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Malaysia Impresses World Experts In Lung Health As Host Of Annual Conference

World experts on lung health converged in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 13 – 17 November 2012 to attend the prestigious 43rd Union World Conference on Lung Health (the Conference) organised by the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (the Union) and supported by the Ministry of Health Malaysia and Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB).

Held at the award winning Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (the Centre), it is the largest global annual meeting focusing on the issue of lung health. This year, more than 2,600 delegates from over 122 countries attended the Conference in its mission to bring innovation, expertise, solutions and support to address health challenges in low- and middle-income populations.

Aptly themed ‘Driving sustainability through mutual responsibility’, the five day event also gathered speakers from 65 countries which include Dr Anneke Hesseling, Director of the Paediatric TB Research Programme.  The leading discussions on diverse topics ranged from tuberculosis (TB), child TB, child lung health, HIV and TB-HIV to how to improve health programmes and policies.

Two other significant highlights of the Conference in Malaysia include the ‘Run for your Lungs’ activity and the launch of The Union Centennial Campaign for Research and Education. The ‘Run for your Lungs’ activity was organised by the Union and Malaysian Association for the Prevention of Tuberculosis (MAPTB) as an awareness building fun run programme stressing on the importance of lung health.  Further, The Union Centennial Campaign for Research and Education was launched to raise unrestricted funds for its research and education programmes between now and 2020 which marks the Union’s 100th year.

Dr Nils E Billo, Executive Director of the Union said, “Malaysia provides a compelling setting for the Conference that brings together views from around the world to call for action against lung disease. With more than 2,600 delegates attending this year’s Conference, we truly consider this as an excellent turnout since these are difficult times economically for many public health organizations and advocates. We would love to come back here and to continue spreading the message on this very important issue.”

With over 10,000 members and subscribers from 152 countries, the Union which is headquartered in Paris, has offices located in Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, North America and South-East Asia regions. The Union is most widely known for the research that led to the global strategy for treating and controlling tuberculosis. Adopted by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 1993, the Union model is part of the internationally recommended ‘Stop TB Strategy’ that has been used to treat 32 million people in 202 countries.

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