Angelina, a nine-year-old TB survivor, shares her story during a press conference at the Union World Conference.

An unprecedented scientific programme took centre stage at the 49th Union World Conference on Lung Health, held 24-27 October, in The Hague, The Netherlands.

This year’s conference built on both the groundswell of emerging science presented at last year’s conference and the urgent political commitments driven by the recent UN HLM on TB.

Dr Keren Middelkoop
Chair, CCSA

The TB community called for world leaders to step forward in the fight to end TB. Under the conference theme of ‘Declaring Our Rights: Social and Political Solutions’, the conference highlighted the need for a human-centred approach to ending TB following the UN HLM on TB.

More than 1000 abstracts were presented during the four-day conference. Child TB and the rights of children were a key focus, with the release of data on a new diagnostic method for testing stool samples using minimal equipment announced. This method could facilitate the identification of thousands of children with TB and MDR-TB.

The Union released preliminary results from the TITI study, which examined contact tracing and preventive therapy as a model for Child TB prevention in high-burden countries.

Announced at TBScience 2018 – the official pre-conference on basic and translational TB science – was the potential GlaxoSmithKline vaccine to prevent TB in adults, which would represent a significant step forward in TB control worldwide.

The conference welcomed royal guests, Her Imperial Highness (HIH) Princess Akishino of Japan, and Her Royal Highness (HRH) Princess Margriet of The Netherlands, who both showed their strong commitment to TB and lung health throughout the week.