Global Health research

The CPCRG team at the University of Plymouth has been working extensively on lung health research projects in low-resource settings since 2012, starting with an observational prevalence study, an implementation study for co-developing education materials for healthcare workers, and feasibility and acceptability of pulmonary rehabilitation (PR), all in rural Uganda.

Subsequent funding was obtained for several packages of work in Uganda, Crete, Kyrgyzstan and Vietnam (FRESH AIR: Horizon 2020), including a midwife-led education programme to reduce smoke exposure for women and children (The Midwife Project), implementation of smoking cessation, and feasibility and acceptability of PR.

Further work is continuing on The Midwife Project to assess long-term impact and feasibility for widespread roll-out in other areas of rural Uganda and beyond. We are also working on Kupumua, which has involved cultural adaptation of dance, music and singing into PR sessions.

We have worked with University of Plymouth Illustration students on our projects to design teaching resources for children and communities in Uganda.

Please see below for links to all projects.

Who is involved?

The University of Plymouth, UK

Leiden University Medical Center, Netherlands

  • Dr Sanne van Kampen

University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, UK

  • Prof Sally Singh

Makerere University, Uganda

  • Dr Bruce Kirenga and team

University of Groningen, Holland

  • Dr Frederik van Gemert 
  • Professor Niels Chavannes.


Jones R, Kirenga B, Buteme S, Williams S, van Gemert F. A novel lung health programme addressing awareness and behaviour change aiming to prevent chronic respiratory diseases in rural Uganda: a two-year train-the-trainer programme.African Journal of Respiratory Medicine. 2019: In press.

Nantanda R, Buteme S, van Kampen S, Cartwright L, Pooler J, Barton A, Callaghan L, Mirembe J, Ndeezi G, Tumwine J, Kirenga B & Jones R. Feasibility and acceptability of a midwife-led education strategy to reduce exposure to biomass smoke among pregnant women in Uganda: A FRESH project. Global Public Health. 2019. DOI: 10.1080/17441692.2019.1642931

Philip K, Akylbekov A, Stambaeva B, Sooronbaev T, Jones R. Music, Dance and Harmonicas for People with COPD. Respiratory Care. 2019;64(3):359

Van Kampen S, Jones R, Kisembo H, Houben R, Wei Y, Mugabe F, Rutebemberwa E, Kirenga B. Chronic respiratory symptoms and lung abnormalities among young people with a history of tuberculosis in Uganda: a national survey. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2018;68(11)

Van Kampen S, Wanner A, Edwards M, Harries A, Kirenga B, Chakaya J, Jones R. International research and guidelines on post-tuberculosis chronic lung disorders: a systematic scoping review. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2018;3;e000745.

Jones R, Muyinda H, Nyakoojo G, Kirenga B, Katagira W, Pooler J. Does pulmonary rehabilitation alter patients’ experiences of living with chronic respiratory disease? A qualitative study. International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. 2018; 13(2375-2385).

Siddharthan T, Grigsby MR, Goodman D, et al. Association between Household Air Pollution Exposure and Chronis Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Outcomes in 13 Low- and Middle-Income Country Settings. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 2018;197(5):611-620

Jones R. The scale of the problem of obstructive lung disease in Africa becomes clearer, but where are the solutions? European Respiratory Journal. 2018;51(2):ARTN 1702562.

Jones R, Kirenga B, Katagira W, et al. A pre-post intervention study of pulmonary rehabilitation for adults with post-tuberculosis lung disease in Uganda. International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. 2017;12:3533-3539.

Jones R, Price D, Chavannes N, et al. Multi-component assessment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: an evaluation of the ADO and DOSE indices and the global obstructive lung disease categories in international primary care data sets. njp Primary Care Respiratory Medicine. 2016; 26(16010).

Kirenga B, Jones R, Muhofa A, Nyakoojo G, Williams S. Rapid assessment of the demand and supply of tobacco dependence pharmacotherapy in Uganda. Public Health Action. 2016;6(1):35-37.

van Gemert F, Chavannes N, Kirenga B, et al. Socioeconomic factors, gender and smoking as determinants of COPD in a low-income country of sub-Saharan Africa: FRESH AIR Uganda. Primary Care Respiratory Medicine. 2016;26(1):ARTN 16050.

Van Gemert F, Kirenga B, Chavannes N, et al. Prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and associated risk factors in Uganda (FRESH AIR Uganda): a prospective cross-sectional observational study. The Lancet Global Health. 2015;3(1):e44-e51.

Van Gemert F, Van der Molen T, Jones R, Chavannes N. The impact of asthma and COPD in sub-Saharan Africa. Primary Care Respiratory Journal. 2011;20(3):240-248.