The BREATHE Partnership

The BREATHE Partnership brings African researchers, both leaders and trainees, together with international experts in all key aspects of household air pollution (HAP) in order to make the best use of new opportunities provided by £8m of recent grant investment directed at quantifying and reducing the health effects of household air pollution.


The Objectives of the Partnership are to:

  • Draw together experts and investigators in major air pollution trials in order to share findings and plans
  • Harmonise specific aspects of trial methodology to ensure that exposure monitoring and health effect evaluation are comparable among active trials and those in development, as well as other research and evaluation with similar exposure and outcome assessment needs.
  • Optimise the opportunity to undertake mechanistic work, including testing of new biomarkers, not funded by current trials
  • Engage African researchers and trainees in existing and new studies by a bottom-up approach offering mentored research training and projects.

These objectives will be achieved with an Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) for a week and interim Theme Programmes including mentored trainee projects and trial site collaborations. The BREATHE Partnership conference will include thematic sessions where data are presented but also (a) Workshops to harmonise case definitions, intervention implementation, sample and data collection and other aspects of household air pollution intervention trial practice that will benefit from collegiate working and (b) Working Groups to plan future activity.

The 2016 ASM was held in conjunction with the Pan African Methods in Epidemiological and Operations Research (PATS MECOR) programme from the 25th to the 29th of July 2016 at the Malawi College of Medicine (CoM) campus in cojunction with the Malawi-Liverpool Wellcome Trust Blantyre, Malawi. Theme leaders Stephen Gordon, Sean Semple, Jonathan Grigg and Kevin Mortimer shared their expertise with the student group through presentations, workshops and teaching. Spirometry training was provided by Lindsay Zurba and Wendy Van Wyk from Occupational Care South Africa (OCSA). Plans are now being put in place for a 2017 ASM which will be held at the CoM from the 17th - 21st of July.

The publication of a Commissioned Review for The Lancet Respiratory Medicine journal has been an early success for the Partnership. This is wide-ranging review of 'Respiratory risks from household air pollution in low and middle income countries' is available on the Lancet website.

The BREATHE partnership is jointly funded by the UK Medical Research Council (MRC) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) under the MRC/DFID Concordat agreement.

Team members

Principal investigator:

  • Stephen Gordon


Programme Manager 

Click here for the BREATHE website

Main contact details:

Ms Jane Ardrey on +44 (0)151 705 2579