Dr Esin Nkereuwem and Dr Toyn Togun's research aims to make lung condition tests more ethnically-appropriate for West African children.
Children aged 15 years and below account for a tenth of all new tuberculosis (TB) cases, with the lungs being affected more than four out of five times.
Many TB survivors often develop changes in their lungs during the disease, and the effect may last beyond the end of treatment.
Spirometry is a common method used to assess lung function. A spirometer can measure how much air you are able to breathe out in one breath. Currently, the reference ranges used in spirometry assessment do not include diverse African populations, and none from West Africa in particular.
Dr Nkereuwem and Dr Togun from MRC Unit The Gambia at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, The Gambia, will generate ethnically-appropriate reference values for spirometry in healthy Gambian children and adolescents.
These reference values will be used for future assessment of post-TB lung disease among Gambian children, and the results are intended to be generalisable to other TB-endemic settings in West Africa.
This project has been funded by the 2022 Dorothy Temple Cross International Collaboration Grant.