Invisible COPD. No one talks about it and yet 1 in 10 adults in Europe are affected by this disease. Launch of the Call for Action in the European Parliament
On the 21 March 2012, a European Call for Action is launched in the European Parliament to tackle the 5th biggest cause of death in the world. Health professionals, patients and policy makers gather in Brussels to officially launch the European COPD Coalition and its Call to Action during a meeting hosted and organised by MEP Glenis Willmott.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) remains largely unknown, while it affects up to 10% of Europeans. Raising awareness on this long-term and irreversible disease affecting lung and airways is one of the objectives of the European COPD Coalition that was officially launched today.
“COPD is more than a smokers’ cough, it is a life-threatening disease and a vast burden on society and fragile economies, accounting for 10.3 billion Euros in healthcare spending a year in Europe” stated Catherine Hartmann, Secretary General of the European COPD Coalition. “Every hour COPD is estimated to kill over 250 people worldwide, and yet, this does not make the news and is ignored by policy makers”, regretted Hartmann.
The European COPD Coalition launched a Call to Action today to seek political impetus to put in place the right framework addressing all aspects of COPD: disease prevention, care and treatment, research and, education and training of professionals. It also aims to raise awareness on this largely preventable condition. “The European Union works on chronic diseases, funds research and innovation projects and aims to promote healthy ageing: it is really hard to grow old healthily when breathing is difficult. The Call to Action aims to ensure that COPD is integrated into the regulatory framework at EU and national levels.” further explained Hartmann.
In the coming month, the European COPD Coalition will strengthen its Call to Action by collecting signatures of support and with specific round tables dedicated to each strand of measures, in order to make pragmatic proposals to the EU and national decision makers. This will ensure that all specialists and experts are involved into designing SMART actions in disease prevention, care and treatment, research and, education and training of professionals.
Photos taken at the event.