Friday, March 21, 2014

Healthy Lungs for Life campaign 2014: continuing success of the Year of the Lung 2010

Hundreds of millions of people suffer every day from lung diseases, and they cause almost 20% of all deaths in the world. Increased awareness about lung diseases is vital, because they are killing more and more people every year and account for a socioeconomic burden of €102 billion due to health care costs and lost working days in Europe alone. The ‘Big Five' lung disorders are lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pneumonia, tuberculosis (TB) and asthma. The impact of lung diseases remains as large today as it was at the turn of the century and is likely to remain so for several decades. Each year in the EU, one in eight of all deaths are due to respiratory diseases and lung conditions cause at least 6 million hospital admissions.

In 2010 was started very ambitious initiative YEAR OF THE LUNG. YEAR OF THE LUNG was the most important and the most successful campaign which emphasized the importance of public awareness about respiratory diseases. Speaking at the European Launch, Prof Nikos Siafakas, ERS President 2010, said that the most respiratory diseases are both preventable and treatable, treatment however is very costly, and effective prevention policies in the EU and worldwide are severely lacking”.

The "Healthy Lungs for Life" initiative will be launched in 2014. The concept behind this initiative is to develop a long-term health awareness campaign that will speak not only to those already affected by lung disease, in order to improve their quality of life, but also to those who may be affected in the future. The objective is to focus on prevention and public education, to try and reduce the
burden of lung disease on society, and to use the ERS congress as the driving force behind the campaign.

This year, in 2014, the theme for Healthy Lungs for Life will be Clean Air. The air that we breathe each day has a massive impact on our lungs, the first internal organ it comes in contact with.

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