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Triple Drug Therapy for Lymphatic Filariasis Administered in Samoa, American Samoa to Follow & Other NTD News

News roundup

This news roundup is a collection of headlines and other items on neglected tropical diseases, and does not reflect the work or the views of the Neglected Tropical Diseases Support Center.

WHO

Young girl receiving ivermectin, diethylcarbamazine, and albendazole, also known as IDA

RASUL BAGHIROV/WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION

Lymphatic filariasis

Samoa rolls out triple drug therapy to accelerate elimination of lymphatic filariasis

Ashok Moloo
World Health Organization
Samoa has become the first country to implement the new triple drug regimen recommended by WHO for the treatment of lymphatic filariasis (LF), a disabling and disfiguring neglected tropical disease. Annual mass treatment of the entire eligible population of Samoa began on 14 August and is expected to be completed by 26 August.

Public awareness campaign launches to eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis

Samoa News
Speaking at a recent cabinet meeting, ASG Health Department director Motusa Tuileama Nua said American Samoa is working on addressing Lymphatic Filariasis. The World Health Organization and CDC, along with LBJ and DoH, are trying rid American Samoa as well as independent Samoa of the disease. He explained that American Samoa will work jointly with Samoa on the MDA for Lymphatic Filariasis with the MDA for American Samoa set to start Sept. 12th, following a church service on Sept. 9th to kick off this important health event.

Health Ministry to run TDT for dreaded disease LF in Nagpur

The Hitavada (India)
With an aim to achieve elimination of Lymphatic Filarisis (LF), a dreaded disease, Government is endeavoring by introducing various plans. Now, Union Health and Family Welfare Minister J P Nadda launched the accelerated plan for elimination of LF. Under it Triple Drug Therapy (TDT) is to be introduced in five districts in the country and Nagpur is one of those. Nagpur is the only district from Maharashtra also. With the introduction of TDT, less time will be consumed for the patient to get cure

Pharma firm donates 255-m albendazole tablets

Manila Standard
Global pharmaceutical company GSK has donated 255 million tablets used to eliminate lymphatic filariasis in the Philippines over the last 17 years. By the end of 2018, GSK projects to reach the albendazole donation to reach 261 million tablets. This medicine is used in combination with other medicines to help prevent transmission of lymphatic filariasis.

Evaluation of mass drug administration against lymphatic filariasis in Bidar district, Karnataka, India

Vijaykumar P. Mane and Ravindranath A. Bhovi
International Journal of Community Medicine and Public Health
Objectives of the study were to estimate coverage and compliance to mass drug administration (MDA) in Bidar district and to identify the various reasons for non-compliance to [mass drug administration, or] MDA. . . The coverage, compliance and effective compliance to MDA in Bidar district were 82.1%, 72.3% and 59.4% respectively. The most common reasons for non-compliance to MDA were fear of side reactions followed by suffering from other chronic diseases and having no faith in tablets. The most common side reactions associated with drug intake were vomiting and fever.

VIDEO: Volunteers Unite to Eliminate LF

The Carter Center
Carter Center-supported health workers, like Maria Fernanda, go door to door in rural communities of the Dominican Republic providing information about lymphatic filariasis, a disabling mosquito-borne disease, and the medicines to prevent it.

Onchocerciasis

Non-Invasive Urine Biomarker Lateral Flow Immunoassay for Monitoring Active Onchocerciasis

Ryan Shirey, Daniel Globisch, Lisa M Eubanks, Mark S Hixon, and Kim D Janda
ACS Infectious Diseases
Previously, we reported the discovery of the biomarker N-acetyl-tyramine-O-glucuronide (NATOG) in human urine samples and its ability to track treatment progression between medicated patients relative to placebo; we also established its capability to monitor disease burden in a jird model. NATOG is a human-produced metabolite of tyramine which, itself is produced as a nematode neurotransmitter. The ability of NATOG to distinguish between active and past infection overcomes the limitations of antibody biomarkers and PCR methodologies. Lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA) diagnostics offer the versatility and simplicity to be employed in the field and are inexpensive enough to be utilized in largescale screening efforts. Herein, we report the development and assessment of a NATOG-based urine LFIA for onchocerciasis.

Schistosomiasis

Geographical and behavioral risks associated with Schistosoma haematobium infection in an area of complex transmission

Teckla Angelo et al.
Parasites & Vectors
Longitudinal parasitological and malacological surveys were conducted to investigate geographical variations in transmission of urogenital schistosomiasis in Ikingwamanoti village, Shinyanga District, Tanzania. . . No spatial influence was observed between children’s infection and the distance from child’s residence to the nearby snail habitats nor was any significant association observed between children’s reported water contact behavior with S. haematobium infection. However, malacological surveys with cercarial shedding combined with GPS data detected significant variation among different water sources in the transmission of S. haematobium with children living in households near to ponds with high B. nasutus populations having the highest prevalence of infection.

Surprising Link Discovered Between Bottom Feeders and Blood Suckers

Jake Buehler
National Geographic
Red swamp crayfish—also known as Louisiana crawfish—have a long tradition as a tasty Cajun meal, and they may feel right at home on your plate. But delicious or not, they certainly don’t belong in southern California, or the many other places around the world where they’ve become an invasive species. Now new research shows they may be dangerous for people too, as their occupation of waterways allows mosquitoes to thrive, likely increasing the risk of mosquito-borne diseases. . . perturbations in local ecosystems don’t always result in greater disease risk. For instance, in Kenya, work in the 1990s revealed that invasive crayfish are insatiable predators of freshwater snails, which are hosts of the parasite that causes schistosomiasis—a debilitating disease that afflicts over 200 million people worldwide. Where swamp crayfish were intentionally introduced, schistosomiasis declined.

Gambia: Mass drug administration targets over 100K children

Cameroon Online
Gambia’s ministry of health in partnership with the World Health Organisation (WHO) Monday launches a two-week campaign to help eliminate worm-related diseases, said to be steadily on the rise in the country.Health officials said the campaign targets over 100,000 Gambian children, between 1 to 14 years old, who are exposed to Schistosomiasis and Soil-transmitted Helminthiasis, both described as neglected tropical diseases.

Soil-Transmitted Helminthiasis

Prevalence, intensity and factors associated with soil-transmitted helminths infections among preschool-age children. . .

Silvestro Ojja et al.
BMC Infectious Diseases
The prevalence of Soil transmitted helminths infection among preschool-age children in Hoima district significantly increased with age. Poor hygiene, inadequate sanitation and irregular deworming were associated with STH infections among PSAC in the study area. Intense health education on the importance of hygienic practices, improved sanitation and regular deworming of PSAC should be integrated into prevention and control programs.

Intestinal parasitism and nutritional status among indigenous children from the Argentinian Atlantic Forest. . .

MR Rivero et al.
Acta Tropica
We conducted a cross-sectional survey to investigate the prevalence of helminths and protozoa pathogens, malnutrition, and their determinants in children from indigenous Mbyá Guaraní villages of Iguazú, in the subtropical Atlantic Forest of Argentina. . . We evidenced that the community is affected by the double burden of malnutrition and parasitoses. To face this alarming situation, public policies are needed to improve sanitation, hygiene education access, community deworming programs, and quality nutrition on a regular basis of intercultural approaches.

Trachoma

Bringing Tropical Data to the Pacific Islands

RTI
Medium
Trachoma is endemic in several Pacific Island countries, but for some of them, the exact magnitude of the problem is not known. It is believed that rates are quite low compared to other trachoma-endemic countries. “In order to prove that, evidence needs to be collected,” says Oliver Sokana, the National Public Health Eyecare Coordinator for the Solomon Island’s Ministry of Health and Medical Services. “That’s why this training is necessary. Now we will have a common understanding of survey methods in all Pacific countries.”

Cross-cutting

WHO donates critical disease control medicines to Tanzania

Oscar Nkala
Outbreak News Today
Dr Adiele Onyeze commended Tanzania for undertaking programmes to control and elimination of schistosomiasis, lymphatic filariasis and other infectious diseases like Ebola and cholera. He said ‘remarkable progress’ has been made with regards to malaria control and the elimination of NTDs. The use of Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets (LLINs) and the use of Malaria Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs) contributed to the decline in the prevalence of malaria.

Reflecting strategic and conforming gendered experiences of community health workers using photovoice in rural Wakiso district

David Musoke, Charles Ssemugabo, Rawlance Ndejjo, Elizabeth Ekirapa-Kiracho and Asha S. George
Human Resources for Health
This paper explores the differential roles of male and female [community health workers, or] CHWs in rural Wakiso district, Uganda, using photovoice, an innovative community-based participatory research approach. . . Although responsibilities were the same for both male and female CHWs, they reported that in practice, CHWs were predominantly involved in different types of work depending on their gender. Social norms led to men being more comfortable seeking care from male CHWs and females turning to female CHWs.

Half the world's schools lack clean water, toilets and handwashing

Sonia Elks
Thomson Reuters Foundation
Nearly half the world's schools lack clean drinking water, toilets and handwashing facilities, putting millions of children at risk of disease, experts warned on Monday. . . "It's deeply shocking," Tim Wainwright, the chief executive of charity WaterAid, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. "The consequences are very broad in terms of children's access to education, general health and state of nutrition."

Listening Tour: Naming Neglected Tropical Diseases

The END Fund
The diseases that we now refer to as neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) can be pretty hard to pronounce. However, they haven’t always been lumped together as neglected tropical diseases. On the latest episode of Listening Tour, we hear a story from Alan Fenwick, founder of the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative, on why and how the NTD community decided to start working closer together and calling these diseases neglected tropical diseases.

Other

FDA adds four tropical diseases to priority review voucher program to encourage drug development in areas of unmet need

Theresa Eisenman
U.S. Food & Drug Administration
Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced the addition of Lassa fever, chikungunya virus disease, rabies and cryptococcal meningitis to the list of tropical diseases. Applicants who submit applications for drug or biological products to prevent or treat these diseases may qualify for a tropical disease priority review voucher (PRV). A tropical disease PRV can be used to obtain priority review of a subsequent drug application that does not itself qualify for priority review.

Kissing Bugs: How You Can Get Heart Disease From A Bite

Bruce Y. Lee
Forbes
You may have a fever or some swelling around the wound early on in T. cuzi infection, otherwise known as Chagas Disease. But after that you may not have any symptoms for a long, long time. In fact, it can be over a decade before you notice any problems. Somewhere between 20% to 30% of infected people end up developing major and even life-threatening medical problems from the disease. The disease can damage your heart tissue, which can lead to abnormal heart rhythms that could cause sudden death or a weak, floppy heart that can't adequately pump blood (i.e., heart failure).

Podoconiosis today: challenges and opportunities

Kebede Deribe
Twenty years ago, podoconiosis was hidden in the bookshelves and the suffering of people with the disease was a private matter that was not dealt with by the formal heath sector. For many health workers in endemic countries, podoconiosis was a mystifying dead end. However, with improved research, advocacy and demonstration projects, the disease came out of the ‘Dark Age'. . . Today, podoconiosis is a disease of significant clinical and public health importance in several endemic countries. Over the last 15 years there has been remarkable progress in research, advocacy and implementation of podoconiosis inteventions.

Japanese encephalitis also affects urban areas

EurekAlert!
Japanese encephalitis is generally thought to be limited to rural. Scientists are now questioning this belief, to wit the publication on 23 August of an article in the journal PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases. The study in question showed that in Cambodia, the virus circulates as intensely on the fringes of the capital, Phnom Penh, as it does in rural areas.

Africa’s potential 'game changer' in the fight against malaria

Alfonso Daniels
BBC
Four years ago, Brian [Gitta] and his fellow students at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, came up with this low-cost, reusable device called Matibabu which detects malaria quickly without drawing blood. Although still in prototype stage, the society judges called his malaria testing machine "simply a game changer" in the fight against this deadly disease.

Minicoy dengue cases traced to high vector density

Sampath Kumar
Times of India
The Central University of Tamil Nadu (CUTN) in Tiruvarur has found high density of aedes aegypti mosquitoes on one of the 10 inhabited islands in Lakshadweep resulting in a high number of dengue cases there. As many as 260 people had tested positive for dengue in the past three months in Minicoy,

To Beat Mosquitos, Researchers Must Think Like Mosquitos

Ryan Bell
The Optimist
“Carbon dioxide is a powerful attractant to mosquitos because it travels a long way,” says [Dan] Strickman. “Mosquitos are able to distinguish between ambient levels of the gas and those coming from a host.” . . . Researchers at In2Care, a Dutch company, realized this behavior pattern led mosquitos into a bottle neck, creating an opportunity for treating them with a pesticide. They developed a commercial model of a device known as an “eave tube” which is installed near the roof of a home, along with improvements to windows and closing any open gaps.

Upcoming Events 

International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases
August 26-29,  Atlanta, Georgia
Since 1998, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has hosted the International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases (ICEID). Held every 2-3 years, the conference brings together more than 1500 public health professionals from around the world to encourage the exchange of the latest information on issues affecting the emergence, spread, and control of infectious diseases. With scientific input from more than 30 national and global partners, ICEID 2018 will mark the 10th occurrence of this premier infectious disease conference.

5th International Conference on Neglected Tropical & Infectious Diseases
August 29-30,  Boston, Massachussetts
Theme: Uniting all to overcome and fight against NTD's & infectious diseases for improved health protection.

78th FIP World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
September 2-6, Glasgow, United Kingdom
The 2018 FIP congress in Glasgow, Scotland, invites pharmacy practitioners and pharmaceutical scientists from around the world to come together to consider ways of extending the role of pharmacists so that they play a full part in ensuring patients, and health systems, achieve full benefit from the medicines people take.

Gnatwork Bangladesh '18
September 2-6, Bangladesh
Our first international workshop will be held in Bangladesh on the 2 – 6 September 2018. We aim to bring together researchers who have an interest in blackflies, sandflies and biting midges for networking and sharing of expertise.The first day of our week-long workshop will consist of a conference day of talks, consisting of lectures from experts on vector ecology and epidemiology. We will also hold a short workshop on this day to discuss the current issues affecting vector research. Following this, we are holding a four-day training course for early-career researchers, to teach practical laboratory and field skills for research on sandflies, blackflies and biting midges.

Contol and Elimination of Visceral Leishmaniasis (Kala-azar)
September 3, Online Course
The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine is offering an online course bringing together all aspects of elimination and control together, this course provides a unique platform to learn about the tools needed for an effective VL control programme. The course contains examples from experts delivering current control and elimination programmes in South Asia and East Africa. The course provides learners unprecedented access to practical tools and insight into understanding the requirements and complexities of such programmes.

2018 ROP Africa Symposium
September 3-4,  Cape Town, South Africa
The International Paediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus Council and The Department of Pediatric Ophthalmology at The Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, Cape Town are proud to announce the 2018 ROP Africa Symposium.

The Alma-Ata Declaration at 40: Words into Action
September 12, Online
Our #AlmaAta40 team is gearing up for the big day. We would be thrilled for you to join us as we welcome keynote speaker, Rita Thapa to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health on September 12th, the 40th Anniversary of the 1978 Alma-Ata Declaration. 

IAPB Council of Members Meeting
September 15-16,  Hyderabad, India
The 2018 International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) Council of Members will be held in Hyderabad and our local host will be L.V. Prasad Eye Institute who are celebrating the 20th anniversary of ICARE (International Centre for Advancement of Rural Eye Care). We are expecting 400 delegates between the 15-16 September to celebrate the progress that has been made in India and across the South East Asia Region as well as looking ahead at the challenges that eye health faces not just in the region but across the globe.

RSTMH Annual Meeting 2018
September 19-20,  London, UK
The theme of [The Royal Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, or] RSTMH’s 2018 two-day Annual Meeting is intersections of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and the Sustainable Development Goals. We will bring together voices from different sectors, locations and disease areas to showcase the lesser-known problems caused by intersections, and their impact.

First International Podoconiosis Conference
September 23, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
The theme for this is ‘Research to Implementation: A Call for Global Action’. With this invitation to register, we are also calling for abstracts from all those involved in podoconiosis research and implementation. In order to stimulate high levels of participation, the conference programme will include two sessions of research presentations, one of implementation presentations, and a poster display area. Abstracts for each of these will be selected by competitive process, and prizes will be awarded for the best research and the best implementation presentations. Travel awards will be available for a limited number of selected abstracts.

Access Challenge Universal Health Forum
September 24, New York, New York
The Universal Health Forum will celebrate the drive towards Universal Health Access in Africa. There will be high-level forums on maternal health, child health and malaria, NTDs and NCDs. There will also be an exhibition hall showcasing new technology, diagnostics, and treatments, and a dinner and awards ceremony celebrating leaders from across Africa.

NNN 2018 
September 24-26, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
We are delighted to announce the dates for the 9th NNN annual conference, subject to venue availability.

10th Euro-Global Conference on Infectious Diseases
September 27-29, Rome, Italy
Theme: Advancing in science and improving care to prevent infectious diseases.

Global Citizen Festival
September 29, New York
Global Citizen's year-long campaign to end extreme poverty is honoring the legacy of Nelson Mandela in the year he would have turned 100.

International Conference on Migration Health
October 1-3, Rome, Italy
Hosted by the international Society of Travel Medicine.

Scientific Journalism Workshop
October 1-4, Kampala, Uganda
We would like to invite health/science journalists from Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe to submit their applications for a media workshop to be held on 1st – 4th October 2018 in Kampala, Uganda. All interested journalists may apply using the online application form no later than August 17, 2018.

5th Global Symposium on Health Systems Research
October 8-12,  Liverpool, United Kingdom
Theme: Advancing health systems for all in the SDG area.

World Sight Day
October 11, 2018
World Sight Day (WSD) is an annual day of awareness held on the second Thursday of October, to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment. This year, the "Call to Action" for World Sight Day is "Eye Care Everywhere."

World Health Summit
October 14-16, Berlin, Germany
Central topics for this year's meeting will include pandemic preparedness, sustainable development goals, and access to essential medicines.

Neglected Tropical Diseases Congress: The Future Challenges
October 15-17, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
The conference includes prompt presentations, special sessions, workshops, symposium, oral talks, poster presentations and exhibitions. We expect your kind presence at the conference which will discuss the recent emerging diseases, outbreaks, categories, epidemiology, diagnosis, therapeutics etc.

Collaborations Addressing Vulnerable Populations Forum
October 16-17, Herndon, Virginia
The Collaborations Addressing Vulnerable Populations (CAVP) Forum is a platform dedicated to the steps being made across the biomedical landscape to provide healthcare solutions to populations that represent an unmet medical need. The CAVP Forum will provide attendees with the opportunity to attend sessions from five unique tracks. We will highlight how drug repurposing can alleviate development costs, discuss different ways to ensure access to safe and cost-affective drugs, examine regulatory pathways and incentives targeting rare and neglected tropical diseases, and explore public–private partnerships that support the development of new treatments for vulnerable populations.

The Roadmap to Echinococcosis Control in Peru: Review and Synthesis of the Evidence
October 16-18, Lima, Peru
The objectives of this workshop are to review the cystic echinococcosis situation in Latine American and Peru, to review state-of-the0art methodologies, and to evaluate the evidence generated by pilot projects. The workshop is being coordinated by the University of Surrey (UK) and the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos (Peru), and will have contributions from other leading researchers. We are now inviting Early Career Researchers (ECR) from the UK or Peru to apply to attend this workshop. All travel and accommodation expenses will be covered by the Research Links programme. Applications are welcome until 1 August. Successful candidates will be contacted in early August.

Introduction to Agent-Based Modeling for Infectious Diseases
October 27, New Orleans, Louisiana
ASTMH and the Institute for Disease Modeling (IDM) are partnering to offer an introductory course on using agent-based models for modeling infectious diseases. Modeling is an essential component for understanding disease dynamics and creating effective control strategies, yet it remains inaccessible to many researchers in public health.

Tropical Dermatology
October 27 - 28, New Orleans, Louisiana
This 1.5-day course offers an overview of Tropical Dermatology, an essential component of tropical medicine. The course is designed for clinicians who are already familiar with clinical tropical medicine, either from working in tropical environments or from seeing patients returning from the tropics. Saturday’s session is devoted to cutaneous leishmaniais (the latest in the rapidly changing epidemiology, diagnosis and management). Skin conditions will be reviewed from the standpoint of diagnosing and treating individual patients – and from managing skin diseases on a population basis. 

PLOS Writing Workshop
October 28, New Orleans, Louisiana
PLOS Pathogens and PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, along with the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, present a Writing Workshop intended to equip and support early career researchers and researchers from disease endemic regions in understanding the publication process and best practices for manuscript writing. Highlights of the sessions include: framing your research and choosing your journal, mapping out your paper, abstract writing, the mechanics of writing, and research and publication ethics. For more information, please contact Charlotte Bhaskar at cbhaskar@plos.org

Big Data and Genomics – A Practical Workshop on Sequence Analysis in Parasitology
October 28, New Orleans, Louisiana
This practical, hands-on workshop will introduce participants to publicly available sequence analysis tools. Using parasite genome and/or RNAseq data obtained from actual field or laboratory experiments, participants will learn analytical methods and workflows used to extract meaningful biological, evolutionary and/or epidemiological insights. Through live exercises led by experts in the field, participants will learn how to retrieve data from sequence repositories, run them through preconfigured or customized workflows, and visualize and explore the data using web-based tools.

The Global Health Impact of Urbanization and Megacities – Trends, Risk Management and Research Needs
October 28, New Orleans, Louisiana
This course will explore the changing worldwide landscape and global health risks with the exponential increase in urban population growth.  Beyond vector-borne diseases, the lack of barriers between animals, vectors, the environment and water supply increases the risk of other diseases such as leptospirosis, Ebola and plague. We urgently need to be prepared for new microbial transmission pathways in the urban environment that affect human health. 

67th Annual ASTMH Meeting 
October 28 - November 1, New Orleans, Louisiana
The ASTMH Annual Meeting draws tropical medicine and global health professionals representing academia, government, non-profits, philanthropy, NGOs, industry, military and private practice. The meeting is designed for researchers, professors, government and public health officials, military personnel, travel clinic physicians, practicing physicians in tropical medicine, students and all health care providers working in the fields of tropical medicine, hygiene and global health. 

7th Global Scabies Control Meeting
October 28, New Orleans, Louisiana
We are pleased to announce the date for the 7th Global Scabies Control meeting. The meeting will be held on Sunday 28th October in New Orleans, LA, USA. Please mark this in your diaries now! Further information and registration details will follow in coming months. 

1st International Caparica Congress on Leishmaniasis
October 29-31, Caparica, Portugal
This conference intends to gather researchers working in areas related to Leishmaniasis, from treatment to prevention. In fact, as leishmaniasis is slowly but constantly, increasing worldwide, this conference is addressed to show the latest research trends in this area. The idea is to push forward the battle against this persistent disease. 

Women Leaders in Global Health London 2018
November 8-9, London, United Kingdom
Celebrating women in global health leadership and cultivating the next generation of women leaders. 

APHA 2018 Annual Meeting and Expo
November 10-14, San Diego, California
Theme: "Creating the Healthiest Nation: Health Equity Now."  

Vector-Borne Diseases in the UK - Biennial Meeting, 2018
December 3-4, Norwich, United Kingdom
This meeting will be the fourth we have held on this topic, with previous meetings in 2012, 2014 and 2016, and like before we will bring together members of the major UK research groups who have an interest in vectors or vector-borne diseases which could be a threat to the UK; groups with wider but related areas of interest; members of key UK Government Departments and their Agencies; and representatives of European organisations with an interest in this topic. 

Women Deliver 2019 Conference 
June 3-6, 2019, Vancouver, Canada
The Women Deliver 2019 Conference – the world’s largest gathering on the health, rights, and wellbeing of women and girls – will serve as a fueling station for advocates working to achieve a more gender equal world. In the summer of 2019, over 6,000 world leaders, influencers, advocates, academics, activists, and journalists will flock to Vancouver with dreams of accelerating progress girls and women everywhere.