Tuberculosis (TB) is treatable, curable and preventable. However, life for people cured of TB can include a number of additional challenges, with a range of ongoing potential health problems.
In response, The Union established the Post Tuberculosis Lung Disorders working group for members with the aim to conduct research, investigate strategies and raise awareness amongst healthcare workers and policy makers on post TB lung health.
Recently, the webinar ‘Post TB lung disease – current state of the science’ outlined current knowledge and activities in this field, and the Post TB Lung Disorders group members played key roles in the first ever International Post-TB Symposium, which took place at Stellenbosch University, South Africa, in July 2019.
The findings of this symposium were summarised in a paper co-authored by Professor Kevin Mortimer, The Union’s Director of Lung Health. ’The long shadow post-tuberculosis’, published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, found that in addition to addressing physical health, people’s wider wellbeing after completion of TB treatment must also be addressed, along with the socioeconomic consequences many of people endure, including post-tuberculosis stigma and disabilities.
During the Union World Conference, a session called #lifeafterTB – A Conversation About the Neglected Part of the Emergency was led by Dr Grania Brigden, The Union’s Director of the Department of Tuberculosis.
The Union actively participates in numerous global alliances to address lung health challenges facing low- and middle-income populations, including: the Forum of International Respiratory Societies, and, the Global Alliance Against Chronic Respiratory Diseases.
Post TB lung health figures highly in The Union’s Strategic Plan for Lung Health 2020–2025, working with members of the Adult and Child Lung Health Section. These goals, in particular, have major relevance to post TB lung health:
GOAL 1: To work with the WHO END TB strategy to accelerate progress towards the global elimination of tuberculosis with a particular focus on the needs of people living in poverty and people living in low- and middle-income countries
GOAL 4: To reduce the burden of chronic lung disease and respiratory infections among people living in poverty and people living in low- and middle-income countries.