Saturday, April 28, 2012

World Asthma Day 2012

World Asthma Day 2012, organized and sponsored by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), will be held on May 1, 2012 as a partnership between health care groups and asthma educators to raise awareness about asthma and improve asthma care throughout the world.

The theme of World Asthma Day 2012 will be “You Can Control Your Asthma.” This year’s event continues the focus on this positive theme established over the past several years, and is consistent with the emphasis on asthma control set out in the latest versions of the GINA documents.

The event will also bring continued efforts around the Asthma Control Challenge, a global campaign GINA launched on World Asthma Day 2010 to encourage governments, health departments, and health care professionals to improve asthma control and reduce asthma hospitalization 50% in 5 years. Researchers and public health workers around the world are encouraged to enter their information in the online data collection system to help track their
progress towards this goal:

Asthma control is the goal of treatment and can be achieved in the vast majority of asthma patients with proper management. A person’s asthma is under control when he or she has:
• No (or minimal) asthma symptoms.
• No waking at night due to asthma.
• No (or minimal) need to use “reliever” medication.
• The ability to do normal physical activity and exercise.
• Normal (or near-normal) lung function test results (PEF and FEV1).
• No (or very infrequent) asthma attacks.

A strategy for achieving and maintaining asthma control is set out in the GINA Global Strategy for Asthma Management and Prevention. The strategy requires four interrelated components of

• Develop patient/doctor partnership.
• Identify and reduce exposure to risk factors.
• Assess, treat, and monitor asthma.
• Manage asthma exacerbations.

Under this strategy, asthma is treated in a stepwise manner to achieve and maintain control of the disease. Medication is increased—“stepped up”—when asthma is not controlled, and gradually stepped down once good control is achieved and maintained for a period of time. 

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