World Lung Day (WLD) observed each year on 25 September. It is a day for lung health advocacy and action, an opportunity for us all to unite and promote better lung health globally. It was initiated by the Forum of the International Respiratory Society (FIRS) for lung health advocacy and action. The WLD is focused to improve and promote better lung health globally.
Respiratory diseases impose an immense worldwide health burden. Globally, 4 million people die prematurely from chronic respiratory diseases which include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, acute lower respiratory tract infections, tuberculosis, and lung cancer.
World Lung Day 2022: Lung Health For All
The COVID pandemic has highlighted stark inequalities in lung health, so our theme this year is Lung Health for All. We will look at what can be done to close those gaps, focussing on:
- The global burden of the major respiratory diseases and the impact of COVID, with a focus on lower and middle income countries
- The importance of early detection and screening
- Reducing inequalities in screening, diagnosis and treatment of chronic lung conditions.
Respiratory illnesses affect people in all countries, but disproportionally in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) where resources for research, prevention, and management are scarce. To address such inequity, we must look beyond medical care to the social and environmental determinants of health such as tobacco use, air pollution, climate change and poverty.
Five respiratory diseases are the commonest causes of illness and death worldwide – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, acute respiratory tract infection or pneumonia, tuberculosis (TB) and lung cancer.
On World Lung Day, the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) Calls for Action to Tackle Global Inequity in Respiratory Health.
The FIRS Global Impact of Respiratory Disease report shows the immense burden of these lung diseases:
- An estimated 200 million people have COPD , of which about 3.2 million die each year, making it the third-leading cause of death worldwide.
- Asthma is one of the commonest non-communicable diseases globally affecting 262 million people.1
- With more than 2.2 million new cases of lung cancer in 2020 and 1.80 million deaths, globally, lung cancer is responsible for 1 in 4 cancer deaths.
- Lower respiratory tract infection or pneumonia is a leading cause of mortality, accounting for more than 2.4 million deaths every year, particularly among those in LMICs. COVID-19 has dramatically increased deaths from pneumonia globally.
- In children under 5 years of age, pneumonia is the leading single cause of death outside the neonatal period.
- TB is a major burden with the World Health Organization’s annual global report finding that TB deaths have risen for the first time in more than a decade due to the COVID pandemic.2
Source of info: WHO, Press release APSR