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By Dr Ehsan Latif, Director, The Union Tobacco Control Department

The conference was held in Dhaka, Bangladesh, March 9 - 12, and was attended by 533 delegates from ten countries.

The conference deliberated on the challenges to humanity with reference to lung health including tuberculosis and tobacco control and called for:

• Accelerating efforts for reducing consumption and availability of tobacco in all of the countries of the region through full, effective and accelerated implementation of policy measures recommended under WHO-FCTC and adopting strategies for new products being launched with an aim to achieve a target of 30% relative reduction in tobacco use prevalence by 2025 as adopted by the World Health Assembly on NCDs (WHA), in May 2013.

• Improved and sustained efforts for decreasing the prevalence and mortality of tuberculosis as is still an increasing threat to health in The Union South East Asia Region. Throughout the region, TB is often related to social and economic factors and poor adherence to TB control practices resulting in multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) and extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB). Many countries in the region need to increase the competency and motivation of human resources for TB control and care. MDR TB and TB-HIV co-infection needs to be tackled in a comprehensive manner. The countries of the region need to work together as TB does not respect borders.

This Conference therefore deliberated to identify strategies for reducing tobacco related harm to health in the 21st Century and setting country-wise targets to protect present and future generations from the harms of tobacco use and strategies to decrease the incidence, prevalence and mortality of tuberculosis amongst the population.

Full conference report.


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The Tobacco Control Department is based at The Union Europe Office, Edinburgh, registered charity no. SC039880
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