Post date: Jan 8, 2017 4:24:41 PM

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.


Researching the needs of people in the Kyrgyz Republic

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

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.

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.

Pulmonary rehab site visit and training in Vietnam

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


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.


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 Commission.

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