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While international travel and large gatherings remain restricted due to COVID-19, The Union wishes to reassure all those dedicated to lung health that the 51st Union World Conference on Lung Health will take place virtually, providing the opportunity to innovate on the conference model familiar to the thousands of delegates who have participated in the past. Read more in our regular updates.

Join us at the 51st Union World Conference on Lung Health. The conference theme, ‘Advancing Prevention’, draws on commitments made in the political declaration adopted at the United Nations High-Level Meeting on Tuberculosis in 2018, which promised to end the tuberculosis (TB) emergency by preventing hundreds of thousands of infections and deaths every year.

Prevention is a key element to ending TB, reducing tobacco use and improving lung health worldwide. Yet prevention has been neglected as a research and operational priority in this sector – and has never featured as a conference theme to date. The 51st Union World Conference on Lung Health will put prevention at centre stage in this conversation.

Similarly, tobacco use is a major preventable risk factor for non-communicable diseases and significantly increases a person’s risk of developing TB, as well as impairing treatment outcomes. As the tobacco industry continues to target young people and non-smokers worldwide with products intended to addict new generations of users, preventing uptake is key.

And seven million people die every year from polluted air. There is a pressing need for policies and science that work to prevent air pollution, support lung health and reduce the burden of resulting diseases like COPD, asthma and others.

The Union World Conference hosts a four-day scientific programme and serves as a vital meeting place for all those working on every aspect of lung health. This is the world’s largest gathering of clinicians and public health workers, health programme managers, policymakers, researchers and advocates working to end the suffering caused by lung disease, with a focus specifically on the challenges faced by low-and lower-middle income populations.

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