JNMC Commemorates World COPD Day
Aligarh, November 14: The Department of TB and Respiratory Diseases, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College (JNMC), Aligarh Muslim University organised a symposium to commemorate the ‘World COPD Day’ at the seminar room of the department.
On the occasion, Prof S C Sharma (Dean, Faculty of Medicine; Principal, JNMC and CMS) said that Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) has become the 5th deadliest disease across the globe. He added that while cigarette smoking-COPD strong correlation is an established fact, recent studies have shown that there are numerous other risk factors that trigger the disease in non-smokers.
Prof Mohd Shameem (Chairperson, Department of TB and Respiratory Diseases) pointed out that COPD is the second leading cause of death among Indians above 50-years of age. He said that various researches have shown that one fourth of patients suffering with COPD have never smoked.
Prof Rakesh Bhargav added that about 50 percent COPD deaths in developing countries are attributable to biomass smoke, of which about 75 percent are of women. He pointed out that in urban India, 32 percent households use biomass stoves, 22 percent use firewood, 8 percent use kerosene, while the rest use cleaner fuels like liquid petroleum gas or natural gas.
Prof Zubair Ahmad discussed that biomass fuels like wood, animal dung cakes, crop residue, pose as great a risk as active smoking. “Experts have pointed out that women and young girls, especially in rural areas that spend a greater time in the kitchen are likely to suffer COPD,” said Prof Ahmad.
Dr Nafis A Khan said that biomass fuels produce very high levels of indoor air pollution and since kitchens in rural areas lack facilities of proper ventilation, people get exposed to extremely high levels of gaseous pollutants.
Dr Imrana Masood discussed how COPD becomes harder to diagnose when patients are non-smokers. She further said that air pollution has also made COPD a major concern in urban areas.
Dr Ummul Baneen said that with the presence of nano particles in the air, the functionality of lungs is hampered. She added that prolonged exposure to agricultural pesticides has also contributed to respiratory problems.