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Union Africa conference on lung health ends

By
Christabel Addo, GNA
  

Accra, July 14, GNA – The
20th Union Africa conference on lung health, has ended in Accra with a
challenge to participants to work in the spirit of Pan-Africanism to address
the continent’s unique wellness problems.

Dr Muyabala
Munachitombwe-Muna, the President of the Union Africa Region, commended the
delegates and resource persons for their insightful contributions towards
accelerating implementation of policies and programmes to end Tuberculosis (TB)
and other lung-related diseases.

He also commended the
local, international and scientific Organising Committees, as well as the host
country for the hard work done to ensure the smooth running of the conference,
and also the sponsors for their technical and financial assistance.

He described the
event, which coincided with the 50th Anniversary of the Union Africa Regional
conference which were hosted every two years, and had its first roots to Ghana,
as very successful and historic.

The four-day
conference which was on the theme: “Accelerating implementation through
partnerships to end TB, HIV/TB, Tobacco and related NCDs,” had more than 800
delegates involving scientists, researchers, academia and civil society groups
from North America, Asia Pacific, Europe and Africa, to share knowledge,
experiences and chart a new course to ensure lung health and end TB by
2030.   

He urged the Union
members to double their efforts by remaining resolute in their fight against TB
and all the other related lung diseases, and to be solution creators and
problem solvers in their respective continents.

Dr Munachitombwe-Muna
said the conference provided a platform to evaluate progress so far, enhanced
the capacities of civil society to enable them to effectively engage with
policy makers and get their support and understanding on the need to commit
more resources to end TB by 2030.

He, however, said a
lot more emphasis must be laid on preventive methods at conferences empower
medical staff and other health care professionals with the requisite knowledge
on TB and lung health in general and address the issue of stigma through
intensified public education, to help find the missing cases of diseases for
effective treatment.

Dr Frank Bonsu, who
was the Conference Chair and also President of the Ghana Society for the
Prevention of TB, said there was a total of 253 abstracts on varied topics from
35 countries, in 19 sessions.

He said it was hoped
that having defined the huge continental burden of TB where statistics shows
that 2.7 million new TB cases were recorded annually, 226,667 new cases every
month, 7,452 new TB cases every day and 311 new TB cases die every hour, there
was the urgent need to strengthen partnerships to address the gaps for
effective outcomes.

GNA

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