SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE, 25 Apr. (EUROPE PRESS) –
The Health Commission of the Parliament of the Canary Islands received this Monday the ‘Golden Ambassadors of COPD’ distinction from the Association of Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (APEPOC), a recognition that, according to the president of the Chamber, Gustavo Matos, “It speaks well of the institution, but also of those who are behind organizations like this one.”
The event was attended by the Minister of Health of the Government of the Canary Islands, Blas Trujillo, the president of the Commission, José Ignacio Álvaro Lavandera, all the deputies who are members of that body and, on behalf of APEPOC, its spokesperson and its coordinator in the Canary Islands, Nicole Hass and Pedro Cabrera.
In his speech, Matos highlighted the commitment and dedication of the deputies of the Parliament’s health commission, an institution that they try to “prestige” from the representation carried out by the groups from the territories.
He affirmed that the 70 deputies and deputies of the Chamber “carry out an enormous job, up to the responsibility of representing citizens in a legislature that is proving to be complicated.”
He indicated that, however, the obstacles derived from situations such as the pandemic “have not prevented us from carrying out this work, trying to honor the seat on a daily basis.”
For his part, Álvaro Lavandera valued the “active listening to users” carried out by this parliamentary body, its great capacity for consensus and wanted to highlight the important work carried out by all its members, whom he named one by one as recipients of the award given by APEPOC.
The Minister of Health also highlighted the great contribution “from the greatest effort” made by the institutions, from their different responsibilities, in terms of prevention, awareness and support in the face of this type of “tremendously harmful” pathologies.
The representative of the association, Nicole Hass, affirmed that it is an honor and gratitude for APEPOC to present this distinction to the Health Commission of the Parliament of the Canary Islands, whose members highlighted “the impressive empathy always shown”.
COPD is a respiratory disease that causes chronic obstruction of airflow in the lungs.
In Spain there are three million people affected and, according to the WHO, it is the third cause of death in the world (more than three million deaths in 2019). In addition, it is underdiagnosed, which makes it a major public health problem.
APEPOC is a non-profit organization that wanted to recognize the work of the Health Commission of the Parliament of the Canary Islands for making the disease visible, especially during the pandemic, and for supporting people who suffer from it and their families.
This recognition is part of the program to commemorate the first anniversary of the withdrawal of the triple therapy visa, with which lives have been saved.
For the association, the unanimous approval, in February 2021 in the Parliament of the Canary Islands, of a NLP to support people with COPD has been essential for this.
Despite the prevalence of COPD in the Canary Islands being lower than in most of the autonomous communities, the archipelago shows one of the highest smoking rates in the country, since 17.79% of its inhabitants over 14 years of age smoke.