A PACT was inked on Thursday between city-based Chest Research Foundation (CRF) with India subsidiary of global innovation company, 3M India, to collaborate on a research study that will generate data for providing solutions to reduce increasing cases of asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) and occupational lung diseases.
Based on academic research and industrial expertise, the study will focus on raising awareness among more than 3,500 pulmonologists in India about management, prevention and long-term impact of chronic and occupational lung diseases.
Globally, respiratory diseases are the third leading cause of death worldwide, and India bears 32 per cent of the global burden of respiratory diseases. An alarming number of cases are reported every year about chronic respiratory diseases and high pollution levels across cities in India. Studies have indicated that the number of COPD and asthma cases were 1.7 and 2.4 times higher in India than the global average in 2016.
“Owing to a lack of data, infrastructure and skills at the primary and secondary healthcare levels, a majority of the asthma and COPD cases remain undiagnosed, and hence it is of utmost importance to educate the medical fraternity and citizens to enhance early and accurate diagnosis, and proper treatment,” said Dr Sundeep Salvi, director, Chest Research Foundation.
Salvi added, “The number of patients suffering from COPD and asthma in India is alarming. Along with the deteriorating air quality in our cities, this number is increasing yearly.”
Debarati Sen, managing director, 3M India Region (India and Sri Lanka), said their interest in the subject stemmed from 30 years of experience in working with industrial labour in India. Sen added that they recognised a compelling need to raise awareness on using the right apparatus. “Globally, 3M has conducted studies and research in the areas of air pollution, ill effects of exposure and on ways to protect against exposure to pollutants, making this collaboration symbiotic,” Sen added.