Ending the Emergency

50th Union World Conference on Lung Health in Hyderabad, India

Delegates from around the world converged in Hyderabad, India at the 50th Union World Conference on TB and Lung Health from the 30th of October to the 2nd November. The Union conference is the largest annual gathering of TB experts globally and this year's theme was Ending the Emergency.

TB is one of the world’s deadliest infectious diseases, estimated to have killed 1.6 million people in 2018 alone. India has one of the world’s highest burden of TB. Similar to sub-saharan Africa where APOPO conducts its research, diagnostics often are inaccessible, inacurate or cost too much. Globally there is an urgent need to develop and deliver TB diagnostics that are affordable and accessible. #ItsTime to ensure that rapid TB diagnostic testing is available to all those who need it.

On behalf of APOPO TB Tanzania, Dr. Lena Fiebig joined the week of discussions on the science and policy surrounding tuberculosis. She was delighted to have the opportunity to share an update on APOPO's HDIF-funded “Test, treat, track” project in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The project utilises the digital treatment adherence technology “eCompliance” from our Indian partner Operation Asha, delivered by community volunteers from our trusted patient organization partner Mukikute in Temeke, Dar es Salaam.

Despite global commitments to End TB as part of the Sustainable Development Goals, finding and treating all TB cases remains a challenge – worldwide, but in particular in high TB burden, low resource settings.

Our project results show that home-based (instead of clinic-based) directly observed TB therapy works for TB patients in Temeke – on average, enrolled TB patients took 94% of their doses in 2019.

The conference was further an excellent opportunity to meet project partners, first and foremost the India-based Operation Asha team who were present at the booth, create new networks, and learn what’s new in TB diagnostics, digital innovations, and models of care.

APOPO TB Tanzania is grateful for the support and generous contributions of all its partners and donors.