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To coincide with World COPD Day on Wednesday November 18, COPD Support Ireland launched their “Save Your Breath” awareness campaign.

COPD Support Ireland set out 5 key pledges it is urging political parties to sign up to ahead of the next General Election in Ireland, expected in early 2016. The publication of the COPD Manifesto for Government set out the following demands:

  1. COPD spirometry screening: to be made publicly available to high-risk groups—people who are over 35 years and have symptoms of persistent breathlessness, coughing with phlegm and chest infections, are current or former smokers, or who have a family history of lung conditions
  2. Pulmonary rehabilitation exercise programmes: to be made available in all acute hospitals, due to the clear patient benefits evidenced
  3. COPD outreach programmes: to be offered by all acute hospitals, ensuring patients are treated at home where appropriate
  4. Medical cards: greater access needs to be provided for people with COPD in recognition of the significant health cost burden incurred
  5. National freefone helpline: to be established for people with COPD to access information and advice from trained health professionals

The awareness campaign also included a nationwide COPD health check-in tour offering free screening. An estimated 380,000 people are thought to have COPD, with numbers alarmingly on the rise. The health check-in tour visited key locations nationwide during the week November 16 to 20.

People worried that they may be at risk were urged to avail of a free COPD spirometry breathing test. People previously diagnosed with COPD were encouraged too to come along to take advantage of inhaler reviews, breathing technique support, and general health and well-being advice. Guidance on nutrition was also provided, including a free nutrition information booklet, as good nutritional care helps to improve outcomes for people with COPD.

The dedicated campaign website www.saveyourbreath.ie included event details for the tour, lots of information on the campaign itself, and patients could download a handy COPD pocket guide or take the online COPD interactive health screener.

You can find more information on the campaign and the stories at the website www.saveyourbreath.ie

Tags: Category: Member news
Country: Ireland
Disease area: COPD
Theme: - Inequalities, - Reimbursement, Tobacco and smoking