GARD has the potential to play a critical role in advocacy, but also in prevention and control of CRDs if funding permits. Collaboration between GARD countries is critical to share experiences and learn from each other.
The Global Alliance against Chronic Respiratory Diseases (GARD), created in 2006, is a voluntary network of national and international organizations, institutions and agencies led by the World Health Organization (WHO), working towards the vision of a world where all people breathe freely (http://gard-breathefreely.org/). It aims at reducing the avoidable burden of morbidity, mortality and disability due to chronic respiratory diseases (CRDs) by means of multisectoral cooperation at national, regional and global levels, so that populations reach the highest attainable standards of health, productivity and wellbeing at every age. GARD has outreach action at country level, where several projects were developed according to country-specific needs and the level of engagement of government health departments.
More than 1 billion cases globally suffer from (CRDs) worldwide: 334 million have asthma, 210 million have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and millions have other diseases such as rhinitis, sinusitis, obstructive sleep apnea, pulmonary arterial hypertension, interstitial lung diseases and cystic fibrosis. COPD is now the third leading cause of death worldwide.
The strategy of GARD to support the Global Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases and the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, include activities on raising awareness, advocacy, surveillance, research and technical support for country activities. The opportunity to publish manuscripts in a specific section of the Journal of Thoracic Diseases is a unique chance to broaden the audience of GARD and bring new potential allies.