Dear friends and colleagues,
We are living through difficult times.
In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, a decision has been taken to postpone the TB meeting that was scheduled for the 2 nd to the 5 th of June 2020 at the ICC in Durban.
We will reassess the situation at the end of July 2020 and update you on further plans. The possibility of a virtual meeting is also being investigated.
Your safety remains our priority and we have appointed an expert panel to advise us on when the meeting might safely happen (and in what optimal format).
Apologies for an email sent out recently (that some of you may have received) advising that the meeting was moved to September.
Please ignore that email. It was sent in error and has been retracted.
Professor Keertan Dheda
On behalf of the scientific organising committee
Let’s be free of TB through innovation!
I’m delighted and take great pride in inviting you to attend the 6 th South African TB Conference to be held in Durban from the 2nd to the 5th of June 2020.
Tuberculosis (TB) is arguably the biggest historical killer of mankind with almost a billion people succumbing to this disease over the last 2 decades. It is far from eradicated and remains the most common cause of death in South Africa. Given that TB disproportionately impacts economic active young people, it substantially negatively impacts the South African GDP, which is of great concern at this time, not to mention the impact on mortality and morbidity. TB continues to subvert the health of South Africans long after the disease is treated due to post-tuberculous lung damage and ongoing pulmonary disability.
Nevertheless, significant progress has been made with substantial reductions in TB incidence and mortality over the last several years in South Africa. This has been due to several factors including improvement in HIV care, living standards, and implementation of several interventions by the Department of Health, including the roll-out of newer DNA-based diagnostic tools and drugs, and health system improvements. We need to capitalise on, and sustain these gains by holding hands together and innovating to solve the TB challenge.
The 6 th South African TB Conference is a platform that will facilitate and galvanise such efforts where stakeholders from government, the private sector, academia, NGO’s, and advocacy groups can network to share experiences and plan strategic initiatives. The last 5 years has been a particularly exciting time for TB as there have been an unprecedented number of new drugs and diagnostics that have been introduced into clinical practice. We are planning an interesting programme which will include international faculty and globally recognised local participants that will cover key cross-cutting themes (drug-sensitive TB, drug-resistant TB, paediatric TB, HIV/TB co-infection, EPTB, and prevention, diagnosis and treatment) across 4 thematic tracks (Clinical Science, Basic Science, Public Health [including health systems and surveillance], and Human Rights/ Stigma/ Advocacy).
I would like to urge you to make a special effort to attend this meeting and look forward to welcoming you in Durban! It will be a memorable event!
With all good wishes,
Professor Keertan Dheda MBBCh (Wits), FCP (SA), FCCP, FRCP (Lond), PhD (Lond); NRF A-rated Scientist
Chairperson - 6 th SA TB Conference