On 18th October, 2019, organized in concert by the Innovation Alliance on Tuberculosis Diagnosis and Treatment (Beijing) (the IATB), the China CDC's Clinical Centre for Tuberculosis, the Beijing Chest Hospital, hosted by the Shandong Chest Hospital, with academic support provided by the Chinese TB Society, the seventh national summit of heads of TB-designated hospitals, also the annual conference of the IATB was successfully opened in Jinan, Shandong. The conference was attended by 316 heads and representatives of TB designated hospitals from all corners of China. On the conference, recent policy changes were interpreted and discussed, advancement on technological innovation was shared, new thoughts on how China's TB control efforts should contribute to the realization of the End TB Strategy goals while TB designated hospitals are reforming to ensure long-term survival were also discussed.
The opening ceremony was moderated by Dr. Li Liang, vice director of the Beijing Chest Hospital, vice president of the IATB. The ceremony was also attended by Mr. Zhou Yuhui, vice director of the disease control bureau, the National Commission of Health; Mr. Liu Haitao, deputy of the office of TB control, the National Commission of Health; Mr. Qin Chengyong, vice director of the Shandong Province Commission of Health; Mr. Xu Shaofa, director of the Beijing Chest Hospital among other luminaries.
The opening remarks was delivered by Mr. Xu Shaofa, on behalf of the organizing committee of this conference, Mr. Xu expressed heart-felt gratitude to the National Commission of Health as well as the Shandong Province Commission of Health for their generous support to the conference. He also extended warm welcomes to all the attendees, heads and representatives of TB designated hospitals coming from four corners of China, despite busy schedule, making this event top their priority lists. Mr. Xu pointed out that this is the sixth edition of the summit, great many achevements have been made possible thanks to the close collaboration brought about by previous editions of this event. Mr. Xu continued that this year is not only the final year of the 13th five-year plan, but also starting point of the next round of development by the introduction of the End Tuberculosis Action Plan (2019-2022) (the action plan) by eight different national ministries. Therefore, the new circumstances of ending TB once for all require China's TB professional community to forge closer collaborative ties by making new measures and technologies more accessible for our patients, conducting more high quality research projects in scale, to make concrete contributions to the national anti-TB efforts in the new era.
On behalf of the Disease Control Buearu of the National Commission of Health, Mr. Zhou Yuhui, first extended heart-felt gratitude to all the attendees from all over China. He pointed out that the central government has always been placing great importance on the national TB prevention and control works, proactive measures whenever possible have been introduced to curb the TB epidemics, as a result, the national TB indicence has been subsiding gradually and consistently, while the case fatality rate remains low. In recent years, thanks to the ever increasing efforts by all levels of government and health authority, the trinity TB control network characterized by systematic collaboration among centers of disease control, TB desiganted hospitals as well as primary health facilities has become more and more extend, responsiblities of different stakeholders more refined, its performance optimized. TB designated hospitals through provision of high quality clinical diagnosis and treatment constitute a pivotal component of the trinity TB control network. As the new tasks outlined by the recently introduced action plan, TB designated hospitals should fully embrace new possibilites as well as advancement brought about by the fast developing information technology, further streamline the quality assurance schemes as well as criteria, by which active case finding, early case detection and early treatment can be further improved.
Following the opening ceremony, Mr. Liu Haitao made a presentation introducing the main content of newly introduced action plan. He pointed out that the action plan was put forward following the 2018 UN high level meeting on TB, which introduced a set of milestones in order for the world to reach the 2035 End TB targets. 2022 would be the first of such milestones, therefore, all efforts should be focused on the realization of the tasks outlined by the action plan for the country to meet its commitment made. Improved quality of TB diagnosis and care; early identifying, screening and treatment of at risk populations; patient-centered TB-related health promotions as well as increased investment into TB-related research efforts are the key criteria to be fulfilled.
The two-day conference was eventful, TB experts from all over the world went up the podium shared their respective research findings as well as experiences on how TB prevention and control should go about in the future. Outside the conference hall, many memorable events were also taking place, such as the first leg of the ' Exhibition of China TB-related Artifacts, ' in which, valuable TB-related exhibits from all eras since the Qing dynasty have been put on display, to showcase the archievements made especially since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949 in the realm of TB control. The conference also bore witness to the unveiling of the first Internet Hospital Mobile Units (IHMU), by which China's landscape of TB related diagnosing and treatment capabilities could be completely revolutionized as the geographical as well as economical disparities created by the east-west differences are effectively addressed for the newly introduced mobile clinical platform is capable of shoring up these distances by bringing the best medical services to the doorsteps of those most in need however living in remote areas.
In closing the two-day event, Dr. Li Liang concluded that as professionals working in TB control, we must play our part in the realization of a healthy China outlined by President Xi. A world without TB also needs the dedication of each and everyone of us. Dr. Li hoped that this event would carry on its tradition as an occassion for forging new friendships and reassuring old ones, that China's TB patients will eventually benefit from collaborations made possible in here. The next edition of summit will be held in Shijiazhuang, Hebei province.