Community Awareness Day for Chronic Lung Disease

Armajun Aboriginal Health Service, Inverell is holding an Aboriginal community awareness day about chronic lung disease that commences at 10.30am today, Thursday, October 18.

The community are welcome to attend a free barbeque and information session that will include education, screening and a tour of the new Aboriginal healthy lung program called, Breathe Easy, Walk Easy, Lungs for Life (BE WELL).

“Armajun is taking active steps to support the better management of lung disease,” Armajun chief executive Deb McCowen said.

Chronic lung disease, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a relatively common disease that mainly affects older people, and includes conditions such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

This year the Australian Institute of Health Welfare reported that 1 in 20 Australians aged 45 and over had COPD. The prevalence of COPD among Indigenous Australians is 2.5 times higher than for non-Indigenous Australians.

COPD limits airflow in the lungs, which can lead to shortness of breath. The main causes include smoking or exposure to cigarette smoke, outdoor air pollution, fumes and dust in the workplace, childhood lung infections and chronic asthma.

“Maintaining or improving lung health is really important and there is a lot that people with chronic lung disease can do to stay well,” Armajun program manager James Sheather said.

“Our goal is to encourage people with chronic lung disease to attend the BE WELL program. The program enables people with chronic lung disease to learn how to manage their lung problem, how to exercise and get moving one step at a time towards better health,” he said.

BE WELL is a joint project between Armajun, the University of Sydney and the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health. Armajun is the first of four NSW Aboriginal Medical Services to join BE WELL, which is a National Health & Medical Research Council funded Aboriginal Pulmonary rehabilitation project.

(First appeared in Inverell Times on the 18th Oct 2018)