Wednesday 15 November, 2017 marked World COPD Day – an opportunity for people that live with and care for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to come together and raise awareness of the condition.
The FRESH AIR team in Kyrgyzstan, led by Professor Talant Sooronbaev, together with the Kyrgyz Thoracic Society, the Kyrgyzstan Primary Care Respiratory Group, the Global Alliance Against Chronic Respiratory Disease in Kyrgyzstan and the Spirometry Network in Kyrgyzstan, carried out a number of different activities for World COPD Day.
Training for primary care on early diagnosis and control of COPD
The Kyrgyz Thoracic Society and Kyrgyzstan Primary Care Respiratory Group organised training sessions for over 100 GPs at several family medicine centres in Bishkek. The aim of the training was to highlight the importance of early diagnosis of COPD using spirometry among primary healthcare professionals.
Free spirometry testing for visitors to family medicine centres in Bishkek
Several family medicine centres in Bishkek, in which the FRESH AIR team recently established dedicated ‘spirometry rooms’ , offered free tests to people that smoke. In total, 174 people were tested, with 18% being found to have obstruction.
Free spirometry testing was also offered in different regions of Kyrgyzstan, with the support of the Kyrgyzstan Spirometry Network.
“Are you smoking? Check your lungs!” in Bishkek Park shopping and entertainment centre
The team also organised an event titled “Are you smoking? Check your lungs!” at Bishkek Park, a large shopping and entertainment centre. 189 members of the public came and got their lungs tested, with around 5.6% of these being found to potentially have COPD. Each person suspected of having COPD was given advice around treatment and quitting smoking.
Raising awareness through the media
Representatives appeared on TV and radio programmes to raise awareness among the broader public. The main topics covered were the dangers posed by both smoking and indoor air pollution to lung health.