More than 90 years of collaboration and innovation

The International Union Against Tuberculosis was founded in October 1920 in Paris by 31 national lung associations that saw the need for a central agency to support their efforts to stop TB by organising conferences, offering training, producing publications and disseminating the latest research and information on the disease. These have been core activities of The Union ever since, although it officially expanded its mission and became the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease in 1986.

The Union’s vision and mission today

In 2009, The Union redefined its vision as health solutions for the poor and adopted a new mission: to bring innovation, expertise, solutions and support to address health challenges in low- and middle-income populations. These goals reflect the interrelatedness of TB and lung disease with other conditions ranging from HIV/AIDS to non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and the fact that the burden of disease falls most heavily on the poor.

Offices around the world support a global network of experts

The Union is well-placed to fulfill its mission and vision: With close to 300 staff and consultants and more than 3,300 members from 152 countries, The Union comprises a dedicated network of experts and advocates. Its headquarters are in Paris, and offices serve the Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, North America and South- East Asia regions. The Union’s scientific departments focus on tuberculosis, HIV, asthma and other non-communicable diseases, child pneumonia and other lung health issues, tobacco control and research.

Technical assistance, education and research

Each year The Union provides technical assistance to some 75 countries that request its services. Its research activities include both operational research and clinical trials, with 64 project proposals receiving approval in 2010 alone. Educational activities include the World Conference on Lung Health, which has become the largest annual meeting on lung health issues as they affect low- and middle-income countries, and Union technical and management courses, which attract participants from around the world. In addition, the monthly peer-reviewed International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IF : 2.557 in 2010) and other Union publications disseminate the latest developments in research, theory and practice.

25 years of experience with asthma

The Union established an Asthma Division in 1996 to address the rising incidence of asthma in low- and middle-income countries. Using the DOTS model it developed for tuberculosis control, The Union conducted field research to determine how the same principles could apply to managing asthma in limited-resource settings. This led to the publication of the first edition of Management of Asthma: a guide for low-income countries in 1997. Based on additional feedback from countries using the guide, revised expanded editions have been published in 2005 and 2008 as Management of Asthma: a guide to the essentials of good clinical practice. In its work with numerous countries, The Union repeatedly heard that lack of access to affordable, quality-assured asthma medicines was a major barrier to successful asthma management. The Union’s Asthma Drug Facility (ADF) was established to help address this critical issue.

Learn more about The Union at www.theunion.org