NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Respiratory Health (RESPIRE)

Md. Nazim Uzzaman

Project: Blended learning for primary care physicians on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): A feasibility study in Bangladesh

Fellowship overview

  • Acute or chronic:  Chronic
  • Country:  Bangladesh
  • Based at:  icddr,b
  • Start date:  01 May 2019
  • End date:  30 September 2020
  • Supervisors:  Md. Jobayer Chisti, Monsur Habib, Aftab Uddin, Tracy Jackson, Neneh Rowa-Dewer
Nazim Uzzaman headshot
RESPIRE Fellow: Md. Nazim Uzzaman


In Bangladesh, more than 6.5 million people over the age of 40 have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). COPD is often under diagnosed and not well managed by doctors in primary care practices in Bangladesh.

COPD training for doctors takes about 40 hours and because primary care is so busy, doctors often can’t attend training as there would be no-one to see patients while they are away from the practice.

Combining online learning, with the standard face-to-face training, would reduce the time away from practice.

Aim and impact

The aim of the study was to explore the use of both face-to-face and online methods (blended learning) for the training of primary care doctors in COPD in Bangladesh.

Using a blended approach would allow more primary care physicians to undertake COPD training as it would mean less time away from their practice. This is really important in areas where there are lots of people with COPD and not enough doctors with the right training.

In the context of COPD, where under-diagnosis and inadequate management is common, the study found that a blended learning course was a feasible approach to enhancing knowledge and skills of GPs, and could contribute to improved implementation of guideline recommendations.

The flexible and practical blending of online and face-to-face learning has the potential to be used for continuing medical education of other long-term conditions in Bangladesh and beyond. These findings are particularly relevant given the current COVID-19 pandemic, as learning with limited face-to-face contact becomes more common.


Systematic review of clinical effectiveness, components, and delivery of pulmonary rehabilitation in low-resource settings. 

Habib, G.M., Rabinovich, R., Divgi, K., Ahmed, S., Saha, S.K., Singh, S., Uddin, A., Uzzaman, M.N., Pinnock, H.

npj Prim. Care Respir. Med. 30, 52 (2020).  

Continuing professional education for general practitioners on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: feasibility of a blended learning approach in Bangladesh.

Uzzaman MN, Jackson T, Uddin A, Rowa-Dewar N, Chisti MJ, Habib GMM, Pinnock H & RESPIRE Collaborators.

BMC Family Practice 21, 203 (2020)

Key developments

  • Presented the preliminary findings of my Fellowship study at the PCRS Respiratory Conference 2019 at Telford, UK and won the best Scientific Research Poster Award - read more from PCRS.
  • The manuscript resulting from my Fellowship project is published in the BMC Family Practice journal - see the RESPIRE news story.
  • Co-authored a viewpoint on stakeholder engagement, published in the Journal of Global Health - access the paper.
  • Co-authored a systematic review on ‘clinical effectiveness and models of care of low-resource pulmonary rehabilitation’ which was published as conference proceedings in the European Respiratory Journal - see the abstract in the European Respiratory Journal.
  • Co-authored a pocket guide to inform the safe re-opening of private primary care practices in Bangladesh during the COVID-19 pandemic - see the RESPIRE news story.
  • Won an Award Winning Abstract at the 10th International Primary Care Respiratory Group World Conference.

Project data

Download the project Data Management Plan 

View the project metadata on the Health Data Research Innovation Gateway

About me

My interest lies in developing a clinical academic career in respiratory applied health research and contribute in reducing the burden of chronic respiratory illness, specifically asthma and COPD, in Bangladesh.

I completed my MBBS in 2010 and recently attained an MPH degree. I have previous research experience examining the issues delivering primary health care in rural communities, as well as in e-health and e-learning.

I have been involved in developing and conducting training for primary care physicians on asthma in Bangladesh, as well as coordinating training for the young researchers at icddr,b. I am also involved in patient care.