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WHO Issues Interim Guidance for NTD Programs, will Host Concert Event for Healthcare Workers with Global Citizen & 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.

Global Citizen

One World: Together At Home’ global special to air on Saturday, 18 April 2020 in celebration and support of healthcare workers, broadcast to feature real experiences from doctors, nurses and families around the world.


Lymphatic filariasis

The design and development of a multicentric protocol to investigate the impact of adjunctive doxycycline. . .

John Horton et al.
Parasites & Vectors
The double-blind, placebo-controlled study was designed to investigate the impact of six weeks treatment with doxycycline added to standard limb hygiene on early stage filarial lymphoedema in five sites in Africa and the Indian subcontinent. One site in Cameroon is selected for studying lymphoedema in podoconiosis. Each site was individually powered with the potential to undertake a meta-analysis on completion. Evaluation methods followed those used in Ghana in 2012 with additions resulting from advances in technology. The details of the core protocol and how it was varied to take account of differing situations at each of the sites are provided. The study will enrol up to 1800 patients and will complete in mid-2021.


BCG & Ivermectin – Can Old Solutions Be Repurposed For COVID-19?

Grace Ren and Svĕt Lustig Vijay
Health Policy Watch
While much of the public fanfare around new COVID-19 drugs has centered around the lupus drug, hydroxychloroquine, and a failed Ebola remedy, remedisvir, other researchers are keen to explore the potential of other time-worn remedies – although here, too, experts are urging extreme caution. Ivermectin, the antiparasitic drug ivermectin that turned the tide in the West African fight against river blindness (onchocerciasis) some 30 years ago has been found to slow the growth in the laboratory of SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind COVID-19. . . Still, the concentrations of ivermectin that were demonstrated as effective against SARS-CoV-2 in the laboratory cell culture experiements are “far beyond” dosage levels approved by the FDA to safely treat river blindness in humans, warned the Mectizan Donation Program, in an Expert Committee Statement, issued on Tuesday. High doses of ivermectin have shown “serious toxicity” in animal studies, they added.

IACO Celebrates Strides Toward Elimination in the Americas

The Carter Center
Eye of the Eagle
Onchocerciasis (river blindness) now affects only 6% of the population initially at risk in the Americas—just over 30,000 Yanomami indigenous people living in the cross-border area of Brazil and Venezuela. The theme of IACO 2019 was “Brazil is close to the elimination of onchocerciasis.” The central message of the conference was that transmission of onchocerciasis is suspected to be interrupted in 61% of the at-risk population in Brazil and 79% in Venezuela.


A Solution to the Snails of Senegal

Jason Kelly
Notre Dame Magazine
Research into another type of snail-borne parasitic flatworm infection in amphibians indicated patterns of illness related to agricultural runoff in the frog habitats. [Jason Rohr's] lab also established that certain insecticides used on farms kill off insect predators that would eat the snails, an additional boost to the parasite-carrying population. Did the same model that threatened the frogs hold, the researchers wondered, for the way schistosomiasis spreads to humans? “We basically discovered that yes, indeed, we get these same sorts of dynamics,” says Rohr, whose work has evolved a long way from his days as a doctoral student exploring “mate search and predator avoidance in the eastern red-spotted newt.”

Connecting Female Genital Schistosomiasis and Menstrual Hygiene Initiatives

J. Russell Stothard, Maurice R. Odiere and Penelope A. Phillips-Howard
Trends in Parasitology
Today, some 56 million adolescent girls and women in Africa are estimated to suffer from [female genital schistosomiasis, or] FGS, which likely increases their risk of HIV acquisition up to fourfold. To improve their well-being, and those at-risk in future, the UNAIDS report called for an integrated response within sexual and reproductive health services that address FGS alongside other diseases and issues coherently. An expanded access to praziquantel treatment is crucial. Hotez et al. further endorsed this in their disease primer on FGS as published in The New England Journal of Medicine. Whilst both articles stress that FGS is one of the most common gynaecological conditions in Africa, each article did not elaborate, as well as they might, on the connection between FGS and menstrual health management (MHM). It was raised, albeit tangentially, within the UNAIDS report, with the description of an exemplar FGS case and was given a passing mention within the portfolio of community mobilisation, education and counselling as ‘hygiene education, including menstrual health’.

Soil-Transmitted Helminthiasis

Update on the major imported helminth infections in travelers and migrants

FF Norman, S Chamorro, B Comeche, JA Pérez-Molina and R López-Vélez
Future Microbiology
Helminth infections cause considerable morbidity worldwide and may be frequently underdiagnosed especially in areas of lower endemicity. Patients may harbor latent infections that may become symptomatic years or decades after the initial exposure and timely diagnosis may be critical to prevent complications and improve outcomes. In this context, disease in special populations, such as immunosuppressed patients, may be of particular concern. Heightened awareness and recent diagnostic developments may contribute to the correct management of helminth infections in nonendemic regions. A review of the main helminth infections in travelers and migrants (strongyloidiasis, taeniasis-neurocysticercosis and schistosomiasis) is presented, focusing on epidemiology, developments in diagnosis, treatment and prevention.


ICTC response to evolving global situation around COVID-19

Scott McPherson, Angelia Sanders and Serge Resnikoff
International Coalition for Trachoma Control
As a coalition of trachoma stakeholders, ICTC remains committed to supporting health ministries and communities in progress towards the elimination of trachoma as a public health problem. We recognise that the current public health emergency poses an unprecedented challenge for governments, public and international institutions and global citizens. It also highlights the interconnectedness of today’s globalised world and the need for a comprehensive public health response that protects the most vulnerable groups in societies. In light of this, the ICTC Executive Group, supported by the ICTC Strategy Task Team, have agreed to a longer timeframe for the development of the 2021 – 2025 ICTC strategic plan, informed by the impact of COVID-19 on the global trachoma programme.

Trachoma Prevalence After Discontinuation of Mass Azithromycin Distribution

William Godwin et al.
The Journal of Infectious Diseases
As the World Health Organization seeks to eliminate trachoma by 2020, countries are beginning to control the transmission of trachomatous inflammation–follicular (TF) and discontinue mass drug administration (MDA) with oral azithromycin. We evaluated the effect of MDA discontinuation on TF1–9 prevalence at the district level. We extracted from the available data districts with an impact survey at the end of their program cycle that initiated discontinuation of MDA (TF1–9 prevalence <5%), followed by a surveillance survey conducted to determine whether TF1–9 prevalence remained below the 5% threshold, warranting discontinuation of MDA. Two independent analyses were performed, 1 regression based and 1 simulation based, that assessed the change in TF1–9 from the impact survey to the surveillance survey.

Trachoma Elimination Draws Nearer to Reality

The Carter Center
Eye of the Eagle
Despite the challenges presented by insecurity and logistics in accessing the hardest-to-reach populations, Carter Center–supported programs still manage to provide surgery for thousands of people and distribute millions of doses of antibiotic each year, a success that has all affected countries on track to eliminate blinding trachoma. The programs work because of the firm commitment of government officials, Carter Center staff, donors, health extension workers, and thousands of community volunteers who deliver the drugs, surgical services, and health education to communities.


COVID-19: WHO issues interim guidance for implementation of NTD programmes

Ashok Moloo
World Health Organization
The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted almost every country to implement unprecedented public health measures. WHO continues to provide guidance to Member States to assist them to respond quickly and confidently to this emergency. A range of public health measures are being implemented that include hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, and practicing physical distancing. Consistent with these public health measures, particularly physical distancing, WHO recommends that community-based surveys, active case-finding activities and mass treatment campaigns for neglected tropical diseases be postponed until further notice. However, support for (1) prompt diagnosis, treatment and care of neglected tropical diseases for patients presenting to healthcare facilities, and (2) essential vector control measures, should continue wherever possible, as these are critical interventions.

GHIT Fund Announces New Investments: A Total of 3.29 Billion Yen in Drugs for...Chagas Disease, Lymphatic Filariasis, and Oncho

The Global Health Innovative Technology Fund
The Global Health Innovative Technology (GHIT) Fund announced today a total of 3.29 billion yen (US$30 million) to invest in 11 partnerships to develop new lifesaving drugs, vaccines and diagnostics for malaria, tuberculosis, Chagas disease, leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, and mycetoma. This includes five new projects and six that will receive continued funding. “Although we are in the midst of unprecedented COVID-19 crisis globally, GHIT works closely with our product development partners more than ever to conduct research and development for neglected patients. I believe that innovative technologies and approaches in partnership with Japanese and overseas entities will advance science steadily and contribute to the development of new drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics for neglected patients.” said Ms. Catherine Kaseri Ohura, the CEO of GHIT.

Artificial intelligence, diagnostic imaging and neglected tropical diseases: ethical implications

Alon Vaisman et al.
Bulletin of the World Health Organization
Artificial intelligence, defined as a system capable of interpreting and learning from data to produce a specific goal, has made significant advances in the field of neglected tropical diseases. Specifically, artificial intelligence is increasingly applied to the task of interpreting images of such diseases and generating accurate and reliable diagnoses that may ultimately inform management of these conditions. Neglected tropical diseases affect over a billion people globally and are a significant source of morbidity and mortality in low- and middle-income countries. Artificial intelligence has the potential to transform how such diseases are diagnosed and may contribute to enabling clinical and public health delivery in low- and middle-income countries. For example, artificial intelligence applied to neglected tropical disease diagnosis may help drive pointof-care clinical decision-making, identify outbreaks before they spread and help map these diseases to guide public health surveillance and control efforts.

President Carter Reflects on Decades of NTD Work

The Carter Center
Eye of the Eagle
Working together, donors, endemic countries, pharmaceutical companies, and implementers are showing that we can end NTDs. The Carter Center tackles some of the most challenging diseases in the most challenging environments. Our earliest work helped to show that NTD programs were a highly efficacious and cost-effective way to provide care, and it has been exciting to see the U.S. and U.K. governments work across the political spectrum in support of these projects. It is very gratifying to see so many more people now receiving treatment. I believe every person has the right to live a life free of unnecessary suffering, with hope that the future will be better than the past. Rosalynn and I are grateful for all the partners who work with us to eradicate and eliminate these horrible diseases to make the world more equitable and peaceful for future generations.

Call for Champions: Youth Combatting NTDs

Youth Combatting NTDs
Youth Combating Neglected Tropical Diseases is calling on young people all over to join the fight for an NTD Free Generation by becoming an NTD champion in your community. This opportunity will give young people tools, resources and knowledge on how they can fight NTDs in their own community. Champions also stand a chance to network and share experiences with like-minded young people from across the world.


WHO and Global Citizen announce: 'One World: Together at home' Global Special to support healthcare workers. . .

Charimon Kinder, Sunshine Sachs, Paul Garwood and Serena Jiwani
World Health Organization
‘One World: Together At Home’ global special to air on Saturday, 18 April 2020 in celebration and support of healthcare workers, broadcast to feature real experiences from doctors, nurses and families around the world. Powered by commitments from supporters and corporate partners in benefit of the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, Broadcast special to also benefit local and regional charities that provide food, shelter and healthcare to those that need help most. Historic broadcast to be hosted by Jimmy Fallon of ‘The Tonight Show,’ Jimmy Kimmel of ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ and Stephen Colbert of ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,’ Friends from Sesame Street Also on hand to help unify and inspire people around the world to take meaningful actions that increase support for the global COVID-19 response.

Call for Papers: Podoconiosis - Cross-disciplinary research updates in the year of NTDs

Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene is seeking submissions for an Open Access collection under the theme "Podoconiosis- cross-disciplinary research updates in the year of NTDs". Podoconiosis is a particularly neglected NTD. Many academics and health practitioners in endemic areas are unaware of the existence of this tropical lymphoedema, which is frequently confused with lymphatic filariasis. Research has been key to raising awareness of the condition over the past 15 years, and we invite researchers to contribute to the body of work that is vital to making a case for, and shaping, elimination strategies. Final Deadline for submissions: 20th June 2020.

WHF and IASC launch new Global Roadmap to eliminate Chagas disease

World Heart Federation
The World Heart Federation (WHF) launched today a new roadmap aimed at reducing the global burden of Chagas disease. Currently, an estimated 75 million people are at risk of acquiring Chagas – a Neglected Tropical Disease which can cause irreversible damage to the heart and other vital organs. . . The Chagas Disease Roadmap, developed by WHF in partnership with the Inter-American Society of Cardiology (IASC), is an essential guiding document for anyone involved in the planning, development and implementation of interventions to eliminate the disease. Drawing on the expertise of Chagas expert clinicians, researchers, implementation science experts and patients, it outlines a vision of an ideal pathway of care, identifies potential roadblocks along this pathway, and offers evidence-informed solutions for healthcare professionals, health authorities and governments.

Q&A COVID-19 and Chagas Disease

Chagas Coalition
Below are some general considerations regarding COVID-19 for people with Chagas disease. Each person’s situation may differ and therefore we urge everyone to follow local and national health recommendations as well as their doctor’s advice. COVID-19 is a relatively very new health challenge and we have not enough evidences of how it can interact with other infections. However, there are some good measures to protect ourselves from the COVID-19.

The Center for Innovation and Impact (CII) Request for Information (RFI) on Innovations That Could Support COVID-19 Response

SAM.GOV (beta)
USAID/GH/CII seeks market information related to product or service innovations that could support international COVID-19 response, including new products, service delivery approaches, and information channels. The purpose of these activities would be to enhance the Coronavirus (COVID-19) response in low and middle-income countries, particularly with low-cost and scalable options. USAID/GH/CII seeks market information around the following areas in particular: Diagnosis, Case Management, and Risk Communications.

2020-2021 Joint EMRO/TDR Small Grants Scheme Implementation Research on Infectious Diseases of Poverty

This call supports the generation of evidence from local research for the prevention and control of tropical diseases in the Eastern Mediterranean Region countries and takes into account the outcomes of two activities at the Regional Office: “Supporting Research for Health in the EMR” (EM-ACHR Meeting, 17-18 February 2020); and the “Regional Health Research Prioritization” workshop (13 February 2020). It emphasizes the importance of using implementation/ operational research for ALL priority topics listed below. In addition, the call welcomes research which links more than one priority in the list below, as well as involving EMR-based healthcare delivery and disease control programmes with research / academic institutions. Deadline for applications: 1 June 2020

WHO concerned as COVID-19 cases accelerate in Africa

World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa
“Case numbers are increasing exponentially in the African region,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa. “It took 16 days from the first confirmed case in the Region to reach 100 cases. It took a further 10 days to reach the first thousand. Three days after this, there were 2000 cases, and two days later we were at 3000.” To contain COVID-19, many countries in Africa are implementing measures, which restrict gatherings and the movement of people. Nationwide lockdowns are in effect in Kenya, Uganda, the Republic of the Congo and elsewhere. However, governments must use these measures in a considered, evidence-based manner, and make sure that people can continue to access basic necessities.

COVID-19 pandemic (2019-20)

PLOS Collections
This Collection of articles highlights all content published across the PLOS journals relating to the COVID-19/SARS-Coronavirus-2 pandemic in 2019-20. PLOS is committed to disseminating research as quickly as possible, particularly in public health emergencies. All articles published in any PLOS journal are Open Access free of charge to all readers.

Three Weeks, Two Drug Trials: An update on the Therapeutics Accelerator

Trevor Mundel
The Optimist
here’s been a lot of progress. First, we’ve seen additional funding coming into the Accelerator from a range of governments, philanthropies and individuals. This speaks to the importance we all see in moving as quickly as possible to find solutions to prevent or lessen the impact of the disease moving forward. New donors include the U.K. Government, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and the artist and philanthropist Madonna. We’re also seeing progress on the science. There are two trials starting pretty much simultaneously, using chloroquine and a drug with a slightly different structure, hydroxychloroquine. Now, you may have heard of the WHO SOLIDARITY Trial that was announced two weeks ago, which will look at chloroquine as a treatment for people who are sick, to see if it shortens the duration of their sickness. The two Accelerator studies are looking instead at prophylaxis — stopping people exposed to the virus from getting sick.

Global coalition to accelerate COVID-19 clinical research in resource-limited settings

COVID-19 Clinical Research Coalition
The Lancet
The coalition will synergise with existing initiatives, such as the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), and the SARS-CoV-2 Diagnostic Pipeline. Our objective is to use our existing research capabilities to support, promote, and accelerate multicentre trials of the safety, efficacy, and effectiveness of interventions against COVID-19 in resource-limited settings. For therapeutics, research in such settings should focus primarily on evaluation of affordable repurposed medicines—ie, those already developed and approved for other indications—and implementable supportive measures. If applicable, testing of new diagnostic tools, vaccines, and other potentially beneficial strategies will be added to the trials.

Podcast: Dr. Leo Nissola on the Covid Act Now project and lessons from a pandemic

Piper Hale
Inform Me, Informatics
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, informaticians and epidemiologists are leaping into action, doing what they can to attempt to shape the limited amount of data available into meaningful insights. One project that is doing this in a particularly compelling and meaningful way is Covid Act Now, a predictive statistical model that maps the likely spread of COVID-19 state-by-state across the U.S. By taking into account healthcare capacity data from each state, like hospital beds or ventilators per capita, Covid Act Now projects a timeline for when each state's healthcare capacity is likely to be overwhelmed, and also offers a window of time indicating a possible "point of no return" for policy action. Immunologist, physician and author Dr. Leo Nissola acts as a medical advisor for the Covid Act Now project, and he recently joined me on the podcast to share some more context for this statistical model, as well as some insights on the COVID-19 pandemic and what actions he believes are needed to stem the tide of the pandemic in the U.S.

Podcast: Dr. Patrick O'Carroll on COVID-19 outbreak prevention through health systems strengthening

Piper Hale
Inform Me, Informatics
n the midst of a global pandemic, one public health issue has eclipsed many others on the forefront of most of our minds: novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. I wanted to better understand how informatics—and public health infrastructure more broadly—could help protect populations from outbreaks like COVID-19, and so in early March, I sat down with Dr. Patrick O'Carroll to ask him about this issue. Patrick is the head of health systems strengthening at the Task Force for Global Health, and is a former leader at both CDC and HHS. In the course of our conversation, he advised public health jurisdictions on how best to prepare for a COVID-19 outbreak, discussed informatics as an outbreak prevention tool, and offered some words of caution for how to think about a pandemic in a politically charged environment. In the roughly two weeks between our recorded conversation and the publication of this podcast episode, of course, much has changed, and this situation continues to evolve rapidly, but Patrick's perspectives on novel coronavirus continue to be valuable and relevant.

Upcoming Events 

NOTE - Events may be postponed or cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please check with event organizers to confirm events.

Ophthalmology and COVID-19 in African Units
April 9, 2020, Online Conference
The International Centre for Eye Health (ICEH) and the Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth) are hosting a collaborative online Zoom conference for ophthalmologists to share and discuss the most recent COVID-19 guidelines and protocols.

Fungal diseases as neglected pathogens: a wake-up call to public health officials
April 9, 2020, ISNTD Connect
In this challenging time where countless work places, universities, schools and public places have temporarily closed their doors and everything’s a bit unknown, we hope that continuing professional conversations online can provide a practical way to further knowledge-sharing, close some of the gaps left where ongoing research has been paused, and provide mutual support. ISNTD Connect is a forum and series of short meetings online, where researchers and professionals in the fields of tropical diseases and public health are able to present and discuss ongoing research and topics. These online meetings are open to all and free, and are scheduled to last about 30-60 minutes.

Global Health Security: Delivered by Women During COVID-19 and Beyond
April 9, 2020, Webinar
Women make up 70% of the global health workforce and are on the frontlines of health emergencies, including the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. In order for health workers to fully deliver healthcare to all, within and beyond emergencies, their health, safety and rights must be met. This discussion will feature health workers and advocates highlighting the critical role of women in the health workforce-- during COVID-19 and beyond. Speakers will share their experiences and perspectives on upholding global health security, responding to health crises, and maintaining core women’s health services in emergency settings, as well as provide recommendations and actions to propel advocacy to support investments in and commitments to women in the health workforce.

World Chagas Disease Day
April 14, 2020
For the first time, the global community is preparing to celebrate 14 April as the  first  World Chagas Disease Day. One of the aims is to raise the visibility and public awareness of people with Chagas Disease and the resources needed for the prevention, control or elimination of the disease.

Mwele Malecela: Neglected Tropical Diseases
April 14, 2020, ISNTD Connect
In this challenging time where countless work places, universities, schools and public places have temporarily closed their doors and everything’s a bit unknown, we hope that continuing professional conversations online can provide a practical way to further knowledge-sharing, close some of the gaps left where ongoing research has been paused, and provide mutual support. ISNTD Connect is a forum and series of short meetings online, where researchers and professionals in the fields of tropical diseases and public health are able to present and discuss ongoing research and topics. These online meetings are open to all and free, and are scheduled to last about 30-60 minutes.

Handwashing Session
April 14, 2020, ISNTD Connect
In this challenging time where countless work places, universities, schools and public places have temporarily closed their doors and everything’s a bit unknown, we hope that continuing professional conversations online can provide a practical way to further knowledge-sharing, close some of the gaps left where ongoing research has been paused, and provide mutual support. ISNTD Connect is a forum and series of short meetings online, where researchers and professionals in the fields of tropical diseases and public health are able to present and discuss ongoing research and topics. These online meetings are open to all and free, and are scheduled to last about 30-60 minutes.

British Society for Parasitology Spring Meeting - CANCELLED
April 14-17, 2020, Edinburgh, Scotland
The 2020 Spring meeting of the British Society for Parasitology will be held in the city of Edinburgh, UK. Edinburgh boasts a long association with parasitology including the study of malaria, a relationship that will be celebrated with a special stream running throughout the meeting focused on and around Plasmodium.

Panel discussion: Accelerating clinical research relevant to LMICs, lessons from Neglected Tropical Diseases for COVID-19
April 14, 2020, ISNTD Connect
In this challenging time where countless work places, universities, schools and public places have temporarily closed their doors and everything’s a bit unknown, we hope that continuing professional conversations online can provide a practical way to further knowledge-sharing, close some of the gaps left where ongoing research has been paused, and provide mutual support. ISNTD Connect is a forum and series of short meetings online, where researchers and professionals in the fields of tropical diseases and public health are able to present and discuss ongoing research and topics. These online meetings are open to all and free, and are scheduled to last about 30-60 minutes.

One World: Together at Home
April 18, Worldwide Broadcast
International advocacy organization Global Citizen and the World Health Organization today announced the One World: Together At Home -- a globally televised and streamed special in support of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. One World: Together At Home will be broadcast live on Saturday, 18 April 2020 at 5:00 p.m. PDT/8:00 p.m. EDT/12:00 a.m. GMT airing on ABC, NBC, ViacomCBS Networks, iHeartMedia and Bell Media networks and platforms in Canada. Internationally, BBC One will run the program on Sunday 19 April 2020. Additional international broadcasters include beIN Media Group, MultiChoice Group and RTE. The virtual broadcast will show unity among all people who are affected by COVID-19 and will also celebrate and support brave healthcare workers doing life-saving work on the front lines.

World Health Summit Regional Meeting - POSTPONED
April 27-28, 2020, Kampala, Uganda
The central topics of the Regional Meeting 2020 are in line with the African journey towards meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals and achieving universal health coverage. We invite academic institutions, companies, foundations, and other organizations to get involved. If you wish to contribute and become a partner of the Regional Meeting, please get in touch to discuss the opportunites.

Bill Foege Global Health Awards
April 30, 2020, Atlanta, GA
MAP International annually presents the Bill Foege Global Health Awards to recognize people and organizations whose contributions to the progress of global health measure substantially. Leaders in the global health community consider Dr. Bill Foege as a folk hero in the global health community, crediting him as "the man most responsible for eradicating smallpox."

Beijing +25 Mexico Forum
May 7-8, 2020, Mexico City, Mexico
The Generation Equality Forum will call for urgent action on achieving equality, demanding equal economic and social opportunities for women while calling for an end to all forms of violence against women and girls. 

73rd World Health Assembly
May 17-20, 2020, Geneva, Switzerland
The World Health Assembly is the decision-making body of WHO. It is attended by delegations from all WHO Member States and focuses on a specific health agenda prepared by the Executive Board. The main functions of the World Health Assembly are to determine the policies of the Organization, appoint the Director-General, supervise financial policies, and review and approve the proposed programme budget. The Health Assembly is held annually in Geneva, Switzerland.

6th World One Health Congress
June 14-18, 2020, Edinburgh, Scotland
The 6th World One Health Congress is the largest One Health event of the year, where experts and researchers from around the world present their latest scientific research.

CHOGM 2020
June 22-27, 2020, Kigali, Rwanda
The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) is a pivotal agenda-setting and decision-making space for the diverse community of 53 Commonwealth countries. With varying economic statuses and vast oceans between them, our leaders meet every two years to explore how they can pool their resources and innovations to transform joint challenges into exciting opportunities. In June 2020, Rwanda will host the meeting. Connected by similar traditions, language, governance and legal structures, presidents, prime ministers and monarchs, from Africa, the Caribbean and Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific, will travel to Kigali to reaffirm their common values and agree actions and policies to improve the lives of all their citizens.

Kigali Summit on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases
June 25 2020, Kigali, Rwanda
Based on the Commonwealth 2018-2023 Malaria Commitment, the London Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), a renewed World Health Organization (WHO) roadmap on NTDs and thanks to the leadership of President Kagame and Heads of Government from many countries, there is an opportunity to focus global attention and accelerate action towards ending these preventable and treatable diseases at the time of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2020 in Kigali, Rwanda.

NTD NGO Network Annual Meeting
September 8-10, 2020, Kathmandu, Nepal
2020 will be an important year: celebrating the success and embracing the new NTD Roadmap from the World Health Organization. Please get your stories ready and join the celebration!

75th Session of the UN General Assembly 
September 15-30, 2020, New York, NY
All 193 Member States of the Organization are represented in the General Assembly - one of the six main organs of the UN - to discuss and work together on a wide array of international issues covered by the Charter of the United Nations, such as development, peace and security, international law, etc. Every year in September, all the Members meet in this unique forum at Headquarters in New York for the General Assembly session.

September 29 - October 1, 2020, Lomé, togo
More details to follow.

11th IAPB General Assembly
October 12-14, 2020, Singapore
The General Assembly will mark the end of the VISION 2020: The Right to Sight period. It will present a great opportunity to take stock, celebrate successes and make plans for the future. A key focus will be on the WHO’s World Report on Vision and its framework for the future. The event will have three co-chairs leading on three streams: “Excellence”, “Eye Health in the West Pacific” and “Sustainability”. 

Expo 2020 Dubai: Global Best Practice Programme
October 20 2020 - April 10, 2021
Expo 2020 Dubai’s platform to showcase projects that have provided tangible solutions to the world’s biggest challenges. It will highlight simple but effective initiatives, which localise the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and can be adapted, replicated, and scaled to achieve an enhanced global impact.

World Health Summit 
October 25-27, 2020, Berlin, Germany
The World Health Summit is one of the world’s leading strategic forums for global health. Held annually in Berlin, it brings together leaders from politics, science and medicine, the private sector, and civil society to set the agenda for a healthier future. 300 speakers and 2,500 participants from 100 countries take part.