On behalf of all contributors, we are delighted to share the 2021/2022 edition of the e-Toolkit with you. It will be officially launched on the 25th of November 2021 as a global online event.
‘Elimination of Asbestos-Related Diseases (ARDs)' is a goal originally declared by the World Health Organisation and the International Labour Organisation and is embraced by a range of related scientific organisations as well as various stakeholders including the patients and their families, practitioners, researchers, governments, and support organisations. This goal is accepted worldwide because ARDs affect the wellbeing and lives of so many people.
ARDs are a complex disease. From an industrial perspective, all ARDs are preventable. From a clinical perspective, ARDs are difficult to diagnose and almost impossible to cure. From a socio-legal perspective, ARDs are unjust and undercompensated. From the victims’ perspective, ARDs are painful and too often fatal. ARDs thus require a multidimensional and interdisciplinary approach. We have consciously chosen to take this approach.
Developing countries are a particular concern because many lack the awareness and expertise to deal with ARDs, and sadly enough, continue to use asbestos. The ARD burdens may be hidden for now but are destined to grow. Developed countries can and should reach out to these countries, and share the experience and expertise to stop this tragedy from repeating. Incentives of developed countries may be genuinely rooted in a sense of moral obligation, but the principle of reciprocity is also a justifiable driver.
The 2013 edition of the toolkit was originally developed “to serve as a concise and easy-to-use reference source of knowledge, technologies and information.” This new 2021/2022 edition is a total remake. We aspired to make the new toolkit approachable, vivid and even pleasurable to view. Training videos were produced concurrently on a variety of themes. There are hyperlinks to published articles and Powerpoint slides developed by contributors, as well as to link free external sources that we judged to be useful. Hence, the naming e-Toolkit.
We are committed to growing this toolkit even further, by adding new contents and links to the extent possible. We structured it to be flexible so it can accommodate new themes and functions. Suggestions and proposals are welcome from all of you – whether you have already contributed to the content or not, whether you are one of the stakeholders or not, or you are just a casual visitor – as long as you agree to the goal of ARD elimination, you are welcome. We have only got to the starting line and will look very much forward to your feedback.