World Asthma Foundation: Seeking Solutions

Chances Are You know Someone with Asthma

Tinka Davi, executive director

It’s a condition that varies from person to person and it’s a serious health problem. People who have the disease and their families want information on care and treatment, triggers and medications.

That’s why the World Asthma Foundation was launched.

Our purpose is to compile information about asthma, to educate and inform patients and the public and to help asthma sufferers live with the disease. We also aim to advocate for better treatment options from the medical field and to campaign for and support research.

We believe we need to seek viable solutions to the problem. Why? Why should the focus be on this disease? Why should people care?

Asthma affects millions. In the U.S. alone nearly 40 million people have been diagnosed with asthma, according to National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that some 235 million people suffer from asthma world-wide.

Asthma was once considered a minor ailment, but the prevalence of the disease has progressively increased in the U.S. over the past 15 years and affects 13.3 percent of adults and 13.8 percent of children. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

The mortality rate for asthma also has increased. Each day 11 Americans die from asthma and each year there are more than 4,000 deaths due to asthma. Asthma is also a contributing factor for nearly 7,000 other deaths annually.

Asthma is one of the major non-communicable diseases, a chronic disease of the air passages of the lungs which inflames and narrows them.

Asthma may start out as mild and controllable with medications, but often it becomes progressively worse, developing into severe asthma. And those with severe asthma often have just 35 percent of lung function. They can’t breathe, they wheeze and cough, they can’t go outside, they can’t tolerate the aromas of common cleansers, medications frequently cause serious side effects and many asthmatics wind up in hospital emergency rooms.

Asthma is under-diagnosed and under-treated, according to WHO. It also creates a substantial burden to individuals and families and often restricts individuals’ activities for a lifetime.

Medical professionals don’t know what causes asthma and they don’t know how to cure it.

We need solutions. Whether it’s from better medication, increased research, even legislation and monetary support for asthma sufferers, we need to focus on this prime medical problem.

We plan to keep patients, their families and the public informed through our website, We at the WAF want patients with the disease to breathe well and live well.

Tinka Davi, executive director

Asthma defined
Asthma is a major non-communicable disease characterized by recurrent attacks of breathlessness and wheezing, which vary in severity and frequency from person to person.

Symptoms may occur several times a day or week and may become worse during physical activity or at night. During an asthma attack, the lining of the bronchial tubes swell, which causes the airways to narrow and reduce the flow of air into and out of the lungs. Recurrent asthma symptoms can cause sleeplessness, daytime fatigue, reduced activity levels and absenteeism from school and work.

Since 1980 asthma death rates overall have increased more than 50 percent among all genders, age groups and ethnic groups and the death rate for children under 19 years old has increased by nearly 80 percent. More females die of asthma than males, and women account for nearly 65 percent of asthma deaths overall.

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