Backstory Podcast: Dr. Madhukar Pai discusses the UN High Level Meeting to End TB

On September 26th, 2018, the United Nations will hold its first High Level Meeting to address and help end the tuberculosis epidemic. Dr. Madhukar Pai, TB researcher and advocate, discusses the significance of the meeting and how current and future scientists can hold governments accountable.

To mark the historic first United Nations High Level Meeting to End TB on September 26th, 2018, BMC Medicine introduces our new podcast series, Backstory. Through the voices and stories of authors, experts, policymakers, and advocates, Backstory will help you better understand and put into context the latest research and news that impact human health and disease.

In our first Backstory, we talk with Dr. Madhukar Pai from the McGill International TB Centre about the global TB epidemic and what he’ll be paying attention to on September 26th at the UN High Level Meeting to End TB. He also discusses the dual roles of science and advocacy in tackling global health problems like tuberculosis.

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Podcast guide:

1:20 – Can you summarize the TB epidemic for us and why it took so long to get this first UN High Level Meeting to address it?

2:56 – What tools do doctors have to diagnose and treat TB, compared to what is actually available to TB patients in low and middle income countries?

6:00 – So it is mainly a lack of political will to support TB research that has kept TB behind other major infectious diseases?

7:38 – What role should BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) play in the upcoming UN High Level Meeting to end TB?

13:24 – How do you prepare your students to incorporate advocacy into their science for tackling TB?

16:59 – What role do you see scientists playing in the political aspects of global health research?

20:28 – How can researchers hold government officials accountable for any promises that are made at the UN High Level Meeting to End TB?

23:26 – Final thoughts…

For more information about Dr. Madhukar Pai and his TB research, please visit:

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