World Lung Day 2023 | How to overcome the obstacles to healthy lungs

Imagine a world where each breath is a source of vitality and strength, where our lungs silently conduct the orchestra of life. Unlike other parts of our body, our lungs have a reserve capacity that helps us in difficult times, like when we are stressed or sick. This extra lung capacity is important, but it shrinks as we age or if we have long-term lung problems.

burden of diseases in india

According to global burden of diseases report, India contributes 15.69 percent of all chronic respiratory lung disease cases and 30.28 percent of all deaths globally. The report further reveals that the number of respiratory lung disease cases in India, especially chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma, stands at 55.23 million and 35 million respectively, with the national mortality rate accounting for 69 per cent of all deaths.

However, India echoes the global trend in increase in cases of respiratory lung disease, according to a survey by the medical journal lungs indiaThe most important risk factor is tobacco use. Conversely, other factors such as air pollution, biomass fuel exposure, workplace hazards, and genetic and autoimmune conditions further add to the rising numbers.

need for partnership

Despite the huge burden of chronic respiratory lung diseases in India, where lives, productivity and health are deteriorating at an alarming rate, the serious issue remains hidden behind a veil of low awareness. To address this concern, in 2017, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, in collaboration with the World Health Organization Country Office, established guidelines for the prevention and control of common non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in India.

The government established Ayushman Bharat, a flagship program for universal health coverage of all Indians through the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, designed to ‘leave no one behind’. The program adopts a continuum of care approach to promote screening, prevention and management of NCDs by creating 1,50,000 health and wellness centers to provide free essential medicines and diagnostic services to the public.

While the government is taking the program forward, the steady rise of the disease has strained the public health system thus creating an urgent need for capacity building and partnership with health care companies to provide holistic support to address the burning issue. It is happening.

Framework for Healthy Lungs

While the challenging landscape continues to test public health, we can chart a path towards healthy lungs – an actionable framework that includes four fundamental pillars: prevention, early detection, treatment adherence and disease awareness.

Although active prevention involves reducing exposure to risk factors, advocating vaccination and promoting healthy lifestyle choices are essential for prevention. Regular testing can help identify conditions early when they are treatable and can make a difference.

Early detection through patient support programs such as Healthy Lungs, Inspire Clinics and Spirometry Camps promotes patient medication adherence, while leveraging technology to improve therapy adherence impacts clinical outcomes. This may lead to an increase in the quality of life of the affected people. Disease awareness enables individuals to make, prevent, diagnose and follow-up informed decisions about their condition, health and life.

Patient Empowerment and Care

As awareness of respiratory health increases, the demand for personalized patient care is increasing. This optimized treatment has been made possible by significant advances in genomic research, enabling tailored treatments and more effective management of lung diseases.

Concurrently, innovations in inhalation therapy such as breath-activated nebulizers and OPEP (oscillating positive expiratory pressure) devices have taken center stage, providing a ray of hope for individuals with respiratory lung conditions. These technologically driven tools advance patient care, focusing on monitoring the condition and adherence to therapy for better outcomes.

Many healthcare organizations are also leveraging technology to provide support through patient-centered programs that raise awareness of lung health and diseases and educate patients about treatment plans and proper use of devices. Are.

One such digital program is Joint Airway Initiative (JAI), India’s first digital asthma teacher that provides comprehensive inhalation techniques to guide asthma patients and enable effective condition management. JAI becomes a companion in every patient’s journey to ensure strict adherence to treatment and technique. Such programs and initiatives empower patients to manage their conditions more effectively.

As we celebrate World Lung Day, let’s prioritize lung health through a collective effort that combines cutting-edge innovations, advanced treatments and digital therapeutics to prevent and treat respiratory diseases for all. With a future that promises a significant decline in the burden of disease in India and the quest for healthy lungs, let us resolve to leave no one behind. Whether through support organizations, making healthy lifestyle choices, or simply spreading awareness, each of us can play a role in this important journey toward healthy lungs and a brighter future.

, The author, Rajeev Sibal, is President, India Region Formulations, Lupine Limited. The views expressed are personal.

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