September 24, 2023
World Lung Day (WLD) is a dedicated global awareness and action towards better lung health observed on September 25th, every year, to celebrate the most recent achievements in lung health. On this day, various local and international organisations joined together to create awareness about the importance of having a healthy lung by creating lung health care campaigns globally, thereby making the world free from lung disease. In addition, this day commemorates the improvements made to prevent severe respiratory diseases. However, numerous things still need to be addressed to achieve healthy lungs and to create a world free from lung disease.
Lungs, the essential organs responsible for exchanging gases in the human body, are increasingly threatened by factors such as smoking, pollution, respiratory infections, etc. Respiratory conditions can affect people in all countries; however, it disproportionally affects low-and middle-income countries (LMICs) where resources are scarce for management, prevention and research. The lung is highly vulnerable to damage and infection from external environmental factors due to constant exposure to chemicals, particles, and infectious organisms in the air. Globally, at least 200 crore people are exposed to toxic smoke of biomass fuel, usually burned in indoor stoves (poorly ventilated) or fireplaces, 100 crore people to polluted outdoor air and 100 crore to tobacco smoke.
Five respiratory diseases are the most typical causes of sickness and death worldwide such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer, acute respiratory tract infection and tuberculosis (TB). The burden of these respiratory conditions is high in low-to-middle-income countries, aggravated by smoking, air pollution and climate change. Worldwide, over 6.5 lakhs people suffer from COPD-the third leading cause of death- and the numbers are increasing, asthma is the most typical long-term disease of childhood, affecting around 14% of kids and its occurrence in children is increasing, tuberculosis is the deadliest infectious disease, with 1.04 crore cases and 14 lakh losses (deaths) annually and lung cancer is the most common deadly neoplasm globally and the numbers are rising.
has ranked among the leading causes of death for decades and is currently the top cause of death in children under five years. Sleep apnea affects more than 1 crore individuals, impacting up to 10% of adults in specific settings, and occupational lung disease affects more than 5 crore people. Moreover, pulmonary hypertension happens in approximately 1% of the global population with a higher prevalence (10%) of those over 65 years of age and pulmonary embolism. It occurs at an incidence of 6-20 per 100,000. However, many people grossly underestimate this figure (this figure needs more recognition).
World Lung Day is an essential medium to emphasise healthy lungs, the pressing need to identify, prevent and treat several lung conditions increase awareness regarding lung illnesses, promote lung health and support improved healthcare access.
This year, 2023, the World Lung Day theme is “Access to prevention and treatment for all. Leave no one behind,” a
call to action, which emphasises the significance of equal access to ensuring the treatment and prevention of lung diseases. Everyone deserves clean air and necessary lung care, regardless of circumstance, to ensure healthy lungs for everyone.
“Lung disease is always present around us, whether from the common cold, air pollution or chronic illness, that
takes your breath away. Our lungs require attention,” says Terry Dean, President and CEO of The National Lung Association.
World Lung Day (WLD) was created during the 2016 FIRS Kyoto Assembly meeting hosted by Michiaki Mishima, FIRS President. The Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) is the association of international respiratory societies collaborating to enhance lung health worldwide. FIRS organisation has around 100,000 members, united and working together for the FIRS mission to promote worldwide lung health through collaboration with other global organisations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Detecting and treating the underlying cause early and practising the following preventive measures can prevent lung diseases:
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