We look back at some of the highlights from The Union’s activities during 2016.
The World Health Organization (WHO) released new recommended guidelines for the treatment of multidrug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), based on years of research by The Union and partners in francophone Africa. Photo shows three women from Cameroon cured of MDR-TB through this research.
The first patients enrolled in STREAM stage II in Mongolia, the first clinical trial to include bedaquiline. The trial is testing two regimens: one nine-month regimen with no injections, and an even shorter six-month regimen.
The Union’s MDR-TB programme was launched at the 47th Union World Conference. It works with governments and National TB Programmes to assist in the implementation and roll out of the nine-month regimen.
The Union co-hosted an official side event at the 69th World Health Assembly in Geneva on 24 May. The session was titled ‘Confronting Resistance: Innovations and Access to End TB’.
Uruguay won a six-year legal battle against Philip Morris, a result with international implications for tobacco control. The Union has supported the Government of Uruguay through this process and will continue to support Uruguay as it moves to implement plain packaging.
The Union published the Index of Tobacco Control Sustainability (ITCS), a new resource to measure the sustainability of tobacco control programmes and ITCS assessments from 24 countries with the world’s highest tobacco burdens.
The 47th Union World Conference on Lung Health was held in Liverpool, UK and focused on ‘Confronting Resistance: Fundamentals to Innovations’. The event attracted over 3,000 delegates from 126 countries.
Special sessions at the 47th Union World Conference included a Ministerial Session featuring Ministers of Health from the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe and a meeting of the Executive Committee of the Global TB Caucus.
The 7th Union Europe Region Conference held in Bratislava welcomed 600 delegates and focused on regionally specific topics including the high rate of drug resistance in Eastern Europe and TB in migrant populations. The European TB Summit was held in conjunction with this event and brought together 15 MPs from 12 European and Central Asian countries. MPs signed on to the European Call to Action, urging Slovakia to use its Presidency of the EU Council to prioritise TB.
The Union played a key role in TB2016, an inaugural event preceding the AIDS2016 conference, symbolic of a vital integrated approach to HIV and TB. The Union and the IAS issued a joint commitment calling for more effective, accessible and sustainable solutions to address these related epidemics.
The 3rd Conference of The Union South East Asia Region held in Kathmandu brought together hundreds of delegates. Particularly noteworthy was a commitment to work towards a TB and tobacco-free society in Nepal from the Nepal Government, which sent a delegation of senior officials to the conference, including the Vice President and Minister for Health.
The 18th Conference of The Union Latin America held in Lima focused on regional approaches to TB and lung disease. Union speakers included Executive Director José Luis Castro, MDR-TB expert Dr José Caminero Luna, and Board Representative for the Latin America Region Dr Jesus Felipe Gonzalez Roldan.
Dr E Jane Carter stepped aside from her role as Union President and handed the baton to Dr Muhwa Jeremiah Chakaya.
Following an an extensive 18-month review and consultation, Union members voted in changes to the membership structure that will ultimately redress the balance of votes between organisations and individuals so that voting rights are equal and proportional, making Union membership more accessible and representative.
The Union launched a new website, unioncourses.org to enable easy enrolment in the wide range of courses offered by the Training and Education department.
The Union's Executive Director attended a High-Level United Nations (UN) General Assembly meeting addressing the threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The UN subsequently made a landmark declaration to fight AMR worldwide.
The Union’s Project Axshya has employed many innovative solutions for reaching the tuberculosis (TB) community, including a helpline that reached over 100,000 people with information, counselling and advice on TB.
To mark World AIDS Day on 1 December, The Union joined with the HIV community in events around the world. In Myanmar, The Union joined 700 participants to walk the perimeter of Mandalay Palace, in an outward demonstration of support and solidarity.