Blizard Institute - Barts and The London

South Korean government delegation visits the Blizard Institute to learn about tuberculosis management

On Thursday 13 June, Queen Mary welcomed a delegation of civil servants from South Korea’s Gyeongsangbuk-do provincial government to learn about Tuberculosis (TB) elimination policy in London. The meeting was hosted at the Blizard Institute in conjunction with the Queen Mary Global Policy Institute.

21 June 2019

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South Korea has the highest death rate for TB within OECD countries, despite significant research and efforts to manage the disease. The group of civil servants comprising 18 health care, nursing and health technology officials was set up to manage TB in Gyeongsangbuk-do, the biggest province in the country in terms of area. The group identified England as having experienced recent success in the management of TB in the six years prior to 2018, and saw Queen Mary and Barts Health NHS Trust as the perfect location due to our significant contribution to TB research and management.

A number of leading TB experts presented key practices and systems identified by the delegation as important aspects of TB management that they could implement in South Korea. In attendance were Lynn Altass, National TB Strategy Implementation Manager at NHS England and NHS Improvement; Dr Nashaba Matin, Consultant in HIV Medicine and HIV Clinical Lead at Barts Health; Dr Heinke Kunst, Senior Lecturer at Queen Mary and Honorary Consultant in Respiratory Medicine at Barts Health; Dr Simon Tiberi, Consultant in Infectious Diseases at Barts Health and Honorary Senior Lecturer at Queen Mary; and Dr Matt Burman, Research fellow at the Blizard Institute.

Topics discussed included the direction of London’s TB elimination policy, difficulties regarding the management of TB patients in London, management of HIV-positive tuberculosis patients, the information delivery system within the community, and community participation in the elimination and prevention of TB.

Also in attendance were Professor Tim Warner, Director of the Blizard Institute, and Sean O’Connor, Head of Global Projects and Policy. Sean provided the group with an introduction to the Queen Mary Global Policy Institute, Queen Mary’s institutional hub for international policy-facing initiatives that provides policy makers with a single point of access to Queen Mary expertise. Commenting on the day’s discussions, Sean said: “It was a pleasure to support this dialogue between expert practitioners working to manage and eliminate TB, which drew on the very best of Queen Mary and Barts Health expertise. The Queen Mary Global Policy Institute exists precisely to enable this kind of transnational exchange, providing expert-led policy briefings, advice, training and bespoke solutions to extremely complex problems.”

More information

Queen Mary University of London and Barts Health NHS Trust have active research and teaching programmes in both Medicine and Tuberculosis. Barts Health caters for a large part of east London and treats the largest number of Tuberculosis patients in Western and Central Europe, seeing 10 percent of national TB cases. 

On Wednesday 26 and Thursday 27 June, the Blizard Institute will be hosting the 1st International Blizard/Queen Mary tuberculosis symposium, which will include a number of national and international speakers in the fields of tuberculosis, infectious disease, HIV and paediatrics, and will also launch the new world-first Postgraduate Certificate in Tuberculosis.

The TB symposium agenda [PDF 590KB] will offer more than an update to participants on the clinical management of TB cases, evaluating new diagnostic/molecular techniques available for TB and providing an understanding of TB epidemiology and elimination. The programme will be of special interest to doctors including consultants, specialist trainees in respiratory medicine, paediatrics, public health specialists, TB nurse leads and nurses, pharmacists, as well as other allied health professionals working in the field of tuberculosis. Register now (substantial discounts available for students, post-docs and nurses). 12 CPD points approved.