Non-communicable respiratory disease in The Gambia: Pathways to solutions

Lead Research Organisation: Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
Department Name: Clinical Sciences


Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are the leading causes of premature mortality globally including in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) where the majority of these premature deaths occur. There is increasing international attention to NCDs including a third UN High Level Meeting on NCDs in September 2018. However, action on the ground to improve health services for people with NCDs in LMICs and research to inform this action is far from adequate given the magnitude of the global health problem.

Respiratory NCDs are one of the four commonest groups of NCDs and include the airways diseases asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Asthma is the commonest chronic disease of childhood globally and an important cause of preventable mortality. COPD is one of the commonest chronic diseases of adulthood and the third commonest cause of death globally. Despite being responsible for this substantial burden of disease, attention to these conditions in LMICs and countries in sub-Saharan Africa in particular has been limited. A Pubmed search of 'asthma Gambia' and 'COPD Gambia' reveals 9 and 2 hits, respectively helping to illustrate the point.

The theme of this PhD will be non-communicable lung disease in The Gambia with a focus on exploring pathways to solutions that will be relevant to the wider sub-Saharan African region. The work done through the PhD will lead to a PhD thesis.


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