Today is World Asthma Day! This year’s theme is “Closing Gaps in Asthma Care”, and focuses on promoting equity amongst those suffering from and receiving treatment for their asthma. Here at WholeLife, we care deeply about you and your community’s health and wellbeing, so we believe it’s important to shed some light on what World Asthma Day is all about.
What is Asthma?
Over 2.5 million (about 1 in 9) Australians have asthma (National Asthma Council). Asthma is a chronic medical condition that affects the airways (the breathing tubes that carry air into our lungs). People suffering from asthma have sensitive airways which become inflamed when exposed to triggers, such as cold and flu, dust mites, smoke, exercise and pollen (Asthma Australia). This inflammation causes significant, persistent and troublesome symptoms, primarily difficulties in breathing.
What is World Asthma Day, and why do we recognise it?
World Asthma Day is organised by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), a WHO collaborative organisation founded in 1993. The day is held each May to raise awareness of asthma worldwide. Although asthma cannot be cured, it is very possible to manage asthma to reduce and prevent asthma attacks, so it is important that people are informed of correct techniques and practices when dealing with their own, or someone else’s, asthma.
What does this year’s theme mean?
This year’s theme, “Closing Gaps in Asthma Care”, emphasises the lack of equity in asthma care distribution and access. Current gaps in asthma care occur within:
- Access to diagnosis and treatment
- Care for different socioeconomic, ethnic and age groups
- Care for wealthy and poorer communities and countries
- Communication and education for those with asthma, health care providers and those caring for asthmatics
- Prioritisation between asthma and other long term conditions
- Inhaler training
(Global Initiative for Asthma)
The challenge this year is for international respiratory communities to work together with colleagues, patients and health care providers to identify and close the gaps within asthma care and to help implement and share innovative solutions locally and globally.
What can I do?
Visit the Global Initiative for Asthma website for suggested local activities to host for this World Asthma Day!
Also, as approximately 90% of Australians using an inhaler do not use it effectively (National Asthma Council), our team of professional staff have been trained to give advice in proper inhaler technique, helping you gain better control of your asthma, which may result in less absenteeism from school or work, fewer hospital visits and less asthma attacks.
So, this World Asthma Day, take control of your own respiratory health, but also keep in mind those inequities at present within care distribution and access for asthma sufferers.
Drop into your local WholeLife Pharmacy & Healthfoods to see what we can do for you.
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Image Credit Via// @asthmaaustralia