World Asthma Day 2013, organized and sponsored by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), will be held on May 7, 2013 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 2013 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 will also introduce a sub-theme, "It's Time to Control Asthma." Activity organizers around the world are encouraged to complete the sentence, "It's Time to..." as relevant to their event and target audience.
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 therapy:
· 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.
World Asthma Day 2013 activities, many of which will be aimed at identifying and addressing opportunities for improved control of asthma, will be arranged within each country. Examples include:
- Posters, billboards, stickers, newspaper articles and radio advertisements highlighting the messages that You Can Control Your Asthma and It’s Time to Control Asthma, the campaign to reduce asthma hospitalizations, and ways to achieve asthma control.
- World Asthma Day 2013 musical concerts with performances from local people with asthma playing woodwind and brass instruments
- Awards ceremonies for artwork, athletic contests, and stories of achievements realized from good asthma care
- Clinics and health fairs to bring attention to asthma and provide information about reaching and maintaining asthma control.
The first World Asthma Day, in 1998, was celebrated in more than 35 countries in conjunction with the first World Asthma Meeting held in Barcelona, Spain. Participation has increased with each World Asthma Day since then, and the day has become one of the world’s most important asthma awareness and education events.