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World Lung Day 2019: Indian Association of Respiratory Care (IARC) joins global organisations in call for healthy lungs for all

Friday,20 Sep 2019

On World Lung Day (WLD) 2019,(25th Sept) Indian Association of Respiratory Care (IARC) will unite with other WLD partner organisations to advocate for respiratory health globally and call on policymakers to ensure that everyone has access to the services they need to improve their lung health.

Respiratory diseases impose an immense worldwide health burden. The facts are shocking:
· 384 million people suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and 3 million die from it each year, making it the third leading cause of death worldwide.
· 10 million people develop tuberculosis and 1.6 million die from it each year, making it the most common lethal infectious disease.
· 1.76 million people die from lung cancer each year, making it the deadliest cancer.
· 334 million people suffer from asthma, making it the most common chronic disease of childhood. It affects 14 percent of children globally − and is rising.
· Pneumonia kills millions of people each year making it a leading cause of death in the very young and very old.
· 91 percent of the world’s population live in places where poor air quality exceeds WHO guidelines. WLD, on 25th September, comes two days after the UN High-Level Meeting on UniversalHealth Coverage (UHC). UHC calls for all people to receive the health services they need, when they need it, without suffering financial hardship. At least half of the world’s population still do not have full coverage of essential health services.
The global spotlight on UHC represents an opportunity for substantial progress in the fight against lung disease around the world. On WLD this year we are united in our message:
‘Leave no one behind. On World Lung Day, we call for healthy lungs for all.’
“UHC is particularly important to persons with respiratory disease. For example, a break in the supply of medicine for patients with tuberculosis could cause the development of drug resistance, which carries serious consequences. The abrupt unavailability of asthma medicine could cause severe suffering and even death. Lack of health care provider availability usually means delay in diagnosis, which could be fatal for lung cancer patients,” said Dean Schraufnagel, MD, Executive Director of Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS).

On WLD we call for UHC action through:
1. Strengthening health care workers.
2. Prioritising prevention, namely tobacco, as well as air pollution, and vaccinations.
3. Maintaining a continuous supply of essential medicines.
4. Stemming antibiotic resistance
In addition, we call for these essential actions to reduce the burden of respiratory disease and improve global health:

1. Increase awareness among the public and policy makers that respiratory health is a major component of global health.
2. Reduce the use of all tobacco products through universal enforcement of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
3. Adopt and require World Health Organization air quality standards to reduce ambient, indoor, and occupational air pollution for all countries.
4. Promote universal access to quality health care, essential medicines, and immunisations.
5. Improve early diagnosis of respiratory diseases through increasing public awareness of lung health and disease.
6. Increase training of health professionals worldwide in respiratory disease.

7. Standardise the monitoring and management of respiratory diseases with evidence- based national and international strategies.

8. Increase research to prevent and treat respiratory diseases.
“We hope World Lung Day will provide an opportunity for action, conversation, and awareness. A unified voice of all dedicated to respiratory health will be a powerful force,” concludes Dr.Schraufnagel.
To learn more about WLD go to our World Lung Day Toolkit.
About IARC
The Indian Association of Respiratory Care (IARC) is an organization for the young and dynamic Respiratory Therapists in and around India. Respiratory therapy is an allied medical specialty concerned with the evaluation and treatment of patients who have breathing
problems. The fully organized respiratory course was started in India in 1995. The training imparted is similar to that of their counterparts in the USA. Respiratory therapists (RT) are in demand in hospitals and hospital-related organisations to provide direct patient care to those with acute and chronic respiratory problems. The field of respiratory therapy is growing rapidly. Diagnosis and management of adult respiratory disorders needing intensive care, neonatal and paediatric intensive care, pulmonary function testing, pulmonary rehabilitation, teaching and research opportunities are areas that offer opportunities to the respiratory therapist for professional growth and personal satisfaction. The Indian Journal of Respiratory Care (IJRC), the official journal of Indian Association of Respiratory Care (IARC) is a journal, first of its kind, catering to the academic and publishing needs of respiratory therapists and all health care personnel dealing with respiratory care including pulmonologists, intensivists,anaesthesiologists, physicians, physiotherapists and critical care nurses. The journal was launched in January 2012 and is published twice a year, January and July. The journal can be accessed online by visiting http://ijrconline.org
For more information about IARC please contact info@iarc.in or visit www.iarc.in
About the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS)
The Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) is an organisation comprised 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 the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD).

The goal of FIRS is to unify and enhance efforts to improve lung health through the combined work of its more than 70,000 members globally.
For more information about FIRS please contact Lisa Roscoe lisa.roscoe@firsnet.org

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