On World Lung Day, FIRS calls for global investment in respiratory health
Newswise – Today the World Lung Day (WLD), members of Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) and WLD partner organizations, such as the American Thoracic Society, call for respiratory health to be a top priority in global decision-making beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Global Respiratory Disease Impact Report, launched today, despite the availability of cost-effective health interventions, respiratory disease remains a leading cause of death and disability. Almost 200 million people, or 4% of the world’s population, suffer from COPD and 3.2 million die from it each year, making it the third leading cause of death in the world.
In the context of current globalization Covid-19 pandemic it is easy to overlook the lethality and debilitating effects of persistent respiratory disease. For example, even in a “normal” year, asthma affects more than 350 million people and is the most common chronic childhood disease in the world. Pneumonia kills more than 2.4 million people each year and is a leading cause of death in children under five and adults over 65. More than 10 million people develop tuberculosis and 1.4 million die from it each year, making it the most common fatal infectious disease. next to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The current COVID-19 pandemic has claimed the lives of more than 4.5 million people, largely from respiratory causes.
Lung cancer kills 1.8 million people each year. In addition, there is a need to tackle air pollution, with at least 2.4 billion people exposed to indoor air pollution and 90 percent of all people breathing outdoor air that exceeds limits. WHO guidelines, especially in low- and middle-income countries. More than 1.3 billion people are exposed to tobacco smoke.
“There is an urgent need to put acute and chronic respiratory diseases on the priority action list at all levels and change the future of respiratory and general health around the world,” said Mark Cohen, FIRS President, 2021 -2022.
“Interventions to prevent and treat respiratory disease are among the most cost-effective available – a ‘best buy’ according to the WHO. A real investment in respiratory health will pay exponential dividends in terms of longevity, healthy living days and national savings. “
FIRS calls for these essential actions to reduce the burden of respiratory disease and improve global health:
- Raise awareness among the public and policy makers that respiratory health is vital to global health and that childhood respiratory illnesses have long-term negative consequences for adult health.
- Reduce, and then eliminate, the use of all tobacco and tobacco products.
- Adopt and adhere to WHO standards, as a minimum, to reduce ambient, indoor and work air pollution for all countries.
- Implement universal access to quality health care, including the availability of affordable, quality-assured essential medicines, oxygen and universal coverage for all effective immunizations for children and adults, including immunizations against COVID.
- Improve the prevention and early diagnosis of respiratory diseases.
- Increase the education and training of healthcare professionals in respiratory diseases around the world.
- Standardize respiratory disease surveillance and reporting to enable the development of better informed national strategies through the programs of WHO and governmental and non-governmental organizations.
- Increase funding for respiratory research in order to develop programs, tools and strategies to better prevent and treat respiratory diseases.
Significant progress on these issues will help eliminate respiratory disease from the top 10 causes of death worldwide.
Share via Twitter: Partners @atscommunity and @FIRS_LungsFirst call for global investment in #respiratory health on #WorldLungDay https://bit.ly/3CI6udB
Media Contact: Fiona Salter, [email protected]
About World Lung Day World Lung Day is an annual lung health awareness day, which takes place on September 25 each year. To date, nearly 200 organizations and many more support the WLD through lung health advocacy and action. This year, with respiratory health in the spotlight, it’s a great opportunity to raise awareness about the burden of respiratory disease. To learn more about World Lung Day and download the fact sheet, graphics go to World Lung Day Toolkit.
About the American Thoracic Society Founded in 1905, the American Thoracic Society is the world’s leading medical association dedicated to the advancement of lung medicine, critical care, and sleep. The Society’s more than 16,000 members prevent and fight respiratory disease worldwide through research, education, patient care and advocacy. The ATS publishes four journals, the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology, the Annals of the American Thoracic Society and ATS scholar.
The Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) is an organization made up of the world’s leading international respiratory societies working together to improve lung health globally: American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST), American Thoracic Society (ATS), Asian Pacific Society of Respirology (APSR), Asociación Latino Americana De Tórax (ALAT), European Respiratory Society (ERS), International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (The Union), Pan African Thoracic Society (PATS), Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) and Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD). The goal of FIRS is to unify and strengthen efforts to improve lung health through the combined work of its more than 70,000 members around the world.