The Union

Inaugural Session

Inaugural Session opens 46th Union World Conference

The Union’s President, Dr E Jane Carter, welcomed almost 4000 delegates at the Inaugural Session for the 46th World Conference on Lung Health by drawing attention to ‘Imbizo’, the shared community space. She said, “Imbizo is a space of 'translation', a place where science meets activism and translates into the end of TB.  For me, this perfectly encapsulates our conference theme, A New Agenda."

Her words were echoed by Union Executive Director, José Luis Castro: “We are moving into a new era for global development. The world is committed to ending TB."

The inaugural lecture - Turning the Tide Against Lung Disease in South Africa – was delivered by South African Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi on behalf of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.  He reiterated the need for change and access for all to appropriate healthcare and treatment, “In the history of the human race, TB has killed more people than any other disease. This has to stop."

Inspirational testimony was provided by Juliet Vivien Nalumu, site coordinator for mothers2mothers in Uganda. Her powerful story of living with – then overcoming - HIV/TB co-infection drew a standing ovation from the entire auditorium.

The Union Medal is The Union’s highest honour and traditionally awarded to an individual who has made a significant commitment to TB control or lung health.  This year, the recipient is one of the great pioneers of TB research, 96-yearold Prof Denis A Mitchison.

Dr Carter praised the outstanding contribution made by Prof Mitchison in his field, “He is a true inspiration and a living legend. As he says, ‘Science is a lifetime’s occupation’, and he is still saving lives in his ninth decade.”

Prof Mitchison accepted the award by video from his home in the UK.