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Monday, May 17, 2010

A new day has begun for the prevention and treatment of chronic respiratory diseases

Last week, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution on the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases. These diseases, which include chronic respiratory diseases (CRDs, including asthma and rhinitis), cardiovascular diseases, cancers, and diabetes, are responsible for almost 35 million deaths each year.

The resolution is intended to stop global increases in premature deaths and burden attributable to these diseases. It calls for a high-level meeting of the General Assembly in September 2011 to focus on the prevention and control of these diseases, and for the UN Secretary-General to prepare a global status report on noncommunicable diseases, with a particular focus on the challenges faced by developing countries.

A press release from the World Health Organization (WHO) welcomed the resolution. Chronic respiratory diseases have been highlighted by the WHO Global Alliance against Chronic Respiratory Diseases (GARD). Many allergy organizations are part of GARD, including the AAAAI, ACAAI, EAACI, WAO, and many national societies.

This resolution paves the way for a new understanding of CRDs across the world and we hope that all allergists will work together for a world where everyone breathes freely.

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