Meetings, news and events


9th GARD General Meeting 14-16 August 2014

The 9th GARD General Meeting took place in Salvador, Brazil.


Obituary: Carlos E. Baena-Cagnani

Carlos E. Baena-Cagnani, MD, of Cordoba, Argentina, passed away celebrating the new year’s eve of 2015 with his family. This tragic loss relates to an irreplaceable person who was at the height of his career. He will be sadly missed by everyone in the allergy community. Doctor Baena-Cagnani was trained in allergy at the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain under the mentorship of the late Dr. Alberto Oehling. He then returned to his country and settled as a paediatric allergist in Cordoba, Argentina where he was promoted Professor. He was also an associate professor of pulmonology in Genoa, Italy.
For decades, allergic diseases were empirically managed but Carlos recognized very early the importance of evidence-based medicine and became a member of the Executive Committee of GINA (Global Initiative for Asthma, NHLBI and WHO) and of ARIA (Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma), the two most widely accepted guidelines in asthma and allergic rhinitis. He was instrumental in these two initiatives: he provided information on the practice of allergy in developing countries, Latin America in particular, and he disseminated evidence-based medicine to Latin America and deprived populations. His passion for evidence-based medicine was instrumental in changing the public perception of allergy/immunology in Argentina and throughout Latin America. Moreover, Dr Baena-Cagnani was a founder member of the Global Alliance against Chronic Respiratory Diseases (GARD) of the World Health Organization and became a member of the Executive Committee and Planning Group. He even organized the first GARD meeting in Buenos Aires.
Dr Baena-Cagnani was a devoted supporter of the education and training of younger physicians. He inspired many of his colleagues to become actively involved in the development of scientific research and good clinical practice. Two generations of allergists in Latin America are indebted to Carlos for his tireless efforts.
He was a prolific writer and published many scientific articles in peer reviewed journals as well as chapters in Allergy and Immunology text books.
Carlos was highly regarded for his academic aptitude, passion and energy, as well as his collegial skills. As a result, he became a dear friend to an incredible number of allergists throughout the world. Carlos has left an indelible imprint transforming and modernizing the Scientific Societies he chaired including the Argentinean Association of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, the Latin American Society of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the World Allergy Organization (WAO), and, most recently, the Global Asthma Association (Interasma).
It is a truly sad day for allergy…
G.Walter Canonica and Jean Bousquet

Chinese Minister of Health Dr. Zhu Chen accepts International COPD Coalition (ICC) Achievement Award

(Nov, 6th 2011, Shanghai, China) The International COPD Coalition (ICC), a member of the Global Alliance of Respiratory Diseases (GARD) under the World Health Organization, today presented its achievement award to the Chinese Health Minister Dr. Zhu Chen and the Chinese Health Ministry for their distinguished contributions and leadership in combating COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases). These contributions owe much to the close collaboration among Chinese Ministry of Health, medical and scientific community throughout China. The ICC hopes the achievements made by China will be seen and adopted by health ministries around the world. COPD, caused mainly by inhaling tobacco smoke and air pollution, is responsible for the physical suffering and economic losses of patients, their families and society. China’s dramatic industrialization and economic growth has led to a sharp rise in pollution levels, which have triggered a rapid rise of COPD cases, disability and death. Dr. Chen and the Chinese Health Ministry have actively taken steps to deal with this serious problem, and have focused on COPD for prevention, treatment and scientific studies in past and current 5-year working plans. These efforts have improved COPD treatment programs, leading to healthier environments for the family and work place. Moreover, Dr. Chen and the Chinese Health Ministry also support and encourage strategies and solutions from Chinese respiratory specialists aimed at prevention, diagnosis and treatment of COPD. Through the COPD Alliance led by the Chinese Society of Respiratory Diseases, they have contributed to the promotion of a standardized management and patient education program for COPD. In addition, the listing of COPD in the national catalogue of chronic diseases, they have increased the social health insurance fund for COPD patients. The efforts in China will add to programs in the rest of the world to prioritize COPD and act aggressively to reduce its damaging effects. Jean Bousquet, the Chair of the WHO’s GARD Initiative (Global Alliance against Chronic Respiratory Diseases) will present Dr. Chen Zhu with the Award to commemorate his outstanding contributions. The International COPD Coalition (ICC) is the largest global COPD patient organization in the world ( that includes more than 70 countries. Its mission is to prevent COPD and improve its diagnosis and care worldwide, and to work with governmental health ministries to improve the lives, activities, and productivity of COPD patients. The ICC’s 2nd World Conference of COPD Patient Organizations will be held on Nov. 6-7 in Shanghai at the Renaissance Shanghai Pudong Hotel. Chinese and international media will attend the event, which will hear updates on advances in COPD care from ICC leaders from around the world. For more information, please visit

GARD "Learn More Breathe Better" (LMBB), NHLBI COPD education and awareness program

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s COPD Learn More Breathe Better® campaign is an integrated health education initiative focused on increasing awareness about COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), a leading cause of death in America, by educating at risk populations about the disease’s symptoms and its impact on daily quality of life, through consumer and partner/stakeholder outreach. The campaign has cultivated a partnership network that includes 57 organizations in 30 states conducting COPD activity, with a goal of having activity in all 50 states. It also engages partners through its Country Conquers COPD™ event series, taking COPD information to events where those at risk are enjoying themselves. Recently, the campaign provided funding to 15 community organizations, sparking COPD activity in six new states and enhancing activities elsewhere. This one year program resulted in 188 outreach events which reached 20,400 consumers/patients and 2,791 providers. Spirometry testing and educational materials have been provided at six Country Conquers COPD events to date, with additional events planned. The campaign continues to monitor activities conducted through its partnership network and just announced additional funding for community organizations conducting COPD outreach.

American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI)

Comprising more than 5,700 members, ACAAI promotes excellence in the practice of the subspecialty of allergy and immunology and fosters a culture of collaboration and congeniality in which its members work together and with others towards the common goals of patient care, education, advocacy and research. ACAAI’s events and initiatives include:

  • 2011 ACAAI Annual Meeting -- The 2011 Annual Meeting in Boston, titled Proud of our Past, Preparing for our Future, is Nov. 3-8, kicking off with a full-day program on immunotherapy. Nearly 3,350 attended last year’s meeting, including more than 1,800 physicians.
  • International Affiliate Membership – Physicians in asthma/allergy who reside outside of the U.S. and Canada are invited to apply for this membership at no charge. Benefits include ACAAI electronic publications and other member-only website resources.
  • International Ambassador Program – In 2011, the College is sending speakers to Argentina, Brazil, China, Columbia, India, Italy, Lebanon, Morocco, Peru and Russia to share knowledge and resources in the specialty.
  • Nationwide Asthma Screening Program – The ACAAI’s largest public service campaign, established to find adults and children who are at risk for undiagnosed and uncontrolled asthma, is celebrating its 15th year. Of the 124,000 people screened, about half were referred for a professional diagnosis.


Turks measure their breath

COPD predicted to be third leading cause of death in 2030

WHO Director-General warns that asthma is on the rise "everywhere"

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Contacts us

Global Alliance against Chronic Respiratory Diseases (GARD)
Department of Management of Noncommunicable Diseases
World Health Organization
20, Avenue Appia
CH-1211 Geneva 27
Fax: +41 22 791 4151