Government and non-government entities should better recognize the burden of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and adopt policies and practices to help mitigate its effects. So claims a statement by the the board of directors of the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease  

The board proposed multiple actions to increase awareness and treatment of COPD. One key point, they noted, is that COPD is not just a smoker’s disease. Biomass fumes, air pollution, malnutrition, infection and poor postnatal lung growth can also up the risk for developing the disease, they said.

Some other actions GOLD proposed include using simple questionnaires to identify those at risk for COPD, training community healthcare workers in early detection, improving spirometry access to better monitor breathing, promoting awareness of evidence-based management guidelines, promoting smoking cessation programs, and improving accessibility to safe, effective COPD drugs.

“We call for a whole system approach that moves COPD management up a ladder of quality,” the board wrote.