Presentations, press briefing and Health Policy and Planning supplement

2017 World Lung Health Conference

Accelerating Towards Elimination was the theme of the 2017 World Lung Health Conference held in the quaint city of Guadalajara, Mexico from 11 – 14 October.  Delegates from more than 100 countries attended the packed schedule of plenaries, symposia and abstracts and researchers from the TB Centre had a very strong presence.
There were 20 presentations from TB Centre researchers, spanning the breadth of work from immunology to modelling to health policy research. It was particularly exciting to see that presentations selected were not only from the Centres’ established TB researchers but also that a former MSc student, Afifah Rahman-Shepherd, who had her summer project research selected for a short oral abstract presentation.
In addition to the excellent representation of TB Centre research, this conference was a huge success in terms of communication and press coverage. Of five presenters selected by the conference organisers to showcase their work at the opening press briefing, two were from the TB Centre. Rebecca Harris presented her research on BCG vaccine modelling and Mishal Khan launched a supplement in Health Policy and Planning consisting of six new health policy and systems research studies on TB in South East Asia and an editorial.
The press briefing was chaired by Dr Paula Fujiwara (Scientific Director of the Union) – who highlighted the importance of Rebecca and Mishal’s work for implementation and policy decisions – and was attended by journalists from various UK based papers (Guardian) as well as international press from high TB burden countries such as China. The video of the press briefing can be watched here.
Image, press briefing at the conference. Credit, Mishal Khan.

The Health Policy and Planning supplement, ‘Evidence to improve global tuberculosis control strategies: lessons from Southeast Asia’, showcases the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine’s policy and systems research on tuberculosis. The papers are free to view and can be accessed using the link above. There is also a podcast available with Mishal Khan, Fangli Geng and Anthony Harries as well as the Journal Communications and Development Officer, Natasha Salaria, where they discuss key priorities in TB research, the importance of global control and how drug resistance might influence future research. The supplement was also reported on by a number of outlets, including The Phnom Penh Post and Infzm.Another highlight at this year’s conference was the first award of the Steve Lawn Prize for early-career researchers conducting work related to reducing the disease burden of HIV-associated TB in Africa. This year’s winner was Leonardo Martinez from Stanford University. At the end of this conference there was already interest and discussion about the theme for the 2018 conference – Declaring Our Rights: Social and Political Solutions.