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India’s Doctors Top the Educate COPDer List

India is the first country I know of to begin a doctor sponsored Asthma-COPD Club (AC Club) for patients…Whoopee!

Maybe the U.S. is next…maybe Kitsap County doctors will consider beginning a club to educate COPDers as the
Department of Chest Medicine at Karamsad-based Shree Krishna Hospitla in Anand, does.
Diagnosing, running tests and handing the patient prescriptions and appointment card for their next visit is not good enough. Patients leave the doctor’s office, in many cases knowing little about the disease/s and how best to live with it and what they can do to best help themselves…such as ride the recumbent trike safely for exercise and fun.
Recently I called our own Harrison Medical Center to ask what they had planned for COPD Day. The operator asked what COPD is. A little over a week later, I visited my son in Harrison, Bremerton and was helped by an energetic, friendly and helpful person. I showed her my “Rearing For Health” over a funny looking rearing horse and “What Is COPD” below the horse tee-shirt.
That wonderful, helpful, Emma Reeves asked, “What is COPD?”
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is the 4th leading cause of death in the U.S., 5th in the world. Diabetes is 5th leading cause of death.

“Doctors who have initiated the club say that World Health Organization estimates suggest that 210 million people suffer from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) worldwide and that, at present, more than 90 per cent of COPD deaths occur in developing countries. The club already has 350 patients enrolled and will provide free consultation and pulmonary function test (PFT) to patients while spreading awareness so that other organizations turn Smoke Free.”

“It is estimated that COPD will become the third leading cause of death by 2030. In a country like ours, effective prevention and regular treatment is the key to check progression of COPD, which can otherwise result in significant burden to our society in terms of healthcare expenses,” professor Dr Rajiv Paliwal told TOI on Saturday, adding that asthma and COPD are two diseases due to which patients suffer from breathlessness.

“While asthma is a genetically determined, COPD is not a familiar disease. Earlier, it was believed that COPD occurs only to smokers but even non-smokers are increasingly being affected by the disease due to high air pollution. Females in rural areas catch COPD because of the use of chullas’,” said Paliwal, adding that the club will help pulmonary rehabilitation of patients.

Usually, patients suffering from such kind of breathlessness become socially isolated, which in turn depresses them. “This results in a vicious circle as their breathlessness increases due to depression,” said professor Dr Satish Patel.

“Patients who join the club are not only given free consulting and education, but they are also given nutritional advice, physiotherapy treatment and counselling,” says Patel, adding that so far there is no national programme from the side of government on COPD. “GOI is thinking of taking up a public awareness drive but it will take few more years before it starts one,” he added. “
Thanks for the heads-up, Linda.

More later… Sharon O’Hara

5 thoughts on “India’s Doctors Top the Educate COPDer List

  1. COPD affects an estimated 24 million Americans. I’m sure the statistics of how many people are affected by COPD in India are equally depressing. Anything we can do to help people with COPD, be it educating people about treatment options or starting these AC Clubs, is definitely a step in the right direction.

  2. Very pleased to know the formation of AC Club.In fact the public should differentiate the two,as the courase of the diseases are different.I am already made several physician education lectures on the subject at several centres.Jointly with Pulmonology Club,Trichur we have planned to form similar club at Trichur,India and may be, make efforts to pass on the message to other places.At the meeting, affected people will be asked to make comments on the benefits of inhalers already prescribed.

  3. Good, COPD!
    I’m glad you agree about the invaluable AC Clubs in India.
    Where do we begin to start one? There can be no doubt of the need…should we go door to door and ask already busy physicians to add the AC Club to their list? I volunteer…who will join in?

    Prof Dr V P Gopinathan is already many strides ahead of us. If “affected people will be asked to make comments on the benefits of inhalers already prescribed”… allow me to volunteer comments on the three inhalers I currently use.

    1. Foradil – 2 x day. It was the single inhaler to noticeably open my airway within 30 minutes or so.

    2. Spiriva – 1 x day. I took it in the evening and it enabled me to work out first thing every morning.

    3. Qvar. 2 x day. Steroid inhaler.

    None of the inhalers seem to make a noticeable difference as they once did. For me, Foradil and Spiriva worked magic for years and made a noticeable difference in my quality of life.
    Thank you,
    Sharon O’Hara

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