On Friday 19 November Catherine Stihler MEP hosted a seminar at the Edinburgh Information Office of the European Parliament about chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
The event, titled "COPD - why is it such a silent killer in Scotland?" featured a number of experts in the field of respiratory diseases. Some thirty-five people attended, including members of the public as well as medical professionals.
Mrs. Stihler opened the seminar, speaking of her previous efforts in trying to raise public awareness of COPD, which is known to just over 10 per cent of the population of Scotland while being one of the leading causes of death. She spoke out in favour of a common EU strategy to deal with the disease, saying that the "annual toll on people's lives and the health service cannot be ignored".
The other speakers on the panel were Ms. Marianella Salapatas, the president of the European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients' Associations (EFA), Dr. James Cant, the head of the Scottish and Northern Irish division of the British Lung Foundation and Ms Monica Fletcher, chief executive of Education for Health.