MEMBERS in action: TOP LUNG HEALTH EXPERTS GATHER FOR UNION REGION CONFERENCES
Union Region Conferences and events were organised in North America, the Middle East, and Europe in 2018. The conferences allowed members to come together to discuss issues of particular importance to their areas of work and regional responses to lung health problems.
The 29th Conference of The Union Middle East Region, held in conjunction with the 59th International Congress of the Egyptian Society of Chest Diseases and Tuberculosis, featured a wide range of scientific symposia, case-solving interactive sessions, plenaries, and workshops on topics ranging from TB to asthma and pulmonary infections to air pollution.
The 22nd Annual Conference of The Union North America Region brought together TB advocates, survivors, scientists, clinicians and programme managers from across the Western
Hemisphere to learn about and share the latest research in TB prevention and treatment.
The 49th Union World Conference on Lung Health, held in the Netherlands, featured a dedicated Europe Track developed in partnership with The Union’s Europe Region. The track focused on shared experiences and challenges that are specific to the continent and invited delegates to focus on TB and lung health concerns that are particularly pressing in Europe.
The Union’s members are affiliated by region and work together to organise these events. In 2019, the regions of Asia Pacific, Latin America, and South-East Asia will host Union Region Conferences.
The Union’s Region Conferences are an essential platform for raising critical issues and connecting the science community with broader networks and audiences. They are one of the many things that make The Union unique and truly impactful.
MORE FROM THE MEMBERS
THE TUBERCULOSIS SECTION
The TB Section established ‘member engagement groups’ to discuss and contribute to two Union research projects. One project focused on improved detection of child TB, in Uganda, through DETECT Child TB; the other on scaling new diagnostics, drugs and regimen in India, through Challenge TB. The section has also contributed actively to The Union’s input to the UN HLM on TB, in New York, and has held several webinars in which members could share ideas and lessons learned on various subjects.
THE NURSES AND ALLIED PROFESSIONALS SUB-SECTION
The nurses and allied professionals sub-section hosted a webinar during Nurses Week entitled ‘Best Practice for the Care of Patients with TB: a guide for low-income countries and for care and support of patients with TB’. The sub-section also collaborated with KNCV and the V&VN Dutch Nurses’ Association to host the ‘TB Nursing Around the World’ side event during the Union World Conference, the first event of its kind. Members of the sub-section organised a meet-the-expert session on nursing and operational research and a discussion session on education materials.
THE TB IN MIGRATION WORKING GROUP
The TB in migration working group sent a representative to the civil society hearing at the UN in June, part of the preparatory process to ensure active participation from all stakeholders in the lead up to the UN HLM on TB. Group members also contributed one oral abstract, one poster session, one satellite session, and two symposia on TB and migration to the Union World Conference.
THE ZOONOTIC TB SUB-SECTION
The zoonotic TB sub-section conducted a ‘One Health’ multidisciplinary and active case finding project on TB, zoonotic TB and bovine TB in Nigeria, which included a community engagement event held during World TB Day. Sub-section members also hosted a webinar entitled ‘Zoonotic TB: Surveillance and Diagnostic Challenges in At-risk Populations’.
THE TB AND ETHICS WORKING GROUP
The TB and ethics working group had two papers on latent TB infection and involuntary isolation accepted for a special ethics issue of the IJTLD. A webinar entitled ‘WHO ethics guidance for the implementation of the End TB Strategy: New questions and ways forward’ was held. The group helped create a new track on ethics for the 50th Union World Conference on Lung Health, to be held in Hyderabad, India, in 2019.
THE GLOBAL INDIGENOUS STOP TB INITIATIVE WORKING GROUP
The global indigenous stop TB initiative working group published ‘Proximate determinants of tuberculosis in indigenous peoples worldwide: a systematic review’, and contributed to active case finding among nomadic groups in Northeastern Nigeria. At the Union World Conference, group members presented a workshop on ‘Ethnicity and Health: building intercultural solutions for equitable TB care with indigenous peoples locally and in the Americas’, and one symposium on ‘Social and programmatic solutions to engage marginalised populations’.
THE TB INFECTION CONTROL WORKING GROUP
The TB infection control working group hosted a webinar that examined process and outcome measures for environmental and administrative approaches to TB infection control. Members of the group with joint membership in the End TB Transmission Initiative participated in drafting an implementation manual in support of the forthcoming revised WHO guidelines on TB infection control.