Chest physiotherapy effective for patients with COPD, studies show

Kathmandu, June 1

Studies have shown that chest physical therapy can help the patients with the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease live a long and quality life.

A three-year-long research conducted by Society for Local Integrated Development and JIMTEF with the support of JICA in Bhaktapur has shown that chest physical therapy is very helpful for patients with the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Dr Khem Bahadur Karki, technical advisor at SOLID Nepal, said medicines alone would not be effective in such cases.

Research has also shown that chest physical therapy is simple, cost-effective and easy to carry out in the context of Nepal.

According to Dr Shigeki Hayashi, president of JIMTEF, Japan, COPD is the second leading cause of death in Nepal. According to the Global Burden of Disease 2016, the number of deaths from COPD in Nepal increased by 24.2 per cent between 2005 to 2016. The survey has shown that 960,000 people in the country have COPD while among them the number of female diagnosed with COPD has been increasing.

“The main reasons for increasing number of such patients in Kathmandu valley is air pollution, confined spaces and smoking,” said Dr Kamimura, JIMTEF.

In the same way, speaking at the programme, Som Mishra, Mayor of Changunarayan Municipality said there were 50 brick kilns and nearly 20 sand and soil mines in the municipality which were the reason behind increasing number of COPD patients in the area. “We are working hard to reduce pollution,” he added.

COPD has become a real threat to people who are exposed to dust and smoke as the disease can cause irreversible damage to lungs. Doctors have advised people to quit smoking, use alternative energy for cooking and wear surgical masks to prevent themselves from the negative effects of pollution.

As per World Health Organisation, total deaths from COPD are projected to increase by more than 30 per cent in the next 10 years unless urgent action is taken to reduce the underlying risk factors, especially tobacco use.

Estimates show that COPD would become the third leading cause of death worldwide by 2030. The Global Burden of Disease Study reports a prevalence of 251 million cases of COPD globally in 2016.