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A reflection on 2022

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Prof Guy Marks

As The Union sets its sights on another year dedicated to achieving our vision – a healthier world for all, free of tuberculosis and lung disease – I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the hard work and achievements of 2022.

Thanks to the commitment of our staff, members and partners, we achieved great things across the fields of tuberculosis (TB), lung health and tobacco control globally.

TB strategy and vision launch

We set out our 2022-2027 vision and strategy for TB. This has provided us with clear direction as to how we can end TB. This can only be achieved collectively, with all of our members, partners and TB community – everyone has a role to play.

We disseminated the strategy widely and, so far, we had received positive feedback from health ministries, healthcare professionals and international donors.

Union Conference success

For the third year, we delivered the Union World Conference on Lung Health virtually and it was a resounding success. Thousands of delegates from around the world gathered digitally to share the latest scientific breakthroughs, learn from world-leading experts and understand the true experiences of the affected communities.

This year, I am delighted that we will be holding the Union Conference in Paris as a “physical” meeting. This is an exciting opportunity for the whole TB community.

Eliminating tobacco use

As the world has continued to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been some loss of focus on other key public health problems. However, our Tobacco Control Department remained focused on its mission to eliminate tobacco use. Particular highlights were: supporting the Mexican government to issue a decree to ban the sale, import, export of e-cigarettes and HTPS, the Philippines Supreme Court upholding the FDA’s authority to regulate tobacco products and building tobacco control momentum at a subnational level in Indonesia, Bangladesh and the Philippines.

Scientific leadership

Since our inception in 1920, The Union has been the leading scientific organisation within the lung health world. We continued to exemplify that with ground-breaking research, international media coverage and three of our Bureau members leading World Health Organization reviews of national TB programmes.

Dedication to our cause

Once again, I would like to thank all our staff, members and partners for your tireless dedication to our vision in 2022. Especially those working in unimaginably challenging situations, like our colleagues in Myanmar. You are a great inspiration to us all.

I look forward to reflecting on equality fantastic achievements at the end of 2023.