200 global health leaders to meet in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi: Under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, over 200 global health leaders will gather in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday for “Reaching the Last Mile: Mobilising Together to Eliminate Infectious Disease”.

This forum of government officials, bilateral and multilateral aid leaders, global health experts, philanthropists, and industry leaders will focus on eliminating and eradicating preventable deadly diseases that hinder the health and economic prospects of the world’s poorest people. Reaching the Last Mile will be held in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The Carter Centre.


The REACH (Recognising Excellence around Champions of Health) Awards, a global awards programme aimed at recognising individuals who have made outstanding contributions towards eliminating infectious diseases, will be launched at the forum. The 2017 REACH Awards will honour people who have been instrumental in driving progress against Guinea-worm disease, a crippling parasitic disease that incapacitates people for extended periods of time.

Jim Kim, president of the World Bank, will deliver a keynote address and Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will be speaking on solving health challenges with technology. A session led by Reem Ebrahim Al Hashemi, Minister of State for International Cooperation, and Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organisation, will focus on the importance of robust and targeted partnerships to end infectious diseases.

The forum will also include panel discussions by leading experts in the field, drawing on lessons learnt to explore what needs to happen to end polio and Guinea-worm disease, examining successes, challenges, and potentially game-changing innovations for malaria elimination, and discussing progress made in freeing the world of Neglected Tropical Diseases — a diverse group of tropical infections that affect more than five billion people worldwide and is especially common in low-income populations in developing regions of Africa, Asia, and the Americas.

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