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Fresh Air News

Fresh Air News

FRESH AIR (Free Respiratory Evaluation and Smoke-exposure
reduction by primary Health cAre Integrated gRoups) is an EU-funded Horizon 2020 implementation
science project that aims to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of people with
chronic lung conditions in low and middle income countries.

The project is working in Uganda, Vietnam, the Kyrgyz Republic and
Greece. These are countries with a high prevalence of chronic lung conditions; large parts of the

population smoke and/or are exposed to household air pollution from using biomass fuel-burning
stoves for cooking and/or heating.

Education, prevention and treatment measures to help people stop
smoking are widely available in higher income countries, as are cleaner ways of cooking and heating.
In lower and middle income countries, there is a lack of resources to tackle these causes of lung
disease, combined with low awareness of both lung diseases and risk factors.

FRESH AIR is using implementation science to explore how existing
knowledge and evidence-based interventions proven to improve respiratory health in high income
countries – such as education and training of healthcare professionals on spirometry, smoking
cessation and pulmonary rehabilitation, as well as the latest evidence on cleaner stoves – can be
adapted to countries with fewer financial and healthcare resources.


[Broken Link] Researching the needs of people in the Kyrgyz

A research visit to the Kyrgyz Republic was carried out in May to Researching the needs of people in the Kyrgyz Republicensure
that interventions carried out as part of the FRESH AIR project are suitable.


[Broken Link] Read more





Pulmonary rehab in Uganda

FRESH AIR researchers have been working on bringing pulmonary
rehabilitation – an evidence-based treatment programme that blends physical activity and education
– to help people affected by lung conditions to feel better.

Watch the video






Learning more about the challenges facing Crete

The FRESH AIR team visited Crete in summer 2016 to carry out
research on how chronic respiratory diseases are affecting the island’s population.

[Broken Link] Read more






[Broken Link] Pulmonary rehab site visit and training in

October saw a visit to a future pulmonary rehabilitation pilot site
in Vietnam, as well as a FRESH AIR training course for healthcare professionals.

[Broken Link] Read more








[Broken Link] Uganda, Sub-Saharan Africa

  • High prevalence of COPD in rural areas
  • Lots of women and children exposed to smoke from indoor cooking using biomass fuels
  • Tobacco growing region
  • Lack of access to electricity/li>
  • Low awareness of the health impacts of smoke
  • Limited access to healthcare professionals and medicines

[Boken Link] Vietnam, South East Asia

  • Highest prevalence of COPD in the Asia-Pacific region
  • 56.1% of men are smokers
  • Wood used as fuel for cooking in rural areas
  • Tobacco growing region
  • Limited access to health infrastructure in rural areas
  • No nicotine replacement therapies available

[Boken Link] The Kyrgyz Republic, Central Asia

  • Highest rate of mortality due to lung disease in the WHO European region
  • In high altitude areas, people live inside yurts heated by biomass fuels, closed for 8 months a year
  • Tobacco growing region
  • High rate of adult cigarette smoking
  • Around 80% of the population has access to basic primary care
  • No nicotine replacement therapies available
  • Low awareness of the health impacts of smoke

[Boken Link] Greece, South Eastern Europ

  • One of the highest smoking rates in the EU
  • High prevalence of lung diseases compared to other European countries
  • Recent economic crises have impacted on health and healthcare
  • Significant inequalities in healthcare access, including for the Roma population
  • Tobacco growing country
  • Primary care in the rural areas; pulmonologists in the cities and private sector


What is implementation science?

Implementation science takes a healthcare intervention that has
been shown to be effective in routine practice and examines how it can be adapted and scaled up in
order to improve the health of different populations.

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FRESH AIR is one of 13 global implementation research projects
funded by the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (GACD) that aim to tackle the burden of lung
diseases. Five of these projects, including FRESH AIR, received this funding via the European

Together we hope to generate and advocate for global action for
healthy lungs by demonstrating how improvements can be achieved in low resource settings.

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