The COPD Foundation Statement on the War in Ukraine and Its Impact on Lung Health

March 15, 2022

The COPD Foundation is deeply concerned about the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and surrounding countries and the impact that the ravage of war is having today on millions, including those with lung health issues and other health complications.

While the fear and devastation to the Ukrainian people and their way of life are simply unimaginable, we want to call attention to another devastation that war causes.

As we learned in the aftermath of 9-11, burning buildings, debris, smoke inhalation, and their effects jeopardize lung health. The World Health Organization has also noted the risk of emergence and spread of infectious diseases, which may include COVID-19. Those with lung disease or respiratory symptoms living in Ukraine or the region today are vulnerable and could become the lung health compromised of tomorrow.

The short- and long-term effects of this war on lung health cannot be understated.

We call on global organizations, including the United Nations, the World Health Organization, humanitarian organizations, and all members of the international community, to help protect all victims of this conflict and support the efforts of local organizations such as the European Lung Foundation.

Ruth Tal-Singer, PhD, President & Chief Scientific Officer, COPD Foundation