Game, Set, Match!

Umang Vohra

September 25, 2020

This World Lung Day, it’s Game, Set, Match! No, it is not the US Open fever. Then, wondering why am I referring to tennis and lungs in the same breath? Well, if your lungs were opened flat it would cover the size of a tennis court. The all-pervading #COVID-19 pandemic has deservingly shone the spotlight on this vulnerable organ on a global stage.

With approx. 20,000 breaths per day, roughly 6mn in a year – our lungs don’t have it easy. Although crucial to our overall wellbeing, yet surprisingly the most neglected in its upkeep.

At Cipla, we have been immersed in understanding the lung for the past six decades and comprehend it like no other. From humble beginnings of importing inhalers in the late 1950s, to pioneering indigenous development and manufacturing in India, we feel privileged to have had the opportunity to help millions across the world to breathe better! Furthering our respiratory leadership across India and other key emerging markets, we have now set sights to become lung leaders of the world – taking the onus to build an ecosystem and bring effective cure closer to patients.

In my previous blog, I had iterated how the lungs - as gateways for breathing life into us - are disastrously exposed to a spectrum of illnesses and have had a catalytic role in major disease-outbreaks. Today, akin to the economic collapse due to COVID-19, the rampant prevalence of respiratory ailments continues to adversely impact global health and productivity. The remedy, although an uphill task is not an impossible one. Our learnings from the HIV pandemic underscored the need for public-private collaborative efforts. Communities had to rally to eventually create a paradigm shift at grassroot levels.

Let’s take the COVID-19 context. At the onset of the outbreak, the Government and Health institutions across the world focused on Awareness – urging citizens to adopt better hygiene and follow precautionary measures. Subsequently, the agenda shifted to early Diagnosis to curb fatalities caused by delayed treatment. With no cure in sight, remedial Treatment aided in fighting the virus. Finally, to impede any relapse, the health metrics of recovered patients continue to be monitored as part of treatment Adherence for post-COVID lung care.

WHO recently issued a set of guidelines to relieve breathlessness for recovering patients.

Drawing parallels to this, cognizant of the burgeoning burden of respiratory diseases in India, Cipla launched its Breathefree initiative in 2010 - supporting patients and healthcare professionals across the care continuum. With campaigns like #BerokZindagi, we enabled asthmatics to adopt inhalation therapy as an effective method to control their asthma and live a free life – in the process debunked myths associated with inhalers. Through our Breathefree educators, we have reached out and helped millions - in FY19 the program reached a staggering 2mn patients. And going forward, in our new #reimagined digital avatar, we hope to reach out to many more.

Today, we’re yet again at the forefront of lung care, in the fight against COVID-19 - strengthening the entire care continuum, especially in the post COVID-19 lung sequelae.

Lung health is our mission and we will continue to be the custodian of its care. So this #WorldLungDay, we urge each one of you to care for your lungs and together let’s help the world breathe better.

So, take care and stay healthy. #Breathe. Think Cipla.