SCOTTISH and Irish melodies blended in harmony in Coleraine – all in the best interest of promoting good lung health.
An evening of music, song and dance, spearheaded by the Ullan’s Ulster-Scots Society, Ballymoney, was a thoroughly entertaining prelude to the more serious business of advising people on how best to combat chronic respiratory illness.
It all happened at a two-day event in the Lodge Hotel, organised by Breathe Easy Causeway.
A 50 strong party from Kircaldy, Scotland, were the guests of the Causeway Group, who organised the concert and a 20-stand health fair – their major effort this year to help raise the public profile of breathing disorders.
It was a reciprocal visit as Causeway members enjoyed the hospitality of the Kircaldy Group last year.
Causeway Breathe Easy Chairman, Sam Kelly said: “Fun and friendship is an important part of the Breathe Easy Agenda. But the more important aspect of our work is to help provide the highest possible standard of care for the many thousands of people struggling daily with chronic lung disease.
“We aim to bring lung disease to the top of the health agenda. It is a condition often swept under the carpet.
“However, the facts speak for themselves. In Northern Ireland there is an estimated 3,000 deaths a year from lung disease. And, if the death rate remains unchanged, it is predicted that there will be a 77% increase in the number of deaths from respiratory illness by 2025.”
Nessie Blair, British Lung Foundation representative for Northern Ireland, said: “Breathe Easy Causeway is one of our most creative and progressive subsidiary groups.
“They are committed and well to the forefront of our national campaign to ensure that respiratory health is high on the priority list among health professionals and the wider public.
At the Health Fair there was a wide range of advice and health checks on offer to the public-lung, blood and cholesterol testing, dental and eye care, exercise regimes to improve lifestyles and Healthy Eating programmes.
Experts were also on hand to talk about the tremendous work being done in transplant surgery.
And the Respiratory Team from Causeway Hospital advised on what they were doing locally and on the benefits of Pulmonary Rehabilitation.