Dear(your Minister of Health)
As you may be aware, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD, is an ongoing, progressive disease of the lungs. In a nutshell….It kills.
Emphysema and/or chronic bronchitis makes breathing increasingly more difficult until the amount of oxygen a person can breathe in and use will no longer support life. While there are treatment options that can both prolong and improve the quality of life for patients, it is, at this time, incurable.
It costs the Canadian economy billions annually and the intangible costs to patients and their families is beyond calculation. It is estimated that there’s 1.5 million patients Canada wide, but it is thought there could be that many more undiagnosed cases. It is the fourth largest cause of death in Canada and the world but unlike most of the major diseases which are on the decrease, COPD is on the rise.
According to figures released by Public Health Canada, it kills more people than AIDS and Breast Cancer combined, yet, public awareness of this disease is at best; minimal.
In an effort to promote awareness, the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease, "GOLD"http://www.goldcopd.org/wcd-home.html instituted World COPD Day in 2002. Today, over 50 countries and countless international experts who sit on the Boards of this organization, support this initiative which is observed the third Wednesday of each November.
As a COPD patient, I am proud of Saskatchewan because they became the first province in the country to recognize World COPD Day in 2009 with their proclamation recognizing same.
This year World COPD Day is November 14, 2012
I am therefore writing as a(patient or caregiver)and as a member of COPD Canada Patient Network, to ask that our province follows Saskatchewan’s lead and it is my sincere hope that you will proclaim COPD Day in (your province) in an effort to further this goal.
There’s no cost involved yet the ultimate benefit is increased awareness which in turn can lead to earlier intervention and treatment.