Implementation of the WHO Strategy for Prevention
and Control of Chronic Respiratory Diseases
Respiratory illnesses are of considerable importance as a cause of death and morbidity and
this has in the past and currently, largely reflected the prevalence of tuberculosis,
pneumonia, lower respiratory tract infections and opportunist lung infections in those
with HIV. However as control of these infectious diseases is hopefully achieved they will
be replaced by a growing population of those with long term respiratory conditions which
in many cases reflect current lifestyle changes.
These diseases include Chronic Obstructive pulmonary disease, Asthma, Occupational Lung
Disease and the sequelae of respiratory infections such as occurs after tuberculosis, or
for instance with bronchiectasis occurring after early childhood infections. Whilst
smaller in number other respiratory diseases include Cystic Fibrosis and diffuse
interstitial lung disease. Obesity associated sleep related breathing disorders (which are
associated with hypertension and excess cardio and cerebrovascular mortality) is also
increasingly being recognised in South Asia and also probably has a higher prevalence
amongst Afro Caribbeans.
WHO elaborated a Strategy for Prevention and Control of Chronic Respiratory Diseases
(CRDs)  that
was drafted after the expert consultation held in January 2001 .
The advisory meeting in Montpellier, France on 11-12 February 2002 comprised the next step
in the process of developing a comprehensive implementation programme of the WHO strategy
against chronic respiratory diseases.
Three strategic components have been identified as essential for meeting the goal;
surveillance, primary prevention, and management. Position papers and brief presentations
by participants addressing the strategic directions served as starting points for
discussion in the meeting (available upon request from CRA).