© Wendy Marijnissen

47th Union Conference on Lung Health

Tuberculosis (TB) is now above HIV as one of the deadliest infectious diseases in the world.

The most recent World Health Organization (WHO) Global TB Report reveals some shocking statistics: each day, 4,900 people die from TB – which is more than three people every minute.

At the current rate of progress, the world is 150 years behind schedule to meet the WHO’s 2030 targets to reduce TB incidence and death.

TB is curable, but an inadequate global response is allowing drug-resistant forms (DR-TB) to take hold. DR-TB forms are much harder to cure than drug-sensitive forms of TB, standard TB drugs don’t work and the limited treatment available involves long, complex, toxic and expensive treatment regimens. In 2015, just 20 percent of people with drug-resistant forms of TB received the treatment they needed. 

Only 52 percent of patients with multi-drug resistant TB are successfully treated, and for patients with the most severe forms (extremely-drug resistant TB), successful treatment rate drops to just 28 percent.

To end the TB crisis advancement is needed in a number of key areas, including: diagnostics; testing for drug-resistance; developing individual drugs and combining them in regimens for both drug-sensitive and drug-resistant TB; putting it place optimised models of care and regulatory frameworks.

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is one of the largest non-governmental providers of TB treatment care – including for DR-TB – in the world. In 2015 the organisation had more than 20,000 TB patients on treatment, including 2,000 with DR-TB.

At the Union conference, MSF will be presenting programmatic data from across its TB projects – including on its use of the newest TB drugs (bedaquiline and delamanid), which are showing promising results.

MSF, with partners, is also involved in two clinical trials, PRACTECAL and as part of the endTB initiative (a partnership between MSF, Partners in Health, Interactive Research & Development, financed by UNITAID). Both will soon be enrolling patients. The trials aim to find new, effective, short and user-friendly treatments for drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis.

For more information please refer to our:


MSF Events


Thursday 27 October
• 07.30 – 08.45, Session Room 3B
This satellite will share the combined experience of MSF and NTPs from different settings, in opening up the access to new drugs and expanding their indications and use, including the use of delamanid and bedaquiline in combination, delamanid in children and extended use beyond 24 weeks of bedaquiline and delamanid.


Thursday 27 October 
• 13.30 – 15.00, Session Room 3A


Friday 28 October
• 17.30 – 19.00, Session Room 11B

MSF Oral Abstract Sessions

Friday 28 October
• 14.30 – 14.40, Session Room 1C
Erika Mohr - OA-402-28: Missed opportunities for rapid diagnosis of rifampicin-resistant tuberculosis in the setting of universal Xpert® MTB/RIF coverage in South Africa.
• 16.15 – 16.25, Session Room 12
Christophe Perrin - OA-435-28: DR-TB treatment costs: trends towards more affordability under threat with new drugs.
• 13.30-15.00, Session Room 1C
Nadia Yakhelef – OA-403-28: Is introducing GeneXpert MTB/RIF test into the diagnostic algorithm of smear-negative tuberculosis cost-effective?
Saturday 29 October
• 10.30 - 12.00, Arena
Jay Achar - OA-3163: Short-course MDR-TB treatment compared with standard of care in Uzbekistan: culture conversion rates after 2 months.
• 13.30 – 15.00, Session Room 1B
Animesh Sinha - OA-3036: Effectiveness of TB treatment regimens containing bedaquiline with repurposed drugs for drug resistant tuberculosis in the Chechen Republic, Russian Federation. 
• 13.30 - 15.00, Session Room 1B
Maria Verdecchia - OA-3138: Short course regimen for MDR TB in high HIV prevalence setting: model of care in Swaziland.

MSF Poster Discussion Sessions

Thursday 27 October

Electronic Poster

• 12.35 – 12.40, Session Room 10
Helena Huerga - EP-104-27: Latent tuberculosis infection and tuberculosis disease in paediatric contacts of drug-resistant tuberculosis patients in Armenia.
Child and adult MDR with modelling

Friday 28 October

Poster Discussion Sessions – Poster Area

• 12.15-12.20
Petros Isaakidi - PD-871-28: ‘Too little, too late’; new anti-TB drugs for patients with complex drug-resistant tuberculosis in Mumbai.
• 12.40-12.45
Erika Mohr - PD-876-28: Achievements and challenges in accessing new drugs for drug-resistant TB patients managed in primary care settings in Khayelitsha, South Africa.
Saturday 29 October

Poster Discussion Sessions – Poster Area

• 12.20-12.25
Helena Huerga - PD-1072-29: High treatment success in patients started on multidrug-resistant tuberculosis treatment in Kenya.
• 12.20-12.25
Jay Achar - PD-1083-29: Modelling the Effect of Reduced Regimen Duration for Multidrug-resistant TB in Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan.

Additional MSF Speakers

Tuesday 25 October
• 11.30 – 11.40, Session Room 11C
Francis Varaine: Using new anti-TB drugs in the treatment of MDR-TB
• 11.30 – 11.40, Session Room 14
Beverley Stringer: Analysing talk, text and observations in qualitative research.
Wednesday 26 October
• 08.00 – 08.10, Session Room 1C
Dr. Rony Zachariah: Operational Research: what, why and how
Thursday 27 October
• 13:45 – 14.00, Session Room 1C
Petros Isaakidis - Drug-resistant tuberculosis in adolescents and interventions to improve outcomes in Mumbai, India.
Friday 28 October
• 11:30 – 11:45, Session Room 11B
Aravind Swaminathan - Challenges and solutions to scaling up paediatric MDR-TB treatment in Central Asia.
Saturday 29 October
• 14:15 – 14:30, Session Room 3B
Philipp du Cros: Shorter and better? Results and challenges from of a simplified short regimen for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan.

Arena and Convention Centre

Kings Dock Street

Liverpool, L3 4FP

United Kingdom