- Sixty million people across the Middle East may be at risk of developing respiratory illnesses such as pulmonary fibrosis 
- Marking IPF Awareness Week, the launch of Boehringer Ingelheim’s new website aims to address the current gap in credible resources and information in the Arabic language and to support patients and caregivers across the region
Lebanon – September 16th, 2020: To mark Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) Awareness Week, which this year falls on September 14-22, Boehringer Ingelheim, one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, has launched a new Arabic website to support patients living with the condition in the region. Incorporating the Arabic language, the online platform has been designed to provide patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals with a credible source of information on the disease, its causes, symptoms, risk factors and treatments.
In the Middle East alone, around 60 million people are estimated to be at risk for developing respiratory diseases such as pulmonary fibrosis. This is due to the high rates of smoking and obesity, as well as the extreme weather conditions in the region. IPF, one of the less common respiratory disorders, occurs when lung tissue becomes damaged, leading to the development of scar tissue that makes it difficult to breathe.
Symptoms of IPF can include a dry cough, chest pain, leg swelling, shortness of breath and fatigue, among others. With respect to risk factors, almost everyone diagnosed with IPF is over 50 and about 75% of those diagnosed are men. Genetics also play a significant role, with up to 20% of people who have IPF across the globe having a family member with a similar lung disease. 
The Arabic edition of the website was launched in response to the increased demand for more information about IPF in the language following the initial development of the English website, launched by Boehringer Ingelheim a year ago. Titled: “Living with Pulmonary Fibrosis,” the website includes multiple features to support patients, families, caregivers and healthcare professionals across the Middle East. Information featured on the website can be accessed in conjunction with scheduled therapies and checkups and includes facts and statistics about the disease, its symptoms and risk factors, treatment options, advice for patients, and guidance for families and caregivers. Other resources include frequently asked questions and a glossary of medical terms to help broaden knowledge and understanding of the condition.
“As a rare respiratory disease, IPF can be challenging to diagnose and we at Boehringer Ingelheim are committed to supporting patients living with rare diseases and helping them live their lives to the fullest,” said Dr Mohamed Meshref, Regional Medical and Regulatory Director at Boehringer Ingelheim Middle East, Turkey and Africa. “Given that the disease is relatively uncommon, many misconceptions and unknowns still exist around it, hence the importance of our initiative. Furthermore, credible resources for IPF patients in the region are currently lacking – especially in the Arabic language, therefore we are very pleased to be launching this website to provide patients living with IPF, their caregivers and the wider healthcare community with credible sources of information, guidance, and resources to support the improvement of IPF disease management in the region,” Meshref added.
To access the websites, please click on the following links: