MOH News
MOH to Take Part in Raising Awareness against COPD
20 November 2013
On the 20th of November, corresponding to 17/1/1435 H, the world sheds light on the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), by celebrating the World COPD Day. Scientists define COPD as a general term used to describe chronic lung diseases that cause limitations in lung airflow such as chronic bronchitis and untreatable asthma.
 
Recent statistics indicate that about 210 million people around the world suffer from COPD, many of whom have no idea that they are afflicted by the disease. COPD was the reason for the death of more than 3 million people in 2005, which is equal to 5% of all deaths globally that year. Total COPD-associated deaths are projected to increase by more than 30% in the next 10 years provided no actions are taken to curb risks, particularly exposure to tobacco smoke.
 
On this occasion, the Ministry of Health (MOH) participates through its Media and Health Awareness Information Center by specialists receiving and answering questions from the public via the toll free number: 8002494444. In addition, awareness posters and booklets are published and distributed all over the Kingdom to celebrate this day. The MOH e-Portal, also, has provided scientific information about the disease to be accessible to the public and beneficiaries. Most significant among the information about COPD are the symptoms, which include shortness of breath, especially during physical activities, wheezing, weight loss, chronic cough that produces phlegm, frequent respiratory infections, and blueness of the lips or fingernail beds (cyanosis).
 
The scientific information also touched upon risk factors, which include tobacco smoke, which is the primary cause of COPD, indoor air pollution, age as well as hereditary reasons. Additionally, COPD leads to many serious complications such as frequent colds, high blood pressure in the arteries that bring blood lungs (known as: pulmonary hypertension), higher risks of heart problems, cardiovascular diseases, lung cancer as well as depression. 
 
As for educational tips to prevent COPD and reduce the severity of its complications, it is suggested to avoid exposure to indoor and outdoor air pollution and irritants, take the seasonal influenza vaccination to prevent recurrent pulmonary inflammations, conduct medical examination of lungs, and eat healthy food (fruits, vegetables, meat, fish and chicken).
 
The scientific information indicated that there is no final or effective cure for COPD. As a result, the therapeutic plan depends on quitting smoking and alleviating symptoms in order to avoid complications and exacerbations. It also reiterated the importance of changing the lifestyle, and taking the drugs only prescribed by doctors.
 



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