It is an honour and privilege to invite you to for the 18th Union Conference of the African Region, holding from 3–5 March, 2011. The African Region has made progress in the control of TB, TB/HIV, tobacco, asthma, and other lung diseases though serious challenges still exist for the Region to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

The 18th Union Conference, with the theme, TB, TB/HIV and other lung diseases: challenges to the attainment of MDGs in Africa will therefore afford us the opportunity to critically review the progress made towards the attainment of the MDGs and share best practices in overcoming the challenges in the control of these diseases.

The emergence of drug resistant TB (MDR/XDR) in the face of high prevalence of HIV makes it even more imperative for us as a region to discuss new initiatives, and share innovative ideas that could facilitate our collective efforts towards controlling these diseases as well as reaching the MDGs. This conference will also provide a forum for scientific and community sessions to address and provide pragmatic solutions to the major issues of TB, TB/HIV, tobacco and other lung diseases in the African Continent.

Abuja, the chosen city for this conference, is rated the most beautiful emerging capital city in Africa with serene, picturesque environment and clement tropical climate, which makes it irresistible for visitors. Furthermore the setting for this conference offers excellent facility for robust discourse and networking as well as relaxation.
I am therefore pleased to invite you to Abuja, to experience the warmth and hospitable disposition of Abuja residents which promises to leave participants with memorable experiences.

The outcome of the conference, it is hoped will accelerate progress towards the implementation of policies by National Authorities, Development Partners and all stake holders involved in the fight for good lung health and meeting the MDGs targets in our Region.