As the FRESH AIR project draws to a close, it is time to consider how our results can live beyond the lifetime of the project.
We have seen several positive short-term impacts in the local communities we have worked with and we have generated new knowledge on the best ways to implement interventions to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of non-communicable lung diseases.
Results from FRESH AIR will provide data on the context of respiratory health in four different low resource settings including demographic, clinical, environmental, healthcare utilisation, quality of life data and direct and indirect costs of diagnosed respiratory patients. We are actively collaborating with other research projects focusing on asthma and COPD, such as NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Respiratory Health (RESPIRE) and Breathe Well, NIHR Global Health Research Group on Global COPD in Primary Care. Through these collaborations, we will share our learning about the valuable results from our implementation research. Specifically, we can communicate our results around stakeholder engagement and how to increase awareness amongst policymakers about non-communicable lung diseases, which tends to be less apparent than other NCDs despite its prevalence and impact.
In this newsletter, will look at the latest publications from the project, the events where the findings of the project have been recently showcased and further opportunities to sustain the legacy of FRESH AIR.
Download and share the new FRESH AIR infographic
A new infographic is now available as key dissemination tool. The document can either be printed and distributed or shared online to help all project partners share key findings, outcomes and the next steps.
Further clean air campaigns
The research is clear – air pollution leads to poor health outcomes. As the body of evidence is growing, the health sector is taking important steps towards delivering interventions for healthcare professionals. There are important campaigns taking place at the moment that the results of the FRESHAIR project can both complement and support:
Landmark WHO Conference on Air Pollution and Health
The first World Health Organization (WHO) Global Conference on Air Pollution and Health, which took place in Geneva in October, saw commitments made from medical societies and patient organisations to act on air quality.
The landmark conference led to a call for the health sector to implement effective policies to inform the public about the risks of poor-quality air. A pledge was signed by 28 organisations who made a commitment to take active steps to reduce the harm caused by air pollution through awareness and education measures. The measures focus on the inclusion of air quality evidence in clinical guidelines, education and research and steps that can be taken to improve awareness and knowledge among patient populations. To sign up to this pledge as a medical society or patient information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
BreatheLife is a joint campaign led by the World Health Organization, the United Nations Environment Programme and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition. It aims to mobilise cities and individuals to protect our health and planet from the effects of air pollution.
Healthcare professionals are invited to join the campaign by committing to actions to inform patients about health risks and reducing air pollution and climate emissions in their own community and practice.
Find out more: http://breathelife2030.org/
Further campaigns to promote the importance of primary care
A number of campaigns are currently focusing on the promoting the importance of primary care and may be of interest to our newsletter readers:
- Universal Health Coverage
- Primary Care: New WHO/UNICEF Declaration
- WHO consultation on primary care operational framework
MEETINGS & EVENTS
FRESH AIR results shared with colleagues across Euro-Asian region
Results from the FRESH AIR project featured heavily in the programme of the first IPCRG Euro-Asian Scientific Conference in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan in October, 2018.
Project partners shared their experiences and recommendations for dissemination within other countries in the Euro-Asian region. The conference also presented the opportunity for the first showing of a project film on pulmonary rehabilitation in Kyrgyzstan showing feasibility and acceptability of introducing it in remote and rural areas for people who are breathless from COPD and TB.
FRESH AIR results presented in EU Parliament
FRESH AIR results were presented at a recent session at the EU Parliament, hosted by French MEP Gilles Pargneaux. The presentation featured alongside results from other respiratory and smoking related projects, funded by Horizon 2020.
Gilles Pargneaux highlighted the importance of Member States being able to implement tobacco control policies and there was a video of support from EU Commissioner for Health, Vytenis Andrukaitis.
Air quality in the spotlight at ERS Research Seminar
The impact of air pollution on respiratory health was the focus of a new European Respiratory Society Research Seminar, which took place in November in Berlin, Germany.
A range of experts from different areas in the pollution field led engaging discussions on the latest topics and research being published in this area and participants had the chance to present their own research in poster sessions.
Frederik Gemert from the FRESH AIR project attended and commented: “About 80 researchers from all over the world discussed key topics including the best metrics to use for air quality impact and whether health effects are only related to particulate matter. A lot of time was spent discussing ambient air pollution in high-income countries. Concerning household air pollution, we all agreed that a lot of damage is done in childhood, causing a reduce lung function as young adulthood with all the consequences throughout life. Finding the true exposure is very complicated. This was a fascinating meeting discussing some very relevant issues.”
Publications from FRESH AIR and partners:
- Brakema EA, Tabyshova A, Kasteleyn MJ, Molendijk E, van der Kleij RMJJ, van Boven JFM, et al. High COPD prevalence at high altitude: does household air pollution play a role? Eur Respir J [Internet]. 2018 Jan 1;1801193. Available from: http://erj.ersjournals.com/content/early/2018/11/08/13993003.01193-2018.abstract
- Østergaard MS, Kjærgaard J, Kristensen MM, et al. Recurrent lower respiratory illnesses among young children in rural Kyrgyzstan: overuse of antibiotics and possible under-diagnosis of asthma. NPJ Prim Care Respir Med [Internet]. 28:25 (2018)
- Van Schayck, O. C. P., Williams, S., Barchilon, V., Baxter, N., Jawad, M., Katsaounou, P. A., Ostrem, A. Treating tobacco dependence: guidance for primary care on life-saving interventions. Position statement of the IPCRG. NPJ Primary Care Respiratory Medicine, 27:38 (2017)
- Verbiest M, Brakema E, van der Kleij R, Sheals K, Allistone G, Williams S, et al. National guidelines for smoking cessation in primary care: a literature review and evidence analysis.
NPJ Prim Care Respir Med [Internet]. 27:2 (2017)
- Cragg L, Williams S, Chavannes NH on behalf of the FRESH AIR Group.
FRESH AIR: an implementation research project funded through Horizon 2020 exploring the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of chronic respiratory diseases in low-resource settings.
Npj Prim Care Respir Med [Internet];2016 Jun 30;26:16035
- Tsiligianni I,Trigoni M, Anastasaki M et al
Qualitative evaluation of a pulmonary rehabilitation programme in Greece: results from the FRESH AIR project
NPJ Primary Care Respiratory Medicine
- Abstracts from the 2018 ERS International Congress have also now been published in the European Respiratory Journal:
ERS International Congress 2018 abstracts
15 September 2018; volume 52, issue suppl 62
- Abstracts from the IPCRG 9th World conference: https://www.theipcrg.org/freshair/resources-publications/fresh-air-2018-abstracts
- The IPCRG Desktop Helper Helping patients quit smoking (the 3rd edition) will be available in January 2019 from www.ipcrg.org/desktophelpers. This provides practical "how to" information for primary care professionals adapted to different contexts including where NRT is not yet available.
THE FUTURE OF FRESH AIR
As the project draws to a close, there are a few areas of further support available for healthcare professionals:
- A number of clinical fellowships are available in Kyrgyzstan.
- IPCRG is in discussions with a number of partners about scaling up teach the teacher programmes, like the one in Kyrgyzstan, to increase capacity to teach primary care about public education as well as respiratory diagnosis and management.
You can keep up to date with future news and access publications and dissemination materials in the following ways:
- Downloading the infographic mentioned above
- Bookmark the publications and resources page to find all publications: https://www.theipcrg.org/freshair/resources-publications