Asthma remains a worldwide health problem
The year 2018 is an important milestone in highlighting the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), especially SDG Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. While it is well understood that non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases (CRDs), are the biggest killers today, countries are struggling to reduce premature mortality from NCDs by one third by the year 2030. The UN High Level Meeting on NCDs in September 2018 will be an important opportunity for Heads of States and Governments, Ministers of Health, Civil Society and the donor community to act on their SDG commitments and to scale up cost-effective interventions to reduce the burden of NCDs, including asthma, globally.
CRDs affect more than 1 billion people worldwide, and asthma is a large contributor, affecting children, adults and the elderly, often throughout their entire lives. Capacity for CRD management, such as spirometry and steroid inhalers, are not generally available in primary health care in public health services.
This Global Asthma Report 2018 highlights all the major issues related to prevention and management of asthma, including access to essential medicines. It is an excellent tool for advocacy purposes in all countries suggesting concrete actions for all stakeholders.
I would like to congratulate the Global Asthma Network for putting this impressive report together and I am looking forward to the Global Asthma Network’s future contributions in data collection, surveillance and educational activities.
For all those working towards implementation of the WHO Global Action Plan on NCDs, this report will be a key companion as a reminder of the pressing issues related to asthma.
I am sure that this report will be widely used in all countries and will ultimately contribute to a reduction in the global burden of asthma.