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Using art to tackle lung disease: Illustration students making an impact in Uganda

Killing 3.2m people every year, lung condition COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is the third leading cause of death worldwide.

Now Illustration students are helping to tackle it by making educational pieces for families in low to middle income countries.

The students from the University of Plymouth recently travelled to Uganda as part of the FRESH AIR project led by the University’s Peninsula Medical School.

The project has worked with midwives to raise awareness of the damage of biomass fuels among women in the country, who are exposed to the fuels more through cooking. The second and third-year Illustration students have created bespoke educational materials to highlight the dangers of smoke inhalation, and encourage mothers to keep their children away from the fires.

The art is an aspect of the FRESH AIR project that has already received positive acclaim from mothers, midwives and children in the Jinja district of Uganda, alongside professionals from the World Health Organisation.

Dr Rupert Jones is leading the project, and data so far shows that the education programme is having an impact on women’s decisions, which could save and extend thousands of lives going forward.

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