World Lung Day (WLD), 25 September, is a day for lung health advocacy and action, an opportunity for us all to unite and promote better lung health globally.
Respiratory diseases impose an immense worldwide health burden. The facts are shocking:
- 65 million people suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and 3 million die from it each year, making it the third leading cause of death worldwide.
- 10 million people develop tuberculosis and 1.6 million die from it each year, making it the most common lethal infectious disease.
- 1.76 million people die from lung cancer each year, making it the most deadly cancer.
- 334 million people suffer from asthma, making it the most common chronic disease of childhood. It affects 14 percent of children globally − and rising.
- Pneumonia kills millions of people each year making it a leading cause of death in the very young and very old.
- 91 percent of the world’s population live in places where air quality exceeds WHO guideline limits.
2019 World Lung Day Theme
This year’s WLD theme is ‘healthy lungs for all’, calling for Universal Health Coverage (UHC), where all people receive the health services they need without suffering financial hardship.
Universal coverage is particularly important to persons with respiratory disease. For example, a break in the supply of medicine for patient with tuberculosis could cause the development of drug resistance, which carries serious consequences. The abrupt unavailability of asthma medicine could cause severe suffering and even death. Lack of health care provider availability usually means delay in diagnosis, which could be fatal for lung cancer patients.
The global spotlight on UHC represents an opportunity for substantial progress in the fight against lung disease around the world.
On WLD we are asking the lung health community to raise awareness of the burden of respiratory disease, whilst advocating for UHC.
WLD messaging includes ‘Leave no one behind. On #WorldLungDay call for HEALTHY LUNGS FOR ALL.’