Chronic respiratory diseases

Asthma: WHO's role and activities

The role of WHO

WHO recognizes that asthma is of major public health importance. The Organization plays a role in coordinating international efforts against the disease. The aim of its strategy is to support Member States in their efforts to reduce the disability and premature death related to asthma.

WHO's programme objectives

  • Surveillance to map the magnitude of asthma, analyse its determinants and monitor trends, with emphasis on poor and disadvantaged populations;
  • Primary prevention to reduce the level of exposure to common risk factors, particularly tobacco smoke, frequent lower respiratory infections during childhood, and air pollution (indoor, outdoor, and occupational exposure); and
  • Identifying cost-effective interventions, upgrading standards and accessibility of care at different levels of the health care system.

WHO activities

Global Alliance against Chronic Respiratory Diseases (GARD) contributes to WHO’s global work to prevent and control chronic respiratory diseases. It is a voluntary alliance of national and international organizations, institutions and agencies from a range of countries working towards a common goal of reducing the global burden of chronic respiratory diseases. GARD focuses on the needs of low- and middle-income countries and vulnerable populations, and fosters initiatives that are tailored to local needs.

More information on asthma

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