More chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) clinics (Swaas) will be opened in public sector hospitals this year, Health Minister Veena George has said.

Steps have already been launched for opening the second State COPD Centre at the Chest Diseases Hospital in Thrissur this year, which will have a pulmonary rehabilitation centre for patients suffering from respiratory illnesses and a training centre for health-care workers.

At least 30,000 COPD patients who were diagnosed through the COPD clinics at district hospitals, general hospitals and family health centres are being given appropriate care and follow-up treatment, she claimed.

World COPD Day falls on November 16.

Five lakh persons

An estimated five lakh persons in the State suffer from COPD. The disease is now managed in the State as part of the non-communicable diseases control programme. Swaas clinics were opened as part of the NCD clinics.

The Swaas clinics offer proper COPD detection through Spyrometry, protocol-based treatment, free inhaler drugs, smoking cessation treatment, pulmonary rehabilitation, counselling, and proper referral and follow-up care.

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