On World Asthma Day Respiratory Health Associations Call for Asthma Care for All

    The theme for World Asthma Day 2023 (May 2) is “Asthma care for all”.  The Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) is calling on health care leaders and policy makers to ensure access to effective, quality-assured medications, especially in low- and middle-income countries. 

    Asthma is a major noncommunicable disease, affecting both children and adults, and is the most common chronic disease among children. Asthma affected an estimated 262 million people in 2019 and caused 455 000 deaths. 1 

    Airway inflammation drives asthma symptoms, including a cough, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest tightness. The focus of asthma treatment is inflammation in the lungs. 

    Most of the burden of asthma morbidity and mortality occurs in low- and middle-income countries, where the disease is often under-diagnosed and under-treated. Essential inhaled medications, particularly those containing inhaled corticosteroids, are often unavailable or unaffordable, and this explains much of the global burden of preventable asthma morbidity and mortality.   

    It is unacceptable that, despite the availability of highly effective therapies, global inequality in asthma care deprives so many children, adolescents and adults of healthy lives and puts them at increased risk of death. A World Health Assembly Resolution on universal access to affordable and effective asthma care is needed to focus attention and investment on addressing this need. 

    World Asthma Day and GINA 

    World Asthma Day is organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma, (GINA) (a FIRS member) a World Health Organization collaborative organization founded in 1993.  GINA is working to improve the lives of people with asthma in every corner of the globe.  More about GINA’s global strategy for diagnosis, management, and prevention of asthma and World Asthma Day can be found at www.ginasthma.org. 

    About the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) 

    The Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) is an organisation comprised of the world's leading international respiratory societies working together to improve lung health globally: American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST), American Thoracic Society (ATS), Asian Pacific Society of Respirology (APSR), Asociación Latino Americana De Tórax (ALAT), European Respiratory Society (ERS), International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (The Union), Pan African Thoracic Society (PATS), Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), and the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD).  

    The goal of FIRS is to unify and enhance efforts to improve lung health through the combined work of its more than 70,000 members globally. 

    For more information about FIRS please contact Fiona Salter This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

     1 https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/asthma