June 27, 2012

2012 April 3 – Peak lung health bodies unite in the fight against lung disease

The Lung Health Alliance was launched on Saturday, 31 March 2012 by Australia’s peak respiratory health organisations to address the impact of lung diseases which affect one in four Australians.

The Lung Health Alliance was formed to advocate on behalf of patients and families affected by poor lung health and support public awareness campaigns highlighting the risks and prevalence of conditions including lung cancer, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis, interstitial lung diseases and lung infections, including tuberculosis.

Partners forming the Lung Health Alliance are:

  • The Australian Lung Foundation;
  • The Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ);
  • Asthma Australia;
  • Australian Respiratory Council;
  • Cystic Fibrosis Australia; and
  • The National Asthma Council Australia.

The Lung Health Alliance was launched on Saturday 31 March at the opening of the TSANZ Annual Scientific Meeting at the National Convention Centre in Canberra.

The Australian Lung Foundation’s CEO William Darbishire said he was thrilled that the peak respiratory bodies will now speak with one voice on key respiratory health issues. “We are delighted that this long term strategy has now come to fruition,” said Mr Darbishire.

Speaking at the TSANZ meeting in Canberra on Saturday 31 March, TSANZ President, Professor Paul Reynolds said: “One of our shared objectives is to collaborate on public awareness campaigns, and advocate to governments and health bureaucracies on initiatives to reduce the risks and improve the management of respiratory illness in the community.

“If we are looking at risk management, for example, lung cancer is the most lethal cancer in society. However, in regard to incidence and mortality rate, proportionally much less gets spent on research for lung cancer than other prominent cancers.”

“Another important clinical problem is under-diagnosis of COPD, especially in the elderly, where shortness of breath can be incorrectly attributed to the effects of ageing alone.

“Up to half a million Australians are affected by COPD, a progressive and disabling disorder of the lungs. It is the fourth biggest killer of Australians after heart disease, stroke and cancer.

“For thousands of people, respiratory illness remains undiagnosed as an invisible burden on the community.”

Professor Reynolds said the Lung Health Alliance would work on a range of issues of common interest to its partners, including promoting infection control measures during the flu season, anti-smoking campaigns and antibiotic resistance.

“This is only the beginning for the Lung Health Alliance, which anticipates growing and strengthening its scope in years to come,” he added.

ENDS

For media enquiries, please contact Bridget Dixon on (07) 3251 3644 or

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