The Babies Have Cause to say, ‘Thanks!’June 15th, 2009 by Sharon O'Hara
The long awaited FIRST INTERNATIONAL COPD/Patient CONFERENCE in Rome, Italy is over, but the results and benefits of the conference are bound to reach generations yet to be born.
Hosted by the Italian Ministry of Health, more than 100 delegates from around the world – the Who’s Who folks of the medical lung world and leading patient advocates were there in force to join the fourth GARD (Global Alliance against Chronic Respiratory Diseases) annual General Meeting. Disease never stops at borders and for those who wonder, GARD officially began in Beijing, the Peoples Republic of China, March 2006.
“…a world where all PEOPLE can breathe FREELY.”
In part, last week-end’s meeting was an attempt to fit the GARD Action Plan for 2008 – 2013 into the same timeframe of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) plan to prevent and control noncommunicable diseases worldwide.
“Leading respiratory expert, Jean Bousquet, Professor of Pulmonary Medicine at the University of Montpellier and Chairman of WHO GARD: “The burden of allergy, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in Europe and the rest of world is such that the cost of inaction is unacceptable and the WHO has recognized the enormous human suffering from chronic respiratory diseases, and are therefore making CRD one of its priorities between 2008-13.”
On a local note, no agency I know about, not Harrison Medical Center, nor our Kitsap County Health Department offers early detection Spirometry tests to the public. For a disease taking about twenty years to develop symptoms enough to take to the doctor, not to offer the test is unacceptable.
Left unchecked, by the slow twenty-year mark, most folks have already lost about fifty percent of their lungs. The cost of health care for respiratory patients is enormous over time and much, if not most such costs might be avoided with early detection.
The results of the fast Spirometry test will show if full Pulmonary Function Testing is needed.
I enjoy the TV COPD ads, but they give a false picture – no COPDer I know is out dancing, though early detection would allow such a thing.
Patients must take charge of their own health – speak up, ask the doctor about a Spirometry test if you have the slightest breathing concern.
A tip for smokers: Smoking indoor, in a confined area, forces your lungs to continue to inhale the toxins you just inhaled. Smoke if you must, but be smart about it.
If your spouse smokes inside, either move or divorce the spouse. He/she is helping destroy your lungs and life as well as their own.
Global Alliance against Chronic Respiratory Diseases (GARD)
Department of Chronic Diseases and Health Promotion
World Health Organization
20, Avenue Appia
CH-1211 Geneva 27
Tel: +41 22 791 3960/2578
Fax: +41 22 791 4769
Tags: allergy, asthma, Beijing, China, COPD, disease, GARD, International World COPD Patient Meeting, Italy, Jean Bousquet, Peoples Republic of China, Pulmonary Medicine, Rome, Spirometry, University of Montpellier, WHO