EDEGEM – COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a chronic lung disease characterized by airway inflammation, airway narrowing and breakdown of lung tissue. People suffering from COPD suffer from shortness of breath. There is often also a cough, which usually also produces phlegm.
COPD is a condition that often progresses, is largely irreversible and therefore incurable. However, a lot can be done to combat the condition and limit lung damage and complaints.
Hence the importance of rapid recognition and a decisive approach. This approach consists of prevention (smoking cessation and vaccinations), starting medication and limiting other problems that often accompany COPD.
The third Wednesday in November is traditionally dedicated worldwide to the condition COPD. Like last year, a BIKE CHALLENGE will also take place in ten Flemish clinics this year. Four of those hospitals are in our province.
Drawing attention to COPD is the most important goal that is pursued on this day. You can register at one of the participating clinics to participate. In this way you help to publicize COPD.
The UZA Edegem will start this action tomorrow Tuesday (from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm). On Wednesday, AZ Klina Brasschaat (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.), AZ Sint Dimpna Geel (12 p.m. to 4 p.m.) and Sint-Maarten Mechelen (12 p.m. to 4 p.m.) will follow.
Gitta Vanpeborgh (Vooruit), will cycle in the UZA tomorrow. Vanpeborgh is also committed to drawing attention to lung disease in parliament. Her approved proposal should ensure more awareness, more prevention and better guidance.
‘COPD is characterized by reduced breathing capacity and respiratory problems caused by narrowing of the airways and breakdown of lung tissue. The disease can lead to severe fatigue, social isolation, increased risk of diabetes and death.
Vanpeborgh: ‘Breathing seems so obvious, but it is not for everyone. About 800,000 Belgians suffer from the disease and 3,500 people die as a result every year. Patients told me that they often do not receive the right help due to a lack of knowledge and a lack of urgency. That’s why I’m participating in the COPD Bike Challenge tomorrow at the UZA. To draw more attention to this lung disease.’
Vanpeborgh is also committed to lung disease in Parliament. Her approved proposal significantly increases the fight against the disease. An important change is that COPD patients will in the near future be entitled to a ‘proper use of medicines (GGG)’ guidance meeting. Pharmacists and insurance institutions are working out an agreement for this. Vanpeborgh: ‘Such a GGG discussion encourages the right choice and proper use of an inhaler. This prevents flare-ups, hospitalizations or even death. This already existed for asthma patients and is now being extended to patients with COPD.’
In addition, extra money (five million euros) is also being allocated to improve pulmonary rehabilitation, which is mainly aimed at COPD patients. A transversal working group consisting of specialized physicians, various healthcare providers, physiotherapists and pharmacists is developing concrete measures to improve primary care supported by secondary and tertiary care. In this way, it is hoped to improve the quality of life of these people and reduce social isolation and hospitalizations. (EM /Photo Free Vector)