First Tuesday of May is not a usual day – it’s World Asthma Day (WAD). So, why not express yourself if this theme touches your health?
As for me, it seems that we need more information for general public, for patients, for health care specialists and policy makers. It is important to make information available for specialists working in developing countries, as namely there we feel lack of medical knowledge and also absence of the educational programs for asthma patients.
Somebody can disagree but I can bring a simple example of that insufficiency:
I was trying to find a professional video for promotion of World Asthma Day 2011 in internet and the surprising result was that online resources are poor. So I would like to suggest to change this strange situation and to create a common video. It will be our collective work called “First Group World Asthma Day 2011 Video”. You can share the material you think will be useful – visual material, as pictures, photos, schemes, charts, everything related to this Non-communicable disease.
Since early civilization asthma has been recognized and has been well described by physicians over the centuries, with particular understanding of mechanisms. Whereas 30-40 years ago patients suffering from acute asthma attacks were admitted to the emergency department several times a day, today this has been reduced to a couple of patients a year. Treatment with inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) in the first instance, followed by the use of combination therapy with ICS and long-acting b-agonists later on has greatly improved the long-term prognosis of asthma patients. Meanwhile, there are still a number of patients that are not well controlled even with a high-dose combination therapy. Near fatal asthma attacks still occur and asthma mortality, although low, is still present.
I would like to mention The Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) which is truly great initiative and every year produces updates for global asthma guidelines. This year I attended an Italian Congress: 2011 International guidelines on rhinitis, asthma and COPD Global Initiatives ARIA, GINA and GOLD, after that in April 2011 I joined GINA as a member of Assembly for my home country, Republic of Moldova. GINA guidelines is the most credible and sure source for management of asthma patients for respiratory specialists all over the world.
For online promotion of WAD 2011 we created the event of Respiratory Decade on facebook ; also a group on facebook and on twitter were created. There you can follow everyday updated information, pictures, patients and world asthma experts’ opinions, links.
Another useful sort is European Respiratory Society that prepared and published European Respiratory Monograph on Difficult-to-Treat Asthma edited by professors K.F. Chung and S.E. Bel, which includes 22 chapters written by world leaders in Asthma.
World Asthma Day 2011 is a wonderful possibility to show the world that asthma patients need attention. It is obvious that we cannot limit and demonstrate our attention and global interest only while that day. What we need – its everyday Respiratory awareness, which we are trying to promote here. “World Asthma Day Video” may be the first step.
Alexandru CORLATEANU, MD, PhD