Mexico will host the 48th Union World Conference on Lung Health

Held in Guadalajara, in the state of Jalisco, from 11-14 October 2017

Mexico City/Paris, 21 September 2016 – Expo Guadalajara Convention Centre will host the 48th Union World Conference on Lung Health in the capital of Jalisco, Mexico from 11-14 October 2017.

The conference, organised by the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, is the most important annual meeting in its field. Every year it brings together researchers, health programme directors, politicians, activists and other prominent figures to tackle issues related to tuberculosis, lung health and other health areas that affect, in particular, people living in poverty.

In 2017, Guadalajara will take the relay from Liverpool (United Kingdom), the city where the world conference will be held in late October this year. The Mexican government and The Union announced the decision today during a press conference in Mexico City. Representing the Mexican government’s Ministry of Health were Pablo Kuri, Undersecretary of Prevention and Health Promotion, and Jesús Felipe González, General Director of the National Centre of Preventive Programmes and Disease Control (Centro Nacional de Programas Preventivos y Control de Enfermedades - CENAPRECE). Representing The Union were Mirta Molinari, Director of the Mexico Office and Coordinator of Tobacco Control in Latin America, and Emily T Blitz, Global Director of Conferences and Summits.

"This conference has extensive visibility in the field of international public health and great media coverage, which positions us as a leader in respiratory diseases with emphasis on tuberculosis," said Pablo Kuri. "We celebrate the efforts of The Union in this new great opportunity to make known to the world, from Mexico, the situation regarding tuberculosis".

Mexico records over twenty thousand new cases of tuberculosis every year.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), in 2014 more than nine and a half million people came down with tuberculosis of which one and a half million died. Mirta Molinari pointed out that “deaths caused by tuberculosis exceed deaths caused by HIV, even though today tuberculosis is, for a large majority of people affected, a disease that can be treated and cured”. Molinari highlighted that The Union showed a great willingness to organise the conference in Mexico. “Mexico and Latin America are both places where passionate work is being carried out in the field of lung health, especially in tuberculosis and tobacco control”. 2

“In Guadalajara, we expect the participation of 4,000 delegates from over 100 countries. This will undoubtedly bring added value to the city and the country as it unites the world’s best experts in the field”, asserted Emily Blitz, Director of Summits and International Conferences of The Union. “In addition, the economic impact and social legacy of these types of conferences are very significant”.

The Union and the protection of lung health in Latin America

The 2017 world conference in Mexico reflects The Union’s commitment to protecting lung health in Latin America, both in the fight against tuberculosis and tobacco control. Thanks to a grant from the Bloomberg Initiative, The Union offers the region technical, legal and financial assistance in these fields which are aimed at improving tobacco control policies.

In fact, tobacco control will be one of the main themes in 2017. It became a subject of concern when in July of this year, Uruguay beat Philip Morris in its six-year battle for the commercial brands, packaging and labelling of tobacco products. This significant milestone in the global fight against smoking sets the scene and empowers other countries to take similar measures.

Furthermore, the scientific programme of Guadalajara will also address the latest advancements in the fight against tuberculosis, HIV and non-communicable diseases. This will be one of the issues tackled at the 16th Conference of The Union Latin America Region to be held in Lima, Peru 4–5 November 2016, the regional conference held every two years within the framework of the International Congress of the Peruvian Pulmonology Society. It will bring together 400 lung health specialists from Latin America and focus on the region’s importance in the protection of lung health to pave the way for the world conference in Guadalajara in 2017.

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