Experts Gather in Bay Area to Accelerate Global Fight to End TB

Scientists, researchers, health economists, funders, government officials and other experts in Tuberculosis prevention, treatment and elimination will gather in the Bay Area July 11 through 13.

The Lancet Commission on Tuberculosis will hold its first meeting July 12 and 13. UCSF’s Eric Goosby, MD, the UN Special Envoy on Tuberculosis, will chair the Commission, which plans to release its recommendations prior to the UN high-level meeting on TB in 2018.

Commission co-chairs with Goosby are Soumya Swaminathan, M.D., MBBS, secretary, Department of Health Research in India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and director general of Indian Council of Medical Research, and Dean Jamison, PhD, professor emeritus, University of Washington, and senior fellow in Global Health Sciences at UCSF.

To coincide with the Lancet Commission meeting, UCSF and UC Berkeley are holding a joint symposium on July 11 on advancing science and policy to accelerate the global fight against TB.

The symposium will feature presentations and panel discussions from UC Berkeley and UCSF faculty researchers and special guests on the latest research on understanding, preventing and treating the disease.  It also will include an update on the strategic plan to eliminate Tuberculosis in California by 2040. More information on the symposium is available here.

While TB is treatable and curable, it remains the number one infectious disease cause of death worldwide, ahead of HIV and malaria combined. In 2015, according to the World Health Organization, there were 10.4 million new cases of TB and 1.8 million people died of TB.  The highest burden is in Asia (61% of cases) and Africa (26%) with six countries accounting for 60% of the cases.

Investments for care and treatment of TB in low- and middle-income countries fell about $2 billion short of the $8.3 billion needed in 2016.

“The world needs a concerted effort to turn the tide on TB,” Goosby said. “Our hope is that the Lancet Commission’s research and recommendations will provide a roadmap for policy change at the UN meeting next year.”