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Preparing for The Union World Conference on Lung Health 2023

After five years of dedication and tireless effort, the ASCENT Project team is gearing up for a significant milestone—the Union World Conference on Lung Health 2023, set to be held in Paris this November. This conference marks a crucial juncture in our journey, where we will have the opportunity to present the final findings and outcomes of our project focused on Digital Adherence Technologies (DATs) in tuberculosis (TB) treatment across multiple study countries. As we approach this event, we reflect on the immense progress made and the transformative potential of DATs in reshaping TB care. 

A five-years journey:

The ASCENT Project has been a labor of commitment, dedication, and collaboration. Over the past five years, our team has assessed, designed, and implemented strategies aimed at leveraging DATs to enhance TB treatment outcomes and foster patient autonomy. Through this journey, we have worked hand in hand with National Tuberculosis Programs, healthcare professionals, patients, and communities in Ethiopia, the Philippines, Tanzania, Ukraine, and South Africa, striving to empower individuals affected by TB and provide them with additional tools they might need for a successful treatment journey. 

It is important to align the work of projects like ASCENT with the need for person-centered approaches that are equitable and accessible for all the people affected by TB, in addition to the commitments that the scientific and political communities should prioritize to reduce the burdening of TB on populations, as highlighted during the United Nations High-Level-Meeting (HLM) on the Fight Against Tuberculosis held this September in New York. 

It is relevant at this time to recognize the importance of the collaborative efforts and the support that this project has witnessed whether it is at KNCV TB Plus global office in The Hague, or through the work of our partner organizations UNITAID, The Aurum Institute, PATH, and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. 

The significance of the Union World Conference on Lung Health 2023: 

This year’s Union World Conference holds immense significance for us as it provides a platform to showcase the culmination of half a decade of hard work and dedication. Our final findings and insights into the use and impact of DATs in TB treatment across these diverse study countries will take center stage. We are excited to share our research outcomes, the real-world stories of patients, and the innovative solutions that have emerged from this journey. 

Unlocking the potential of DATs: 

During the Union Conference, we will be hosting a Symposium on The impact of digital adherence technologies on TB care, and presentations on Key results and lessons from the ASCENT trial in the form of Satellite Sessions, spotlighting the transformative power of DATs. The Symposium will be held on Friday 17 of September from 15:00 to 16:30, while the rest of the presentations will be spread out throughout the Conference days (make sure to check out the complete program here: https://conf2023.theunion.org/programme/).

Prof. Katherine Fielding, Ass. Prof. Finn McQuaid, Dr. Endalkachew Fekadu, Dr. Degu Dare, Cristina Celan, Adrian Leung, and Tanyaradzwa Dube will be taking over the stage and reflect on how our project has demonstrated these technologies can bridge the gap between healthcare providers and patients, ensuring treatment adherence and fostering patient autonomy. We are eager to showcase how DATs have the potential to reshape the landscape of TB care, contributing significantly to the World Health Organization’s End TB Strategy and ambitious goal of achieving a TB treatment success rate exceeding 90%. 

At the Union World Conference on Lung Health 2023, we look forward to engaging with a diverse audience, including healthcare professionals, policymakers, researchers, and advocacy groups. We believe that by sharing our experiences and findings, we can inspire further innovation, collaboration, and commitment to improving TB care worldwide.