Officially registered in Spain, the World Bronchology Foundation (“WBF”) is the philanthropic arm of the World Association for Bronchology and Interventional Pulmonology (official website) whose members can participate and contribute to the work of the Foundation.
The WBF provides equipment and week-long on-site training to medical and ancillary personnel working in government and community hospitals and in areas of need.
Projects are designed to introduce and provide continuity in bronchoscopic, airway management skills, as well as thoracic surgery, and pleural disease management procedures and techniques, in order to help patients with little or no access to these technologies.
Current Board Members:
- President: Dr Enrique Cases Viedma (Spain)
- Vice-Presidents: Dr Eduardo de Miguel Poch (Spain) & Dr Domingo Pérez Bejarano (Paraguay), Silvia Quadrelli (Argentina)
- Secretary-Treasurer: Dr Carlos Disdier Vicente (Spain)
The WBF is a solidarity project aimed at improving access to health for vulnerable populations, focusing its action in the area of bronchology and the diseases related to it.
Bronchology is a part of respiratory medicine that implements diagnostic and treatment methods necessary for diseases such as tuberculosis, AIDS-associated infections, lung cancer and respiratory infections in general.
The Foundation has brought together the efforts of many of the world’s leading specialists in bronchology to help patients in needy countries obtain better opportunities for diagnosis and treatment and the possibility of a better life.
The Foundation carries out its charitable work through philanthropic and scientific efforts to promote research and practices related to bronchoscopy that generate better access to diagnostic and therapeutic procedures for broncho-pulmonary diseases in developing countries and regions. disadvantaged in any part of the world.
The Foundation works around the creation of educational programs for doctors and paramedical personnel, through the donation of medical equipment, through continuous work in the research of strategies for the development of medical care in emerging countries and, above all, in the permanent sensitization of all health workers and the general population about the need to help the less favored countries to improve their healing opportunities in respiratory diseases.
The Foundation plans to focus its activities on community projects in different parts of the world, always emphasizing the transfer of technology, material resources and technical skills from the most developed countries to the countries with the greatest difficulties in order to achieve its objective: to improve the respiratory health throughout the world through allowing equal access to health care for all.
In resume The WABF will have, among others, these mean goals:
- To contribute to the scientific knowledge on Pulmonary Endoscopy
- To encourage research in the same area
- To contribute to train Medical Doctors in the field of Bronchoscopy, by granting scholarships for research
- To promote local surveillance studies in order to assess the situation of both Bronchoscopy and Interventional Pulmonology.
- To supply technology as well as scientific support and training personnel to perform respiratory bronchoscopy and related skills
The WBF was born in April 2000 at the idea of Dr. Pablo Diaz that with the doctors Silvia Quadrelli, Henri Colt, Ramon Rami Porta, Teresa Maria Argemí and Prof. Barron, all of them members of the WABIP, met in Sitges Barcelona Spain in order to use their experience, technical resources and international links, to help patients from disadvantaged countries and obtain better levels of medical care in the area of Pneumology and more specifically Bronchoscopy.
Aware that in many countries, the technological limitation and the inability to adequately train health workers, deny patients the possibility of accessing diagnostic or treatment methods that can save their lives, this group of doctors decided to put the service of these vulnerable populations, their capacity and their effort to improve their chances of accessing decent health.
With this purpose, they summoned doctors dedicated to the same specialty and with the same level of experience residing in different parts of the world and who dedicate their efforts to the diagnosis and treatment of respiratory diseases related to Bronchoscopy. In this way they joined the will of the entire international community and gave rise to this great effort that is the WBF.
Likewise, a fund raising was initiated requesting financing from individuals and industries, several of which responded generously.
At that meeting, the first Board of Directors formed was appointed:
- President: José Pablo Díaz Jiménez (Spain), Coordinator of operations: Henri Colt (USA)
- Vice-presidents: Patrick Barron (Japan) Silvia Quadrelli (Argentina), Ramon Rami-Porta (Spain)
- Secretary-Treasurer: Teresa María Argemí (Spain)
The sculptor Lorenzo Quinn, of world renown, designed the logo and a sculpture for the organization.
During the Business Meeting of the WAB Board of Regents held during the 11th World Congress for Bronchology in Yokohama, June 7-10, 2000, the regents of the WAB agreed to establish the WBF Foundation (WBF) as the philanthropic arm of the WAB.
Once the idea to stablish the WBF was approved the Founder group started to work and finaly the the Foundation was registered in 2001 in Barcelona Spain as a non-profit organization.
His first presentation took place during the WABIP World Congress in Boston in 2002, where Dr. Díaz-Jiménez informed the regents about the official establishment of the WBF the philanthropic arm of the WABIP. Dr. Díaz-Jiménez and Dr. Quadrelli provided the mission statement and objectives of the foundation.
During the Congress Dr. Beamis provided a space on the agenda of the Congress, to present information about the WBF and to allow Olympus and Brian Corporation, to present their donations of flexible and rigid bronchoscope equipment for the first project of the Foundation in Mauritania during the opening ceremony. Sculptures of the Logo of the Foundation designed by the sculptor Lorenzo Quinn were auctioned and sold successfully during the congress thanks to the collaboration of Dr. E. Edell of the Mayo Clinic, who acted as master of ceremonies during the auction. Also during the Board of Regents meeting of the WAB, the Board of Directors of the WBF was accepted and the Medical Advisory Council for the Foundation was appointed.
The administrative management, administration and representation of the Foundation corresponds to the members of the Board of Directors, all of them closely related in their long-standing professional activity with the bronchology, respiratory diseases and the medical community international dedicated to these activities.
The present Board of Directors: Drs. Enrique Casos Casos Viedma (President), Carlos Disdier Vicente (Secretary-Treasure), Eduardo de Miguel Poch (Vicepresident) Domingo Pérez (Vicepresidente)) y Silvia Quadrelli (Vicepresident).
The Board of Trustees is formed by the Founder members who are the ones who initiated this solidary and vocational task, summoning their colleagues from all over the world and who have the mission to coordinate and stimulate this international humanitarian activity.
The Board of Trustees is also made up of two members representing the Council of Protectors, to ensure donors and benefactors a prominent place in the decisions, and by two members representing the Medical Advisory Board. These members are always world-renowned bronchoscopists and ensure that the technical quality of the Foundation’s projects will have a scientific and logistical rigor that ensures not only solidarity action but also effective intervention and effective results. Finally, the presence of members representing the World Association for Bronchology and Interventional Pulmonology, the world’s highest body that brings together all the bronchoscopists of the world, will provide the Board with a fluid contact with bronchoscopic scientific activity, technical and academic resources and permanent communication with all local societies dedicated to respiratory medicine that will provide information on needs, possibilities and intervention strategies.
The Medical Advisory Council: It is formed by specialists in bronchoscopy and related disciplines who actively participate in the tasks of the Foundation. All of them are distinguished international bronchoscopists and their task is to advise on the drafting of projects, the identification of possible intervention sites, the technical characteristics of the equipment, the provision of accessory material and the selection and training of human resources sent to the field for training of local staff.
The Protector Advisory Council: It consists of people strongly involved with the Foundation, whatever the type of activities they carry out in their daily lives, they have an active solidarity participation and they are outstanding members of their community. Its function is to advise the Board in relations with other organizations, fundraising tasks, logistics and links with the non-medical community.
Honorary members: Some of the most prominent figures in the world bronchoscopy have accepted to be honorary members of the Foundation. Its prestige and long international trajectory guarantees the high technical quality of all the projects carried out by the Foundation and the cooperation of the most prestigious Universities in the world in different areas of the WBF projects.
Representatives of the WAB: The President and the President of the Regents Council of the WBF are an active part of the Board. In this way the vocation of the WBF is materialized: to be the philanthropic arm of the World Association for Bronchology and in this way to complement the scientific, academic and technical tasks that it stimulates and develops, with the solidary task of putting at the service of the most needy, all that potential of knowledge and access to technology to make science a bridge towards a more egalitarian medical care approaching the goal of “health for all”.
In addition, the Foundation is part of:
- Permanent Employers
- Advisory Council of Protectors
- Medical Advisory Board
- Representative of the WAB
- Honorary Members
Projects of the WBF always follow the same operational principles that are based on its philosophy of humanitarian aid: accompaniment of vulnerable populations in the construction of their own destiny.
That is why the WBF always respects certain essential premises:
Community participation: Foundation members only act as protagonists when transferring competencies, supporting management control and monitoring operations. The key is the training of local personnel who will later take charge of the material received.
Self-sustainability: The Foundation guarantees in all its projects that they are viable in the medium term, once the active presence of the Foundation has been withdrawn.
Strong local counterparts: The Foundation always works in cooperation with a local actor recognized by the Community who legitimizes its presence, does the local follow-up of the projects and ensures the monitoring of a transparent and generous operation.
For the WBF the prominence of the projects is in the community and must respond to the needs of the community, the only way to guarantee lasting success.
Since its foundation, the WBF has carried out the following projects:
Argentina was experiencing a crisis of shortages of supplies imported by the sudden and dramatic devaluation in the last 6 months.
Accessories of diagnostic and therapeutic bronchoscopy were distributed to public hospitals in Argentina (disposable tweezers, non-renewable tweezers, silicone stents)
It aimed to raise awareness in the international community about the collapse of the health system of Argentina, as well as to sensitize the international medical community about the responsibility of the local and transnational industry to maintain reasonable prices, avoid speculation in the provision of medical supplies. and guarantee the availability of essential elements.
Target population: Patients from public hospitals in Argentina
Mauritania has a population of 3 million people but there was only one bronchoscope that was in the capital city. With a life expectancy of 51 years and a child mortality of 73/1000, 50% of its population is below the poverty line.
The Foundation donated a bronchoscope, accessories, teaching materials and supplies to a public hospital in Mauritania.
He provided training for two doctors and two local nurses in the use, indications and correct maintenance of the equipment.
In addition, he provided permanent follow-up advice and monitoring and follow-up of the use of the donated equipment.
Target population: Patients from the area of influence of Nouâdhibou (90,000 people) served in the only public hospital.
Mozambique is one of the countries with the highest HIV rates (30% in some sectors) and 70% of the population living in poverty. Despite its 1,000 health units throughout the country, it had only one endoscope to assist its 17 million inhabitants.
The Foundation donated a bronchoscope, accessories, teaching materials and supplies to a public hospital in Maputo, capital of Mozambique.
Provided training to four doctors and two local nurses in the use, indications and correct maintenance of the equipment.
He also trained a doctor in the use and indications of therapeutic bronchoscopy.
Installed the Internet in the hospital to allow later permanent advice and monitoring and follow-up of the use of the donated equipment.
Target population: Patients assisted at the Maputo central hospital (area of influence: reference throughout the country).
Vietnam is experiencing rapid population growth. Almost half of the population of Vietnam does not have access to drinking water. This deficiency affects a high rate of infectious diseases, including pulmonary tuberculosis, for which an interventional bronchoscope is required. Cho Ray Hospital had a department of respiratory diseases but lacked experience in bronchoscopy procedures.
The project took place mainly at the Cho Ray Hospital. In addition to the donation of equipment, training was organized for the doctors and nurses of the hospital responsible for carrying out bronchoscopies. Another objective that was fulfilled in this mission was the support and guidance in establishing standardized protocols for the execution of flexible bronchoscopies. Collaboration programs were also established between the industry, foreign academic institutions and medical specialists in order to increase the role of bronchoscopy in Vietnam.
Patients assisted at the Cho Ray Hospital and the Cancer Hospital (area of influence: reference of the entire country).
Activities of the WBF have been made possible in part by:
The Spanish Society of Pulmonology and Thoracic Surgery (SEPAR)
The Spanish Association of Respiratory Endoscopy and Interventional Neumology (AEER)