February 1st 2019 marks the second ever World Aspergillosis Day. This year the theme is ‘Diagnosis and Awareness’, and there are several activities and campaigns
planned for the day, organised by patients, advocacy groups and research organisations alike!
World Aspergillosis Day was born out of a need to raise awareness about all forms of aspergillosis. The day was first proposed by a group of patients at the National Aspergillosis Centre (Manchester, UK) and the target audiences reflect the very urgent need for increased awareness throughout the world. Advocacy group Global Action Fund for Fungal Infections (GAFFI) give us a lot of information about fungal disease frequency, shortcomings in diagnosis and treatment throughout the world:
- Clinicians need better awareness to be able to ‘think fungus‘ when repeated attempts to treat infections fail. Serious fungal infections are underdiagnosed worldwide.
- People with one of the multiple forms of aspergillosis need much better support and information as aspergillosis is a rare infection that isolates people.
- People who live with and care for people with aspergillosis often need to better understand what the patient is going through and that they themselves need understanding & support
- Last, but certainly not least, those who fund our health services need to be more aware and to better provide diagnostics and treatments worldwide.
This year’s theme for World Aspergillosis day has been chosen in response to the need for the development of more accurate, rapid and cheap methods of diagnosis. Aspergillosis can become a very severe disease, so the sooner a diagnosis is established, the sooner treatment can commence and the better the outcome. For more information on diagnostics and the global burden of aspergillosis, visit the World Aspergillosis Day website
How can I get involved?
This video demonstrates ways in which you can get involved in campaigning for World Aspergillosis Day:
The Aspergillosis Trust have also been busy organising a poster to be displayed on the back of 15 buses in the Hyde Park/South Kensington/Fulham/Richmond Park area of London. The poster will be up until February 1st itself, and features 2 of their patrons; Dr Emily Grossman and Alan Titchmarsh: