Our Impact: The Union and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals

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Our Impact: The Union and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals

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The Union is the world’s first global health organisation, founded in 1920. We are a global leader in ending TB, we fight the tobacco industry, and we solve key problems in treating major diseases.

The Union’s work directly supports the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations (UN) Member States, to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all.

Sustainable Development Goal 3 is to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. To measure progress against this goal there are targets that cover global health priorities, including maternal and child health, communicable diseases, universal health coverage and non-communicable diseases.

Sustainable Development Goal TARGET 3.3

"By 2030, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases."

In support of target 3.3, The Union can demonstrate its impact using the principle of ‘Know. Share. Act.’ These principles have driven The Union’s work since its founding 100 years ago, and demonstrate how ground-breaking science, if properly shared can drive global action. The following examples demonstrate how The Union’s work leads to change – from research, to knowledge and implementation.


KNOW is where The Union gathers the evidence through our clinical trials, operational research and analysis of health policy and policy transfer issues.


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In 2019, The Union conducted research in 41 countries and developed 162 research studies. Nine operational research fellows worked in Africa and Asia.

Child & Adolescent Tuberculosis

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The Union works to develop, test, implement and scale up routine screening of child contacts of people with TB. We run observational studies and advocate to ensure children and adolescents are included in clinical trials that target diagnostics, vaccines and treatment of TB disease and infection.


SHARE is where The Union shares the evidence and knowledge gained widely, ensuring it is accessible to all, assisting our partners and disseminating latest best practice

Union Conferences

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In 2019 and early 2020, The Union convened six international conferences in India, South Africa, Panama, Philippines, the United States of America and Canada, all with the overarching aims of sharing knowledge and best practice.

Union Courses

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During 2020, Union Courses organised 55 training events, face-to-face and online, for a total of 562 hours of training, which is the equivalent to 70 days. Over 8,740 people have been trained globally.


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The IJTLD is the leading peer-reviewed journal dedicated to lung health worldwide.

We welcome submissions on basic, translational, clinical, epidemiological and programmatic research relevant to the Union’s mission to find health solutions for these conditions.

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Global TB Caucus

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The Union is a founding partner of the Global TB Caucus, an international network of more than 2,500 Members of Parliament in over 150 countries, dedicated to ending TB through strengthening health systems. To date, members have launched 53 National TB Caucuses over the world.

Public Health Action

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Public Health Action aims to disseminate the latest operational research on health systems, public health and disease control.

We have recently expanded the scope of PHA to provide coverage of relevant areas of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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ACT is where we The Union works with others to implement solutions, delivering life-saving health services and advocating for the policies and resources needed to safeguard health.

Sustainable Development Goal TARGET 3.4

By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being.

The Global Asthma Network

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In collaboration with the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood, The Union founded the Global Asthma Network (GAN) which published The Global Asthma Report 2018, an 88 page cutting edge State-of-the-Art report, with contributions from 53 experts around the globe.

Sustainable Development Goal TARGET 3.A

Strengthen the implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in all countries, as appropriate.

Tobacco control

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The Union has helped:
• 3.82 billion people in 37 countries through smoke-free laws
• 3.87 billion people in 28 countries through higher tobacco tax
• 4.11 billion people in 33 countries through graphic health warnings