UCL and The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine will mark World TB Day on the 24th March 2014, with a call to "Reach the Three Million" people per year who fall ill with TB but are usually missed by healthcare systems.
During a full day of talks, UCL and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine academics, as well as other leading experts in the field, will discuss cutting edge research and key outstanding issues in TB.
On the 24th March 1882 Dr Robert Koch announced his discovery of the TB bacillus. His ground breaking research paved the way to diagnosing and curing TB. However, according to the World Health Organisation, in 2011 there were 1.4 million deaths from TB worldwide, with 8.7 million new cases reported. Ninety five per cent of those deaths were in poor and middle income countries, affecting vulnerable and marginalised populations.
In addition, multi-drug resistant TB is a growing public health problem, particularly in areas with weak TB control programmes. In 2012, 450,000 people developed multi-drug resistant TB. In countries where expensive treatment options aren't available it is becoming increasingly difficult to treat MDR-TB.
It is clear that over 130 years after Koch's ground-breaking discovery, more work needs to be done to reach the three million sufferers who are missing out on treatment for this essentially curable disease.
Professor Timothy McHugh, Professor of Medical Microbiology and Director, UCL Centre for Clinical Microbiology, says "QUOTE" The UCL/LSHTM World TB Day Symposium will include sessions on drug resistance, the underlying science, new therapies and ways forward. Sessions will be led by Ibrahim Abkbaka, Professor, Professor in Infectious Disease Epidemiology UCL; Hazel Dockrell, Professor of Immunology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; Ali Zumla, Professor of Infectious Diseases and International Health, UCL, and Alison Grant, Professor of International Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
More details and a full agenda for the day can be found here: