Published: 30-11-2017 13:56 | Updated: 17-05-2019 09:59

PHS participated in the Global Ministerial Conference on tuberculosis

On the 16-17 November, the Russian Federation hosted the Global Ministerial Conference on Ending Tuberculosis (TB) in the Sustainable Development Era. The Department of Public Health Sciences (PHS) was represented at the conference by Professor Knut Lönnroth and Dr Kerri Viney, from the Social Medicine, Infectious Diseases and Migration research group. Organised by the World Health Organization, the meeting brought together approximately 1000 participants.

Ministers and delegates discussed the successes and challenges associated with the TB epidemic and the critical need for additional investments in research, development and implementation if the ambitious goals of the End TB Strategy and the Sustainable Development Goals will be achieved.

Professor Lönnroth chaired two Ministerial panels on the synergies across the responses to TB and non-communicable diseases (NCD). During these panels, ministers from countries as diverse as Congo, Egypt, Fiji, Hungary, Laos and Finland discussed their approaches to dealing with shared and socially determined NCD and TB risk factors (such as poor diet, harmful alcohol use, cigarette smoking, and silica exposure) and their experiences of integrated prevention and care.

The Conference resulted in the Moscow Declaration, a bold statement that confirms Ministerial commitment to ending the TB epidemic by 2030. The Moscow Declaration will inform the first United Nations General Assembly High Level Meeting on TB, to be held in 2018.

Professor Knut Lönnroth“Ending the global tuberculosis epidemic is a huge task that requires highest political commitment for an accelerated multisectoral response and a dramatic increases in research funding. Getting 74 Ministers and 150 partner organizations in the same room to agree on the crucial investments is a step in the right direction."

"I hope one immediate consequence is that more Swedish research funding is mobilized to support the global fight against TB", says Professor Knut Lönnroth.

According to WHO, ending the TB epidemic by 2030 means that there will be an 80% drop in new cases, a 90% reduction in TB related deaths and that 100% of families will be protected from catastrophic costs.

Professor Lönnroth and his research group will continue to collaborate with the World Health Organization, Ministries of Health and others to conduct policy relevant research aligned to the goals of the End TB Strategy, particularly in the areas of the social determinants of TB, social protection, patient costs and screening.

The WHO Global Ministerial Conference’s 1000 participants included 74 Ministers, and leaders from United Nations agencies, civil society, partners, the private sector, philanthropies, academia and donors. A total of 125 countries were represented along with 150 partner organizations.

Ministers and delegates highlighted the vital role of political commitment and multi-sectoral action to move their countries towards both TB elimination and better control of non-communicable diseases.