What is World Asthma Day?

Since World Asthma Day’s inception in 1998, in conjunction with the inaugural World Asthma Meeting in Barcelona, Spain, World Asthma Day has evolved into a globally recognized event, celebrated in over 35 countries. Over the years, it has become an important day for promoting asthma awareness and education worldwide.

Held annually on the first Tuesday of May, World Asthma Day is coordinated by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), who select a unique theme each year, organize the preparation and distribution of World Asthma Day materials and resources, and oversee the maintenance of the World Asthma Day Internet Headquarters, offering downloadable materials and updates on global asthma activities.

Look ahead to upcoming World Asthma Days:

  • Tuesday, May 7, 2024
  • Tuesday, May 6, 2025
  • Tuesday, May 5, 2026
  • Tuesday, May 4, 2027
  • Tuesday, May 2, 2028

Join us in observing this important day, promoting asthma awareness, and advocating for education and support worldwide.

World Asthma Day 2024: Uncontrolled Asthma in Canada

Did you know that over 2 million people with asthma in Canada are living with uncontrolled asthma?

Living with uncontrolled asthma can result in unnecessary reductions in quality of life, avoidable illness and in some cases, sadly even death.

For World Asthma Day 2024, we here at Asthma Canada are calling on all those living with asthma to access their asthma control by answering five questions:

  1. Do you frequently experience coughing and wheezing?
  2. Does asthma disrupt your sleep, either by keeping you up at night or waking you?
  3. Do you find it difficult to breathe during physical activity?
  4. Are you frequently absent from work or school due to asthma?
  5. Are you relying on your inhaler more than twice a week?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, it could indicate that your asthma is uncontrolled.

For those who suspect they’re dealing with uncontrolled asthma the first thing you should do is download a free Asthma Action Plan and use it to have a conversation with your healthcare professional about your asthma management.

By achieving control over your asthma, your quality of life can radically improve, allowing you to get back to all the things you love in life.

Questions about Asthma?

We’re committed to supporting everyone affected by asthma. If you ever have questions or concerns about managing your asthma, reach out to our free Asthma and Allergy HelpLine at 1-866-787-4050. Our team of asthma experts is dedicated to assisting you with any worries/concerns you may have.

World Asthma Day 2024 Global Theme

World Asthma Day (WAD) on May 7, 2024, is coordinated by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), a collaborative organization established by the World Health Organization in 1993. 

For World Asthma Day 2024, GINA has chosen the theme “Asthma Education Empowers.” This highlights the significance of providing individuals with asthma the knowledge to effectively manage their condition and recognize when medical assistance is necessary. Healthcare professionals are urged to heighten their awareness of the ongoing preventable morbidity and mortality associated with asthma, as well as the evidence-based strategies for its optimal management, ensuring they can deliver informed guidance and treatment to their patients.

Crucial asthma education is needed to address common issues like misdiagnosis, underuse of anti-inflammatory inhalers, and reliance on short-acting medications, particularly in low-middle-income countries where access to essential inhalers is limited, contributing to the majority of asthma-related deaths.

Policy makers and the pharmaceutical industry must prioritize raising awareness of these preventable asthma-related deaths and ensure equitable access to environmentally friendly inhalers worldwide.

Explore further at:

World Asthma Day 2023

On May 2, 2023, World Asthma Day provided an important opportunity for Asthma Canada to urge policymakers and health system leaders to prioritize access to high-quality respiratory care for the 3.8 million Canadians living with asthma. Asthma Canada highlighted the challenges Canadians face in accessing timely respiratory care, which not only affects symptom control but also strains the healthcare system.

Asthma Canada was a participant in an expert steering committee that developed the first Canadian stakeholder consensus for diagnosis, appropriate referral, and treatment of severe asthma. More than 150 certified respiratory educators, respirologists, allergists, general practitioners/family physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and respiratory therapists from across the country participated in the study, to lay out a path for high-quality respiratory care for Canadians.

Recommendations from the study include addressing referral gaps, enhancing pharmacist and allied healthcare roles, and leveraging certified respiratory educators to bridge care disparities. Asthma Canada’s call to action urges policymakers to prioritize asthma care and implement the study’s recommendations to ensure all Canadians receive timely, high-quality care.

Read our call to policymakers here:


Education & Advocacy Day 2022: Queen’s Park

Asthma Canada hosted our Queen’s Park Day in November 2022 for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic. The objective was to reconnect with Ontario’s Members of Provincial Parliament and put Asthma Canada’s priorities back on their radar.  

The virtual information session on November 17, 2022 focused on high-level messaging, myth busting and increasing general awareness around asthma management and the needs of Canadians that live with asthma.  

We also coordinated a series of targeted meetings to dig into priorities in more detail and raise awareness among key decision makers at Queen’s Park, including the Hon. Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. A key measure of success was the interest received from Ontario’s Deputy Premier and Minister of Health on establishing a SABA overreliance check program in pharmacy. The Minister committed to look into the priorities raised by Asthma Canada including implementation of Ontario’s Asthma Quality Standards with accountability, optimal care pathways including timely access to specialist care, expanding the role of Certified Respiratory Educators, and access to biologics. 

View our presented materials:

World Asthma Day 2019: Advocacy in Queen’s Park


On May 7, 2019, Asthma Canada hosted a breakfast reception at the Ontario Legislative Assembly at Queen’s Park in recognition of World Asthma Day. MPP Christine Hogarth sponsored the event.

We hosted a number of MPPs and policy makers and had the opportunity to raise awareness among elected officials from all parties about the impact of asthma on our patient population, our health system, and our economy. Our community members shared first-hand experiences of living with asthma and caring for people with asthma and Severe Asthma.

On World Asthma Day at Queen’s Park, Asthma Canada launched our Severe Asthma Patient Charter in Canada containing six principles that define the basic standard of care and best practices for treating this disease. The Charter was developed in collaboration with the Global Asthma and Allergy Patient Platform.

Asthma Canada staff and volunteers were pleased to be introduced in the House during question period, and happy to witness MPP Will Bouma direct a friendly question at Minister of Health Christine Elliott regarding asthma in recognition of World Asthma Day.

This initiative helped us identify a number of champions, many of whom either live with asthma or have loved ones who do, who we can work with to shape policies for the asthma community in Ontario and ensure that the healthcare system transformation assumes a patient-centric approach.

Asthma Canada continues to work with policy makers at all levels and advocates on behalf of people affected by asthma and Severe Asthma.

View our presented materials:






View photos from the day below.

World Asthma Day 2017: Advocacy on Parliament Hill


On May 2nd 2017, Asthma Canada volunteers and staff were in Ottawa meeting with federal officials in recognition of World Asthma Day. Our group met with numerous Members of Parliament and policy makers, including the Chair of the Health Committee, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources, and the Vice-Chair for the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development.

Our advocacy day on Parliament Hill was a great success as we met with new champions and were able to move forward key policy issues impacting the asthma community. As the only national voice solely dedicated to Canadians living with asthma, we are committed to advancing concerns identified by our community.

Our Hill Day focused on two priority areas:

  1. Sustainable clean air energy mix
  2. Comprehensive drug coverage that addresses gaps in the healthcare system

MP Rob Oliphant of Don Valley West also made an announcement in the House of Commons in recognition of World Asthma Day.


View our presented materials: