World Asthma Day (first Tuesday of May), History, Facts, and How to Observe


Learn about the history and significance of World Asthma Day, as well as some interesting facts about asthma. Discover how you can observe this important observance and raise awareness about asthma in your community.

World Asthma Day is an annual event observed on the first Tuesday of May to raise awareness about asthma, a chronic respiratory disease that affects millions of people worldwide. The day is organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) in collaboration with healthcare organizations, patient groups, and individuals. The aim of the day is to improve asthma awareness and care globally and to educate people about the causes, symptoms, and management of the disease. World Asthma Day also provides a platform for asthma patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals to share their experiences and discuss new developments in asthma management and research.

When is World Asthma Day

World Asthma Day is observed on the first Tuesday of May every year. So, the date of World Asthma Day varies from year to year, but it always falls on a Tuesday in May. For example, in 2022, World Asthma Day will be observed on May 3rd, and in 2023, it will be observed on May 2nd.

World Asthma Day (first Tuesday of May)


History of World Asthma Day

World Asthma Day was first held in 1998 and was organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), a collaboration between the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) in the United States. The day was created to raise awareness about asthma and to improve asthma care worldwide.

Since its inception, World Asthma Day has been observed annually on the first Tuesday of May. Each year, GINA chooses a theme for the day, and organizations and individuals around the world organize events and activities to raise awareness about asthma and its management.


World Asthma Day has grown in popularity over the years, with more and more organizations and individuals getting involved in raising awareness about asthma. Today, it is an important event on the global health calendar and plays a crucial role in promoting better understanding and management of asthma.

Asthma Timeline

Here is a brief timeline of important events related to the history of asthma:

  • Ancient Egypt: The Ebers Papyrus, an Egyptian medical text dating back to 1550 BCE, describes respiratory symptoms consistent with asthma.
  • Ancient Greece: Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, writes about a disease called “spasmos,” which is likely asthma.
  • 1873: The term “asthma” is first used by a British physician named Henry Hyde Salter to describe the characteristic symptoms of the disease.
  • 1892: French physiologist Paul Carton discovers that asthma attacks are caused by the constriction of the airways.
  • 1950s: The first effective asthma medications, including corticosteroids and bronchodilators, are developed.
  • 1960s: The first national asthma education programs are launched in the United States and the United Kingdom.
  • 1989: The Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) is founded to raise awareness about asthma and improve its management worldwide.
  • 1993: The first World Asthma Day is observed, organized by GINA.
  • 2002: The World Health Organization (WHO) declares asthma a global public health issue.
  • 2014: GINA updates its asthma treatment guidelines to reflect new research on the disease.
  • 2018: The FDA approves the first biologic medication for severe asthma, which targets a specific type of immune cell involved in the disease.
  • 2020: The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the importance of asthma management, as people with asthma may be at increased risk of severe illness from the virus.

How to Observe World Asthma Day

There are several ways to observe World Asthma Day and raise awareness about this chronic respiratory disease. Here are some ideas:

  1. Share information: Use social media to share facts about asthma, its symptoms, and its management. You can also share personal stories about living with asthma or caring for someone with the disease.
  2. Organize an event: Plan an event in your community to raise awareness about asthma. This could include a health fair, a walk or run fundraiser, or a seminar on asthma management.
  3. Wear blue: Blue is the official color of World Asthma Day. Wear blue clothing or accessories to show your support for asthma awareness.
  4. Donate: Make a donation to an organization that supports asthma research or provides resources and support to people with asthma and their families.
  5. Talk to your healthcare provider: If you have asthma, schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider to discuss your treatment plan and make sure it is up-to-date.
  6. Advocate for better asthma care: Contact your local lawmakers and advocate for policies that improve asthma care and reduce air pollution, which can trigger asthma attacks.

Remember, the goal of World Asthma Day is to raise awareness about asthma and improve its management worldwide. Whatever you do, make sure to spread the word about this important health issue.

Interesting Facts About Asthma

Here are some interesting facts about asthma:

  1. Asthma is one of the most common chronic respiratory diseases, affecting an estimated 235 million people worldwide.
  2. The prevalence of asthma has been increasing over the past few decades, particularly in developed countries.
  3. Asthma is more common in children than adults, and it is the most common chronic disease among children.
  4. Women are more likely than men to have asthma.
  5. Asthma can be triggered by a wide range of factors, including allergens, pollution, exercise, and stress.
  6. Smoking is a major risk factor for asthma, and exposure to secondhand smoke can also increase the risk of developing the disease.
  7. Asthma can be managed with medications, including bronchodilators and corticosteroids, as well as lifestyle changes, such as avoiding triggers and staying physically active.
  8. Severe asthma is a type of asthma that is difficult to control with standard treatments and can be life-threatening.
  9. Asthma attacks can be very frightening and may require emergency medical treatment, including the use of a nebulizer or inhaler.
  10. While asthma cannot be cured, with proper management, most people with asthma can lead active and healthy lives.

Why World Asthma Day is Important

World Asthma Day is an important observance for several reasons:

  1. Raising awareness: World Asthma Day raises awareness about asthma and its impact on individuals and communities worldwide. It provides an opportunity to educate people about the causes, symptoms, and treatment of asthma and to promote better understanding and management of the disease.
  2. Improving asthma care: World Asthma Day is also an opportunity to highlight the need for better asthma care worldwide. By bringing attention to the challenges faced by people with asthma, the observance can help to drive improvements in diagnosis, treatment, and management of the disease.
  3. Addressing disparities: World Asthma Day can also help to address disparities in asthma care. In many parts of the world, people with asthma may not have access to the medications and resources they need to manage their disease effectively. World Asthma Day can help to raise awareness of these issues and to promote more equitable access to asthma care.
  4. Supporting research: World Asthma Day also supports research on asthma and its causes and treatment. By promoting collaboration among researchers, healthcare providers, and patients, the observance can help to advance our understanding of the disease and to develop new and better treatments.

Overall, World Asthma Day is an important opportunity to raise awareness about asthma, promote better understanding and management of the disease, and drive improvements in asthma care worldwide.


Leave A Reply