Prof Andrew Bush Cropped

Launch of the International Society of Pediatric Respiratory Diseases (INSPiRED)

Monday, January 29, 2024


Professor Andy Bush recently shared with Respiratory Futures information on the newly launched International Society of Pediatric Respiratory Diseases (INSPiRED). He elaborates on the importance of paediatrics in respiratory health, and how you can get involved with INSPiRED.

Can you tell us a little about the goals of INSPiRED, and what it hopes to achieve?

The INSPiRED vision is to transform the landscape of paediatric lung health worldwide, ensuring every child breathes freely and thrives. We envision a future where children have ready access to the highest quality respiratory care, leading to healthier and happier lives, regardless of their ethnicity, geography, socioeconomic status, or medical condition.

Our commitment is to be at the forefront of paediatric respiratory research, innovation, and education, uniting international experts and advocates from diverse backgrounds and cultures to advance the science and practice of paediatric respiratory medicine. Through collaboration and knowledge-sharing, we will create a global network of professionals dedicated to improving the respiratory health of children.

INSPiRED will complement and not compete with existing local or regional professional societies dedicated to respiratory diseases. In fact, we hope that our colleagues from all over the world will join us in this bold new venture.

We envision a future where children have ready access to the highest quality respiratory care, leading to healthier and happier lives, regardless of their ethnicity, geography, socioeconomic status, or medical condition.

Why is specifically focusing on paediatrics in respiratory health important?

Children are so important, but also essential is to abandon developmental silos and for Adult and Paediatric Chest Physicians to learn from each other. We are so much better together!

  • Lifelong lung function is largely determined antenatally and in the preschool years; thereafter it tracks into old age. Improvement of adult lung health must start early
  • Susceptibility to adult diseases such as late onset and occupational asthma, COPD and even lung cancer is increased by childhood adverse circumstances
  • Lung function in children is heavily determined by parental lung function, and also adverse pregnancy exposures – how adult physicians care for their adult patients will impact on children coming to paediatric clinics
  • Traditional “childhood” diseases such as cystic fibrosis and Duchenne muscular dystrophy are now adult diseases as the patients survive longer and longer; paediatricians need to help adult physicians understand the needs of these young people, but conversely, as adultg physicians detect late complications in long survivors, they will inform practice changes in paediatrics (for example, bone health in cystic fibrosis)
  • Survivors with new diseases are coming to adult clinics; survivors of ever more preterm birth (currently 300-400 gm birth weight) and survivors of treatment for malignancy, for example. There needs to be joint planning of how to look after these people
  • Increasing numbers of genetic diseases are being discovered, with whole family implications; for example, surfactant protein C mutation disease has protean manifestations across the developmental course, with whole family implications.

How does taking an international approach to sharing respiratory knowledge help in the fight against respiratory illnesses?

We live in a small world – we cannot ignore respiratory diseases anywhere, because international travel is so rapid and easy. Infections travel fast, as we saw with COVID-19! We can also learn so much from each other, from patterns of disease internationally, and management strategies. We also need to come together across the globe to advocate for children, against global warming and pollution; and against the ravages of war, the crimes against humanity perpetrated against children which are inevitable in any war and glossed over as mistakes or “collateral damage”. We must also advocate that all children wherever they live have access to the same medications. Too often medications are priced beyond the purses of low-and-middle-income countries, for example highly effective modulator therapy for cystic fibrosis. It can be done; the cost of high activity antiretroviral therapy was driven down so the areas of greatest need like sub-Saharan Africa can benefit. Will they be able to afford the new RSV monoclonals?

How can people follow and/or get involved more with INSPiRED?

We invite you to attend the inaugural INSPiRED meeting, July 4-7, 2024, in Porto, Portugal. Everyone who comes will be offered membership (no fees!), newsletters and invitations to future educational events. We have produced an exciting program of internationally recognized speakers from around the globe, which can now be found in our website. Contact us with your ideas and vision for future meetings and developments; this is for everyone who cares about children with respiratory disease!