The University of Birmingham has secured £2 million from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to launch a research group aimed at improving healthcare for patients with lung diseases around the world.
The NIHR Global Health Research Group on Global COPD in Primary Care will be based at the University of Birmingham at the University’s Institute of Applied Health Research, working with leading primary care experts in China, Brazil, Georgia and FYR Macedonia.
They will embark on several research projects over the next two years to find better ways of early detection and improving the management of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in primary care and the community in each of the four global regions, with transferable lessons to other settings and countries.
COPD is a progressive lung disease, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis. COPD is mainly caused by smoking, but particularly in less developed countries, exposure to indoor air pollution, passive smoking and gases and fumes from the workplace can also be important causes of the disease.
There is no cure for COPD, but treatment can help ease symptoms, lower the chance of complications and hospitalisations, and generally improve quality of life. Over half of those with the condition do not know they have it, and so earlier diagnosis could improve the outcome for patients.
It is one of 33 new research units or groups announced today by The Department of Health. They have been funded by £120 million from NIHR’s Global Health Research initiative which has given UK-based universities and research institutes the opportunity to develop and expand their existing global health work.
Health Minister Lord O’Shaughnessy said: “This funding allows our universities to strengthen their research and expertise as a leader in Global Health Research.
“The UK will continue to be at the forefront of health knowledge, and it is only right that we support developing nations as they improve care for patients and public.”
This article was originally released by the University of Birmingham, 14th July 2017.