed in many areas.

We have seen that Asthma is a chronic lung disorder and if we take proper precaution it can be controlled. To spread awareness among people this year on 5 May World Asthma Day is celebrated worldwide.

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