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Following the success of our programme in Uganda, the IPCRG is delighted to announce that we will be running one of 11 new projects focused on treating tobacco dependence in the World Health Organization (WHO) European Region. The grants were awarded following a competitive review of proposals to Global Bridges and Pfizer Independent Grants for Learning and Change for projects that will help more Europeans improve their health by stopping tobacco use with support from healthcare professionals.

Global Bridges is a science-based initiative that mobilizes healthcare professionals and organizations dedicated to advancing effective tobacco dependence treatment and tobacco policy change. Global Bridges offers competitive grant funding and guidance for evidence-based capacity building with programmatic support from its founding partners, the Mayo Clinic and the American Cancer Society. The organization’s grantees and network members work in more than 63 countries, including low- and middle-income countries.


Project title: Capacity Building - Teaching the teachers of primary healthcare professionals to treat tobacco dependence

Main collaborators:

• Bulgarian General Practice Society for Research and Education

• Centre for Family Medicine, Medical Faculty, University Ss Cyril and Methodius, Skopje

• Kyrgyz Thoracic Society

• RespiRo (National Centre for Studies in Family Medicine and the National Society of Family Doctors)

Project goal:

To develop a sustainable network of teachers who will increase the capacity of healthcare professionals working in primary care to treat tobacco dependence in four countries: Romania, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia and the Kyrgyz Republic.

These four countries in the WHO European Region have high rates of smoking andexperience similar challenges in the provision of evidence-based treatment for tobacco dependence. The World Health Organization has called for smoking cessation to be integrated into primary healthcare globally. This requires primary care professionals have the capacity, opportunity and motivation to provide treatment and are able to prescribe pharmacotherapy that is affordable to patients. However, in the four participating countries, evidence shows provision of treatment and access to pharmacotherapy is low.

The project will equip 1,000 primary healthcare professionals with the knowledge and skills to treat tobacco dependence confidently in their community, using a cascading “Teach the Teachers” model, developed and used successfully by IPCRG. Participants will be recruited by IPCRG’s partner organisations in each of the four countries that are established providers of continuing medical education (CME). These primary

healthcare professionals will see more than 165,000 patients who are current smokers every year. The project will contribute to an increase in quit attempts and improving access to pharmacotherapy by increasing knowledge of and demand for it. It will also contribute to spreading and sustaining education on treatment for tobacco dependence by ensuring themodules it develops are recognised by CME providers.


Our project begins this month, and will continue through to March 2019.


More on Global Bridges

These new funded projects (total investment USD 2 million) are consistent with the Global Bridges mission to support a global network of healthcare professionals and organizations committed to tobacco dependence treatment and advocating for effective tobacco control policy.

The request for proposals called for projects focused on two specific areas of interest:

  • Capacity building initiatives, including development of educational materials, for healthcare professionals in tobacco dependence treatment
  • Advocacy programs aimed at implementation of WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Article 14 and its guidelines at the national level

The eleven projects will involve a broad range of healthcare professionals in multiple European countries, including primary care physicians, health workers in hospitals, nurses, pulmonary specialists and providers treating pregnant women. Projects will leverage the crucial role of healthcare professionals as non-smoking exemplars and tobacco control advocates, and will enhance organizational change, actively engaging avariety of professional and policymaking institutions. A full list of projects is available on the Global Bridges website.