World Asthma Day 2nd May 2017
World Asthma Day was started in 1998 by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) – an organisation that 'works with healthcare professionals and public health officials around the world to reduce asthma prevalence, morbidity, and mortality.'
Asthma is a chronic disease of air passages to and from the lungs that can make breathing difficult. This hypersensitivity creates a temporary narrowing of the passages that carry oxygen to the lungs, resulting in a tightening of the chest, wheezing, or coughing.
GINA's annual event is held on the first Tuesday of May each year, with over 35 countries taking part. Its aim is to raise awareness about the causes and dangers of asthma, as well as discussing and implementing ways to improve asthma care worldwide.
It's an important initiative, given that the most recent UK statistics gathered by Asthma UK show that:
Occupational asthma forms part of these numbers and is caused by dust and fumes in the workplace. As such, the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations, 'require employers to prevent or control exposures to hazardous substances to protect employees' health'.
So, when carrying out tasks that are likely to create dust, or when work is being carried out in an environment where fumes are prevalent, always ensure that the correct protective gear is being used and / or worn.
And remember you can get involved.
World Asthma Day activities vary from country to country, and town to town. But ideas include, free asthma screening, hospital open days, targeted health professional meetings, media campaigns, school learning and fundraising activities, group discussions, etc.
RVT Group wholeheartedly supports this important initiative and encourages others to do the same. Find out what's going on in your local area, or create your own community activity to raise awareness and minimise the impact of this disease.