Lungs x-ray

Welcome to the Pan African Thoracic Society (PATS) website!

PATS was formed to create a representative African respiratory society for the continent and to address the high burden of respiratory illnesses in Africa. The overall aim of PATS is to promote lung health in Africa through education, training, research and advocacy.  Since the first election in 2011, PATS has grown, becoming a voice for lung health in Africa, undertaking educational, research and advocacy initiatives and building African capacity to address the challenges of improving lung health on the continent.  PATS currently has 770 members from 33 different African countries.

African populations bear a disproportionate burden of respiratory morbidity and mortality relative to the population size both from infectious diseases as well as from non-communicable diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma.  There is a very high burden of respiratory diseases such as pneumonia, tuberculosis and HIV-associated respiratory illness. Asthma and tobacco associated respiratory disease are common.  Biomass fuel use is ubiquitous and a major contributor to the prevalence of pulmonary infections, malignancy and COPD. Childhood respiratory illness is the commonest cause of mortality and morbidity in children under 5 years, with around 20% of deaths due to childhood pneumonia, the main cause of death in African children. This is compounded by the high proportion of children (approximately 30-50%) who make up African populations. Therefore it is essential that PATS maintain a strong voice  to represent African lung health issues and that PATS further develop educational, research and advocacy initiatives. 

Current sentinel activities and projected growth for the next 5 years, are as follows:

The first inaugural PATS conference is scheduled for 2016 in Kenya. An organising and scientific committee has been established, a draft program developed and a venue established. 

If you are a health professional concerned with the health of people in Africa, then please consider becoming a member of PATS and contributing actively to the society.  There is much to do to improve lung health in Africa – together we can do better to promote better health for African children, adults and families.

Professor Heather Zar

President, PATS

Dec 2014