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Winter 2020
For the latest information about COVID-19 click here.
Dear IPCRG Colleague,

Despite travel restrictions, pauses in research and busy clinical workloads affecting our network, we have much progress to report over the last few months!

We also want to take this chance to wish you all happy holidays and best wishes for the year ahead of us. We will be closed from 24 December and will reopen on 5 January, 2021. See you in the new year!
IPCRG Webinars

Confidence in: Asthma Management during the COVID-19 pandemic webinar

100 participants from across the globe attended our latest webinar entitled Confidence in Asthma Management during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The event, which took place on 28 November, 2020, saw four experienced members of our network give updates on the following topics:
  • Making an Asthma Diagnosis - Anders Ostrem, Norway
  • The Acute Management of Asthma - Marina Garcia-Pardo, Spain
  • How do you organise and prioritise routine asthma care - Hanna Sandelowsky, Sweden
  • Collaborating with colleagues - Where does Asthma Right Care fit in? - Maria Mar Martinez, Spain
Five excellent abstracts that had previously been submitted for the rescheduled 2020, 10th IPCRG World Conference, were also presented:
  • Impact of a city-wide children and young people’s asthma awareness campaign - #AskAboutAsthma (#AAA), Georgie Herskovits and Christine Kirkpatrick, UK
  • Perceptions of school staff, healthcare professionals and policymakers on a school-based intervention for asthma in Malaysia: A qualitative study, Kamilla Ramzdan, Malaysia
  • Insights from Photovoice on the impact of socio-cultural factors on people with asthma and limited health literacy in Malaysia, Hani Salim, Malaysia/Edinburgh
  • Acceptability, feasibility and usability of ALRITE, a mobile health tool to improve diagnosis of acute lower respiratory illnesses in Ugandan children, Laura Ellington, USA
  • Asthma/COPD Differentiation Classification (AC/DC): Machine learning to aid physicians in diagnosing asthma, COPD & asthma-COPD overlap (ACO), Alan Kaplan, Canada
These abstracts demonstrated the tremendous synergy that takes place within the IPCRG global community with considerable communication following the webinar. We are incredibly grateful to the plenary speakers and the abstract presenters for a tremendous, educationally-driven webinar.

Access all presentations and videos from the webinar (free).

There will be further IPCRG webinars during 2021 – details coming soon.

10th IPCRG World Conference, Dublin, Ireland 6-8 May 2021

Call for abstracts now open
A call for abstracts has now opened for the rescheduled 10th IPCRG World Conference, allowing you to submit your most recent work. While we continue to monitor the situation regarding COVID-19 in Ireland, we believe at this stage that most of the conference is likely to be delivered virtually. We will still deliver the inspiring educational sessions, interactive discussions and networking opportunities that the IPCRG conference is renowned for. Our revised programme covers the best practice in primary care management of chronic respiratory diseases and updates on COVID-19, such as testing, managing routine care remotely and differential diagnosis of breathlessness. Our programme is aimed at all members of the multi-disciplinary team working in all primary care settings in low-, middle- and high-income countries.

ePoster Showcase
All accepted abstracts will have the advantage of featuring in our ePoster Showcase, which will remain accessible online for a year until the next IPCRG World Conference. The move to a digital format will provide a much greater reach and allow authors to use a range of digital tools to showcase their research, including videos, images, audio, apps, presentations, social media and links to interactive online resources. The ePoster Showcase will also provide numerous opportunities for interaction between viewers and the ePoster author, so in true IPCRG fashion, we will be helping to connect our people and share ideas.

We hope that you have the date, 6-8 May 2021, in your diaries. Registration will open early in 2021. The deadline for abstract submission is 2359hrs GMT on 25 January 2021. We have been in touch with all abstract authors who submitted an abstract for the original 2020 conference. If you have not received this email, please email who will outline your available options.

Find out more about the Call for Abstracts and how to submit your work.
Date for the diary:
11th IPCRG World Conference
will take place in Malaga, Spain on the 5-7th May 2022, so please keep this date free and aim to join us in sunny Spain.
Change Programmes

Download the new emergency room/urgent care centre poster

A new poster on how best to manage asthma/suspected asthma has been produced by the Asthma Right Care project. The poster is for display in emergency rooms and primary care urgent care centres. As every attendance is a teachable moment, it includes important messages about inhalers to encourage the right use of the right medicine to help prevent future asthma attacks. For some people, the emergency room is where they first hear about asthma and asthma medicines so it is critical that they get the right messages. 

If you wish to translate or adapt this poster for your country, please get in touch with

Download the poster and please share among your own networks. There are translations in Canadian French, Spanish and Argentinian Spanish available in the key resources section.
Find out more about the Asthma Right Care project

Updates from the RESPIRE project

IPCRG are working on capacity building and educational projects in partnership with the NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Respiratory Health (RESPIRE) project at the University of Edinburgh.
RESPIRE hosts successful virtual Annual Scientific Meeting
The RESPIRE Annual Scientific Meeting was held last month, with a keynote address from Professor Kathryn Maitland, Imperial College London.
Find out more and watch videos from the RESPIRE ASM
Enabling access to RESPIRE datasets to facilitate future research
RESPIRE is taking steps to share information on datasets, known as metadata, generated by projects across the collaboration to enable their use in future research. Working in partnership with BREATHE – the Health Data Research Hub for Respiratory Health, details of RESPIRE datasets are listed on the Health Data Research Innovation Gateway, a website providing a common entry point to health datasets for research and innovation.
Find out more

Actions from the Breathe Well teams

The Breathe Well teams are now actively sharing results and exploring recommendations with key stakeholders, despite COVID-19 pressures:
  • In Brazil, colleagues have met with the Ministry of Health and other senior clinical leaders who have acknowledged the importance of improving COPD diagnosis and management in primary care and have committed to an ongoing dialogue.
  • In Georgia, a meeting of senior clinical colleagues from the National Centre for Disease Control, cardiology and respiratory medicine unanimously supported the need for government investment in rehabilitation programmes, made all the more urgent by post-COVID respiratory problems. These might include the use of existing spa centres, outdoor programmes and online formats. The team have been highly successful in generating public interest through regular TV appearances.
  • In N Macedonia, the team continues to push for a focus on smoking cessation in primary care, and to influence policymakers to integrate it into their COVID-19 planning given its potential to reduce severity of COVID-19 symptoms in addition to the known benefits of quitting.
  • In China, the team has presented its data on spirometry-led case finding at several national conferences, demonstrating the feasibility of COPD diagnosis in primary care. The challenge now is scaling up the competence and confidence in primary care.
Publications from our members

Recent Publications

Here is a list of some of the recent publications from our research partnerships and members most relevant to our community. If you have a recent publication you would like us to feature please send the details to
Breathe Well publications Two new papers on Pulmonary Rehabilitation in LMICs:

From one of our founding members, Monsur Habib, now working with University of Edinburgh to do his PhD - 
From our Sri Lankan colleagues working with Global RECHARGE: 

Free online course covers the management of respiratory disease in low-resources settings

Coproduced by the University of Edinburgh, IPCRG and RESPIRE, we are launching a free-to-access massive open online course (MOOC) covering how to recognise, diagnose and manage chronic respiratory diseases in low-resource settings.

Developed with our primary care colleagues in South Asia, this course shares the skills and insights needed to ensure patient safety through case studies, videos and discussions.

The course is designed for primary or community healthcare workers with an interest in diagnosis and management of respiratory care/primary care in these settings.

It will be freely available and as a flexible, distance-learning programme, students can fit the modules in around their professional and home lives. The 5-week course is divided into 5 modules:

Module 1: The global burden of chronic respiratory disease.
Module 2: Diagnosis and management of asthma in resource-constrained settings.
Module 3: Diagnosis and management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in resource-constrained settings.
Module 4: Diagnosis and management of other chronic respiratory disease common in resource-constrained settings 
Module 5: Implementing care for people with chronic respiratory disease in resource-constrained settings. Top tips and service development.

IPCRG and Medscape

The IPCRG-Medscape e-learning partnership on difficult to manage asthma has now gone live with four new patient simulations in Spanish, French, German and Italian.  The English version is here and you will need a Medscape log in to access these.
Other News

Review of the EU Regulation on Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases

IPCRG is supporting EFA to ensure that health and patient choice of inhalers is considered in any revised legislation on the control of Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases, known as F-gases.  At a recent meeting with the European Commission, EFA presented our viewpoint and will also build this into its response to a consultation.

Read EFA's initial response.

UK media campaign puts spotlight on clean air

We and our UK group, PCRS, supported the latest Health Awareness campaign in the UK, putting a spotlight on respiratory and the importance of clean air. The campaign produces a printed publication available within The Guardian newspaper and an online website sharing interviews and articles with key thought leaders and industry voices. The latest topic focused on the importance of clean air for respiratory health and the steps we can take to reduce the environmental impact of healthcare.
Find out more

New infographic on remote respiratory consultations

We continue to develop a new desktop helper and infographic on the things to consider when delivering remote consultations. These vital tools have been produced as a result of a review of the evidence and three experience-led care meetings with patients and clinical colleagues from low-, middle-, and high-income countries.

Here is a preview of the new infographic.
Watch out for the desktop helper in January!
Go to to find out more about the IPCRG, a charity working locally in primary care and collaborating globally to improve respiratory health so that we can achieve our vision of a global population breathing and feeling well through universal access to right care.

With our best wishes,
Janwillem Kocks              
President IPCRG             

Siân Williams
The International Primary Care Respiratory Group (IPCRG) is a charity registered in Scotland working internationally (SC No: 035056) and a company limited by guarantee (Company number 256268)
The IPCRG is the Respiratory Special Interest Group of WONCA Europe and an Organisation in Collaborative Relations with WONCA Global 

The IPCRG is the primary care representative on WHO-Global Alliance against Chronic Respiratory Diseases (GARD) Planning Executive

Supporter of the NCD Alliance
Copyright © 2020 IPCRG, All rights reserved.

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