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18 December 2020
Asthma , COPD
- Interest Group, - Expert Patient Network

The MEP Lung Health group is an informal platform for policymakers and European level health professionals and patient organisations, including EFA, working on respiratory health and coordinated by the European Respiratory Society (ERS) and the European Lung Foundation (ELF).

In the last quarter of 2020, a group of 17 Members of the European Parliament joined forces to launch this informal platform within the institution to raise awareness about lung disease and to work on policy measures aimed at improving lung health, including airways diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

MEP Lung Health Group supported by Health Commissioner

The European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Ms Stella Kyriades, warmly welcomed the MEP Lung Health Group during its October launch as a “powerful advocate for citizens and for patients on this issue and can help to promote a better understanding of respiratory health”.

The event was led by MEP Lung Health Group co-chairs, Manuel Pizarro and Željana Zovko, who discussed the ways in which lung health is on the agenda at the European Parliament.

During the event, we were moved by the testimonial of Marta Almagro, a bronchiectasis patient, who shared how much at risk she is feeling during the pandemic and the need to reinforce public health education to avoid contagion and disease.

The speeches and presentation of this event can be found here.

Policymakers discuss the links between air pollution and SARS-CoV-2

In December, the group discussed the links between air pollution and COVID-19 in an event co-organised by the European Respiratory Society (ERS), the Health Effects Institute (HEI) and the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE).

During the event, WHO Director of Public Health, Dr Maria Neira, presented the WHO Manifesto for a Healthy Recovery and the need to work together towards sustainable solutions to tackle climate change.

EFA urges that air quality cannot be forgotten after the pandemic. Erika Colen, Member of the Belgian Allergy and Asthma Association and EFA Member, highlighted with her testimonial how much air pollution, especially NO2, impacts the lives of people with respiratory diseases. She also insisted in tackling air pollutants arising from individual choices, such as burning of wood for heating. She explained how wood burning seems to have increased due to restrictions to socialising indoors, and how much this is worsening the symptoms of patients in her association.

More information about this event can be found on the European Respiratory Society website.

More information about the MEP Lung Health group.