WHO Appoints Luis Castro to Lead Global Campaign Against Chronic Respiratory Diseases

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has appointed José Luis Castro as the Special Envoy for Chronic Respiratory Diseases (CRD).

In a statement released on June 6th 2024, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said that Castro, with his profound expertise and longstanding commitment to improving global health, is uniquely positioned to support the efforts to tackle chronic respiratory diseases.

“His leadership will be instrumental in raising awareness, mobilizing support, and implementing effective solutions to improve respiratory health worldwide,” Ghebreyesus stated.

He also stated that the appointment of Castro aims to support WHO by spotlighting the significance of respiratory health.

Castro is expected to raise awareness and promote solutions, highlighting chronic respiratory disease issues and supporting WHO’s strategies to address them, and engage global and local support by encouraging cities, countries, and stakeholders to integrate respiratory health into local health policies.

According to the WHO, nearly half a billion people worldwide suffer from CRD, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which are major causes of death and disability. COPD is the third-most common cause of death globally.

“In 2019, 3.2 million people died from COPD and 500,000 from asthma. Despite their significant impact, these diseases have often been overlooked in global health discussions, lacking the necessary recognition and resources,” WHO stated.

Castro, who is expected to begin his role on September 1, 2024, appreciated his appointment and committed to working hard to improve public health.

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