Tuberculosis (TB)

Roundup of WHO events around the 50th Union World Conference on Lung Health

Annual meeting with Unitaid grantees and stakeholders from project countries

26 October, Hyderabad | WHO organized a meeting with UNITAID grantees on paediatric TB and Latent TB Infection (LTBI) from project countries on 26 October on the sidelines of the Union World Conference on Lung Health in Hyderabad. The meeting included intense deliberations and consultations with national TB programmes, partners and donors, and UNITAID grantees on developing innovative models, tools and implementing shorter preventive treatment regimens 3HP/3RH.

Meeting of the WHO Civil Society Task Force on TB

27 October, Hyderabad | The WHO Civil Society Task Force on TB met in advance of the End TB Summit and Union World Conference on Lung Health to discuss strengthening collaboration and meaningful engagement with civil society to end TB.

5th WHO End TB Strategy Summit

29 October, Hyderabad | Over 200 representatives from 33 countries, partners, civil society came together for the 5th World Health Organization (WHO) End TB Strategy Summit in Hyderabad, India, 28-29 October 2019. This annual meeting brings together the national tuberculosis programme (NTP) managers of high priority countries along with other stakeholder including civil society to review global and national progress towards ending TB. The meeting is also an important knowledge sharing platform for countries and stakeholders.

New candidate vaccine a potential game changer to end TB

The Union/Marcus Rose

29 October, Geneva / Hyderabad | The WHO Global TB Programme welcomed the final results from a phase 2b trial of GSK’s experimental TB vaccine candidate (M72/AS01E), which demonstrated an overall vaccine efficacy of 50 percent during the three years after vaccination in HIV negative individuals with latent TB infection. WHO considers this candidate vaccine promising in the fight against TB and is facilitating partnerships and collaborations with all relevant stakeholders including vaccine developers, funding agencies, countries and civil society to ensure that a Phase III trial is rapidly started to support a more precise impact evaluation and to assess generalizability.

WHO Assistant Director-General delivers keynote address at opening of Union Conference

30 October 2019, Hyderabad | The Honourable Vice-President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, was the Chief Guest of the 50th Union World Conference on Lung Health held in Hyderabad, India and officially inaugurated the conference at its Opening Ceremony on 30 October. The theme of the conference was 'Ending the Emergency'.

Dr Ren Minghui, WHO Assistant Director-General delivered the key note speech. Other speakers included, film and television actress Claire Forlani who has accepted a role as ambassador for The Union and senior representatives of the State of Telangana. Nandita Venkatesan, a TB survivor, activist and journalist from Mumbai, delivered an impressive call for action on behalf of all TB survivors and performed a traditional dance.

New PPM Learning Network to End TB launched at the Union Conference

Quality TB care for all people by all providers

30 October 2019, Hyderabad | A new learning network to ramp up efforts to engage with the private sector to end TB was launched at a special public-private mix (PPM) workshop held at the 50th Union Lung Health Conference. The newly launched TB-PPM Learning Network is intended as a platform to share ideas, projects, webinars and other resources on the topic with the goal to help countries and stakeholders ramp up efforts to engage with the private sector to end TB.

To register with the network, please visit: www.tbppm.org.

Annual meeting of the Child and Adolescent TB Working Group

30 October 2019, Hyderabad | The annual meeting of the child and adolescent TB working group was held on 30 October on the sidelines of the Union conference, to maintain a vibrant child and adolescent TB community, share country experiences in scaling up the response to child and adolescent TB and to discuss next steps to move the agenda forward.

Global Fund Strategic Initiative meeting

Overview of Progress on finding the Missing People with TB: on track to find 1.5 million

30 October 2019, Hyderabad | Over 100 participants from countries, partners and civil society came together on 31 October at the third Strategic Initiative meeting on 'Finding the Missing People with TB'.

The meeting focused on progress achieved in the second year of implementation of the ambitious initiative of the Global Fund to find and treat an additional 1.5 million missing people with TB by the end of 2019.

WHO updates guidance for use of urinary LAM assays to detect TB disease in people living with HIV

30 October 2019, Geneva / Hyderabad | WHO has updated its guidance for the use of lateral flow urine lipoarabinomannan assay (LAM) in the diagnosis of active TB. Following new evidence, WHO now recommends a broader use of urinary LAM assays for diagnosis of TB in people living with HIV.

Landmark deal secures significant discount on price of medicine to prevent TB

UNITAID

31 October 2019, Geneva / Hyderabad | A landmark agreement announced by Unitaid, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and global biopharmaceutical company Sanofi will significantly lower the price of rifapentine, a critically important drug used to prevent TB.

Dr Tereza Kasaeva, Director of WHO Global TB Programme said “We welcome this significant development and congratulates Unitaid, the Global Fund and early implementers of the 3HP regimen for their contributions to lower the price of rifapentine. We hope that countries with the highest TB burdens can benefit from this price reduction and move swiftly towards the United Nations high-level meeting target of providing TB preventive treatment to at least 30 million eligible individuals by 2022. Continued efforts to make medicines more affordable and patient-friendly will facilitate the task for national TB and HIV programmes and quicken their pace to scale up TB preventive treatment services appropriately.”

Youth2#EndTB Symposium

1 November 2019, Hyderabad | A special symposium was organized by WHO and TB Free World at the Union Conference on mobilizing youth as agents of change to end TB. The meeting was chaired by Dr Tereza Kasaeva, Director of WHO's Global TB Programme and Madhusudan Kaphle, Founder of TB Free World. Key speakers included Nandita Venkatesan, Jeffry P. Acaba, Shagun Khare, Steve Otieno and Ksenia Shchenina who discussed the various skills and avenues young people have to contribute to the fight to end TB, as well as some of the actions that are being taken in this area.

TDR and WHO launch ShORRT, an operational research package to assess all-oral shorter MDR/RR-TB treatment regimens

1 November 2019, Hyderabad | TDR (the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases) and the WHO Global TB Programme launched ShORRT (Short, all-Oral Regimens For Rifampicin-resistant Tuberculosis), an operational research package to assess the effectiveness, safety, feasibility, acceptability, cost and impact (including on health-related quality of life) of the use of all-oral shorter treatment regimens for adults and children with MDR/RR-TB.

The launch during a side-event at the 50th Union World Conference on Lung Health in Hyderabad, India, was attended by technical partners, including USAID, the Global Fund, MSF, Damien Foundation, the Union, and representatives from national TB programmes.

By providing a standardized methodology, ShORRT aims to facilitate the conduct of operational research on all-oral shorter MDR/RR-TB regimens by countries, and to generate data that are harmonized across different implementation settings.

ShORRT includes a master protocol, data collection tools and key study procedures that investigators can adapt. The generic protocol is currently available in English, and will soon also be available in French and Spanish. Data collection tools and key study procedures are soon going to be released.

Evidence from this research can play a key role in informing programmatic implementation at the country level, and also provide important data to the global TB community to strengthen the evidence base and inform treatment guidelines.