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Asthma Awareness Month and World Asthma Day

Asthma is a growing problem around the world, and according to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 300 million people in the world suffer with asthma. According to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI), approximately 25 million Americans have asthma. These statistics are growing each year as asthma reaches epidemic levels worldwide. Asthma affects people of all races, and all income levels. Scientists are looking for answers, and are reaching out to the public to help raise funds for asthma research, while educating people around the world about asthma. May has become the month for asthma education and awareness. It's the perfect season as spring is the time of year when many asthmatics have the most trouble with their asthma.

World Asthma Day
This week will mark an important day for asthma—World Asthma Day (WAD). WAD falls on the first Tuesday of May each year. This year World Asthma Day will be held on May 6, 2014. WAD is sponsored by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), which is a worldwide organization that works with health care professionals and public health officers to help spread awareness about asthma, while also providing guidelines for asthma management. The Global Initiative for Asthma was started in 1993, and they work with the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health in the U.S. GINA also works in conjunction with the World Health Organization.

You can help spread the word in your community by following the World Asthma Day activities guidelines presented on GINA’s website. The Global Initiative for Asthma provides information on fun, creative activities and press releases to set up WAD where you live. Be sure to check out GINA’s website for further information on how you can help to spread awareness of asthma, while also educating asthmatics about their asthma. (GINA's link is at the end of this article).

Asthma Awareness Month
May is also Asthma Awareness Month, and is sponsored by Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA)and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)in the United States. The EPA provides asthma patients and their families with education about asthma triggers, environmental factors (indoor and outdoor asthma triggers), and how to manage asthma. Communities around the U.S. will hold activities to help the EPA spread the news about the growing asthma epidemic. The EPA offers an Asthma Awareness Month Planning Kit to help you organize the event in your area. The kit offers ideas for activities, guidelines for working with the press and more (see the link at the end of this article).

Both World Asthma Day and Asthma Awareness Month are worthy activities to promote in your own area. Be sure to check out the websites for GINA and the EPA to see how you can find ways to help you, your family and friends to spread the news about asthma and help asthma patients to learn more about asthma and how to manage it.

GINA information for Asthma Awareness Day: http://www.ginasthma.org/World-Asthma-Day

Environmental Protection Agency information for Asthma Awareness Month: http://www.epa.gov/asthma/awareness.html

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America information for Asthma Awareness Day and Asthma Awareness Month 2014: http://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=10&sub=99&cont=457

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