World TB Day conference highlights progress in Hungary

WHO/Rita Kleska

Dr Masoud Dara delivering key note presentation with interpreter, 27 March 2013

World Tuberculosis (TB) Day was celebrated in Hungary on 27 March 2013 with a national conference organized by WHO/Europe in collaboration with the Ministry of Health. The main objectives of the conference were to disseminate findings and recommendations of a WHO/ECDC mission report as well as to introduce and discuss planned changes related to TB screening and the new national TB action plan.

The event was opened by the State Minister for Health, Dr Miklos Szocska, who announced the planned changes based on WHO/ECDC suggestions.

In his key note speech, Dr Masoud Dara, WHO/Europe Programme Manager for TB and extensively and multdrug-resistant TB, detailed the current TB situation in the European Region and the main observations of the WHO/ECDC review. He also noted and welcomed the steps already taken in Hungary since the May 2012 review.

Dr Zsofia Pusztai, Head of the WHO Country Office in Hungary, gave an overview of this year’s World TB Day messages. Presentations and speeches were also delivered by national authorities and experts, including Dr Ildiko Horvath, Head of Health Policy Department at the Ministry of Health, and Dr Gabor Kovacs, Director of the National Insitute for Pulmonology, who provided details of the planned changes related to TB screening and the TB action plan.

The event attracted 120 participants from professional colleges, surveillance teams, pulmonary dispensaries and laboratory networks, among others sectors. The conference received wide media coverage in the main news portals, electronic and live media and both Dr Masoud Dara and Dr Pusztai provided interviews.