From 24th to 27th of October, around 4 000 delegates and nearly 100 journalists of the 49th World Conference on Lung Health descended on the city of Hague in the Netherlands. The annual conference is the world’s largest gathering of clinicians and public health workers, health programme managers, policymakers, researchers and advocates working to end the suffering caused by lung disease, with a focus specifically on the challenges faced by low-and lower-middle income populations. Since its founding in 1920, it attracts thousands of delegates from more than 125 countries and brings recognised global experts and opinion formers to take part in the 150 sessions offered by the four-day scientific programme.

This year, the conference gathered the highest number delegates, ever recorded in the history of the Union. TBEC surely contributed to such achievement, as in addition to TBEC Secretariat representatives, almost all TBEC Board members attended the conference, and actively participated in various sessions and events throughout the week. It was the first time ever, TBEC had its own booth, which served as a meeting point not only for the Secretariat and Board, but also for wider TBEC membership. In addition to three different sessions at the community space (on people centered care, on accountability post UN HLM on TB and on transition from donor to national funding), TBEC organised a networking event, and engaged in series of ad hoc events, from joining MSF led demonstration at the opening ceremony (see here) to asking WHO Europe representative to read out civil society asks live (see here). Furthermore, TBEC Secretariat met and discussed current issues with various TB activists at the EC booth, and TBEC Board member, Oxana Rucsineanu from Moldova gave a heartfelt speech at the closing ceremony (see here).

Overall it has been a very busy week, filled with interesting discussions at the sessions, exchange of business cards at various networking events, and countless cups of coffee, ahead of the early sessions or late at night, when preparing for the next day. We look forward to meet you all at the next Union conference in Hyderabad, India, in 2019.

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