1. What is the Global Asthma Network?
The Global Asthma Network emerged from the success of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies (ISAAC) programme which began in March 1991, whereby pre-existing multinational collaborative projects from Auckland, New Zealand and Bochum, Germany, each investigating variations in childhood asthma at the population level joined to form ISAAC.
The Global Asthma Network (http://www.globalasthmanetwork.org) was established in 2012 to identify and address the problem of asthma which is an important Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) globally. The Global Asthma Network evolved from ISAAC and the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union), two organisations dedicated to helping countries identify and address this important NCD for more than two decades, and from the Global Asthma Report 2011. The 2011 report was timed to coincide with the United Nations High-Level Meeting on NCDs, which took place in New York on 19–20 September 2011. Subsequently the Global Asthma Network published the Global Asthma Report 2014. It was launched at the 45th Union World Conference on Lung Health, Barcelona, Spain, 28 October to 1 November 2014. The Global Asthma Network Steering Group is named in section 21 of this manual.
1.2 Purpose of the Global Asthma Network
The Global Asthma Network aims to progress from these reports and engage government’s health ministers, policy-makers, health workers, people living with asthma, development partners, donors and media in efforts to improve asthma care globally. Core activities of the Global Asthma Network are: global surveillance; promotion and backing of standard case management of asthma; operational research; capacity building; engagement with policy-makers; and access to affordable quality-assured medicines. Contact details, for the Global Asthma Network Steering Group, can be found in section 21.
1.3 Global Asthma Network goals
1.3.1 Global surveillance
Conduct asthma surveillance around the world and produce and disseminate surveillance data to achieve global recognition of the burden of asthma, especially the burden in low- and middle-income countries.
Promote effective, efficient, appropriate, affordable and accessible asthma management and care to reduce the rates of death, disability and suffering caused by asthma.
Research, develop and share evidence, success stories and practical tools that enable countries to improve and expand asthma management and prevention activities, organise the care of asthma patients to cover their whole populations.
Stimulate capacity-building in surveillance, health education and asthma standard case management and research in asthma, especially in low- and middle-income countries.
1.3.5 Access to affordable quality-assured essential medicines
Ensure quality-assured essential asthma medicines are available and affordable in all countries - promotes a quality improvement package for the diagnosis, treatment and management of asthma.
1.3.6 Communication and advocacy on asthma and chronic airflow limitation
Raise the profile of asthma and chronic airflow limitation on national multilateral and global agendas and empower other organisations to do the same.
1.4 Global Asthma Network vision
A world where no-one suffers from asthma.
1.5 Global Asthma Network mission
To prevent asthma and improve asthma care globally, with a focus on low and middle income countries. The network will achieve this through enhanced surveillance, research, capacity building, and access to effective asthma care including quality assured essential medicines.
1.6 Global Asthma Network targets
A. Decrease severe asthma by 50% by 2025 by reducing the following by 50%
- proportion of symptomatic people with asthma not on inhaled corticosteroids
- time off work/school because of asthma
- unplanned visits for asthma
- hospital admissions for asthma
- severity of asthma
- mortality from asthma
B. Increase the access to quality-assured essential asthma medicines by 2018 by undertaking the following:
- on the WHO prequalification list by 2014
- on National Essential Medicines lists by 2015
- be available in all countries by 2018
- be affordable in all countries by 2018