Call for more efforts to combat chronic respiratory disease

Updated: 2015-12-30 13:27

By Liu Zhihua(

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While China has made progress in improving chronic respiratory disease diagnosis and treatment, more effort is needed, according to medical experts at the first annual meeting of the China Alliance for Respiratory Diseases in Beijing last week.

Chronic respiratory disease is the No 3 death cause in China, and the death rate among the patients in 2012 was 68 per 100,000, according to government statistics. Yet only 35 percent of patients were diagnosed, largely due to lack of quality healthcare.

"To improve chronic respiratory disease healthcare, it is critical to improve medical caregivers' skills, as well as to improve hospital facilities and drug accessibility," says Wang Chen, president of the China-Japan Friendship Hospital, and an academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

It is advisable for seniors to have lung function screening during regular health check-ups, because the impact of lung function degeneration could be as life-threatening and troubling as high blood pressure, and early intervention is important to protect remaining lung function, especially as degeneration is irreversible, according to Wang.

Founded in April this year, the China Alliance for Respiratory Diseases has done much work in training medical professionals, donating medical devices, conducting policy research, and educating the public on chronic respiratory diseases, according to Xu Lihua, director of Project Hope in China, a non-government organization, which aims to provide health education and solutions to people in communities around the world.

Until late November, the alliance had provided training to 4,000 medical caregivers and donated more than 30,000 spray chambers or other devices to more than 6,800 hospitals all over the country. It has also offered disease knowledge education to more than 30 million people, Xu says.

The alliance has also established a project SMiLE to promote lung function screening among seniors, and a project to improve asthma care among children in Shanghai.


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