World Lung Day 2020
25 September is World Lung Day.
What an appropriate time to be marking this day, in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
In the context of COVID, the theme for World Lung Day in 2020 is Respiratory Infections.
COVID-19 has impacted all our lives and changed the world in so many ways. In many African countries, the epidemic continues, with direct and indirect effects on health and poverty. And other respiratory infections, especially tuberculosis and pneumonia, continue to cause much suffering, illness and death. Pneumonia remains the major single cause of death in African children despite being preventable and treatable. There are almost 2.5 million new TB cases each year in Africa, causing much illness and long term impairment of health.
On World Lung Day, the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (www.firsnet.org), of which PATS is a member, calls for stronger advocacy for respiratory health globally and more research to prevent, detect and treat respiratory infections. Download the World Lung Day statement here.
There is no more urgent time for universal access to effective management and preventive interventions against respiratory infections. COVID-19 has highlighted the challenges and deficits in health systems to treat and prevent respiratory infections, with basic access to oxygen, antibiotics or comprehensive immunisation unavailable in several areas. As the prospects of a COVID vaccine emerge, it is critical that African populations have equitable and affordable access to this too.
On World Lung Day, let us work together to strengthen lung health globally and in Africa, through advocacy and action.