Association of Istanbul’s Family Practice (ISTAHED) on Sunday said there were up to five million people in Turkey suffering from the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), but about 500,000 of them were diagnosed with the disease.
In a statement, ISTAHED said the diagnosis of the COPD was not easy as the public knowledge on the disease was not sufficient, adding the respiratory health condition ranked third among causes of death.
Air pollution, use of wood, smoking, being overweight, decrease in physical activity are great risk factors triggering COPD, according to the statement.
Difficulty in breathing and sputum cough were symptoms of the disease and breath-measuring tests would enable diagnosis, it added.
The statement went on to say that the smokers must change their habit immediately after being diagnosed with the disease, start having physical activities and get vaccinations.
It warned that the patients should take pneumonia and flu vaccines as influenza could trigger serious health conditions for those suffering from COPD.
Up to three million people worldwide lost their lives per year due to diseases that can actually be prevented through vaccination, the statement added.
"As the number of vaccinated individuals increases, the probability of unvaccinated individuals' contact with the disease factor decreases, and the frequency of this disease is significantly eliminated," it said.
However, the statement warned that the number of vaccinated people was on the decrease due to anti-vaccination campaigns' influence on people, posing a dangerous threat to people's health.
Turkey launched a website -- "www.asinedir.com" (what is vaccination?) -- to provide its citizens with reliable and satisfactory information and took these anti-vaccination campaigns seriously.
*Writing by Ali Murat Alhas
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