Environmental degradation is a serious threat, says pulmonary disease expert

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SUM Hospital
A talk on ‘COPD and Ciliary Dysfunction’ at the Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital was held.

Bhubaneswar: Issues like climate change and environmental degradation should be taken seriously as they are responsible for many pulmonary diseases, eminent physician Prof. Dilip Mahapatra said on Wednesday.

Prof. Mahapatra, an expert on pulmonary diseases and gastroenterology and director of Lugh Medical Centre at Dundalk, Ireland, said particulate matters hanging in the air were causing Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) which was a leading cause of death in the world.

“The problem is linked to purity of air quality and the matter should be taken up seriously,” he said while delivering a talk on ‘COPD and Ciliary Dysfunction’ at the Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital here on Wednesday.

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Exposure to polluted air was causing bronchitis with or without Emphysema (long term destruction of lungs) which changes the lungs permanently narrowing the bronchial tree, Prof. Mahapatra said adding workers exposed to dust and smoke on regular basis were vulnerable to COPD.

“Smoking and passive smoking is a big problem and the government in Ireland had completely banned puffing in public places,” he said adding the administration there had also banned the use of asbestos in construction activity.

Prof. Mahapatra said people need to quit smoking and plant more trees and this problem could be fought with heightened awareness.

Prof. Mahapatra was welcomed by Prof. Ashok Kumar Mahapatra, vice-chancellor of Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan (SOA), Prof. Gangadhar Sahu, Ppro-vice chancellor and dean of IMS and SUM Hospital and Prof. Pusparaj Samantasinhar, medical superintendent of the hospital. Prof. Banani Jena, head of the department of Pulmonary Medicine in the hospital also spoke.

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