Asthma remains a serious global health problem that affects people of all ages. Many asthma management guidelines, both national and international, are available, but they are seldom implemented. The implementation of guidelines remains a challenge worldwide, as barriers exist at several levels. These barriers are generic, such as poverty, inadequate resources and poor infrastructure, or specific, such as organisational, health care provider and patient factors. The barriers are, however, potentially correctable, and the goal of guideline implementation is to translate evidence-based asthma management recommendations into real-life practice to improve patient health. This state of the art article reviews the challenges and current status of and strategies for asthma dissemination and implementation globally, and highlights the specific strategies for such improvement in developing countries.