Recap of the first UNITE4TB webinar: Panel discussion on global burden of TB
On 03 March 2022, UNITE4TB held its first in a series of webinars being organized by project partners, Instituto de Saúde Pública da Universidade do Porto (ISPUP) and the European Respiratory Society (ERS). The session featured a presentation by Prof. Mario Raviglione of the University of Milan (Partner of UNITE4TB) on the global impact of Tuberculosis (TB). A former Director of the WHO Global Tuberculosis Programme, Prof4. Raviglione is one of the most prominent speakers in the field of TB. His presentation provided a thorough overview of the burden of TB, stressing the importance of a multi-sectoral approach to end TB that involves not only national TB programmes and global health care systems but also addresses health beyond health. Despite being treatable and preventable, TB still represents a major global health threat. With 1.5 million people dying and 10 million affected every year worldwide, TB is by far the leading cause of death from a single infectious agent. The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019 and the current war in Ukraine have put at risk the progress made in past decades in decreasing the burden of TB. The proper functioning of health care services and TB control programmes are now being severely threatened. Dr. Raviglione’s presentation was followed by a panel discussion chaired by Prof. Dr. Raquel Duarte (ISPUP) and Prof. Dr. Christoph Lange (Research Center Borstel), together with three members of the UNITE4TB Young Investigator Group: Dr. Raquel Villar Hernández (Germans Trias i Pujol research Institute), Dr. Arash Ghodousi (Vita-Salute San Raffaele University) and Dr. Olha Konstantynovska (Kharkiv National University). The discussion raised key questions regarding the challenges and solutions of TB control globally. This was the start of a bi-monthly series of UNITE4TB webinars. The next session will soon be announced – stay tuned!