Global Health Council opens 38th annual international conference in Washington

June 13, 2011

WASHINGTON - The 38th Annual International Conference on Global Health begins today with 130 sessions and events on topics ranging from non-communicable diseases and HIV/AIDS to maternal health and the healthcare workforce. Organized around the theme of "Securing a Healthier Future in a Changing World," the conference offers a five-day schedule including a Career Day event and opportunities to engage with global health practitioners, advocates and researchers, as well as the winners of several awards that will be given at a banquet emceed by Ray Suarez of PBS NewsHour.

The conference will be led by four distinguished co-chairs: Felicia Knaul, director of the Harvard Global Equity Initiative and Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School; Francis Omaswa, executive director of the African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST); Mirta Roses Periago, director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO); and K. Srinath Reddy, president of the Public Health Foundation of India.

"We're pleased to host a diverse range of participants for insightful discussion and debate on the most vital issues in global health," said Jeffrey L. Sturchio, president and CEO of the Global Health Council. "Practitioners and policymakers alike attend to connect with global health leaders and exchange ideas about key challenges the community faces."

The conference theme of "Securing a Healthier Future in a Changing World" examines what the world's population will look like in 20 years. If current demographic changes continue, significant new challenges will emerge: How to balance the complex health needs specific to growing youth and aging populations? How will we deal with the twin problems of obesity and malnutrition? What are the implications of the growth of drug resistance? These trends will result in a shift in the burden of disease from infectious to non-communicable diseases and from acute to chronic diseases.

In addition to several issue-specific sessions, the conference will also feature a conversation with the renowned public health leader Dr. William H. Foege about his new book on smallpox eradication, House on Fire.

Other conference speakers include: Rear Admiral Tim Ziemer, U.S. Global Malaria Coordinator; Fernando Otaiza, Ministry of Health, Chile; Corine Karema, Ministry of Health, Rwanda; and Sir George Alleyne, University of West Indies.

On June 16th, the final evening of the conference, the Council will present the Gates Award for Global Health, the Jonathan Mann Award for Global Health & Human Rights, the Excellence in Media Award for Global Health and the Best Practices in Global Health Award.

TDR, a program for research and scientific collaboration on diseases of poverty based at the World Health Organization, was named last month as winner of the Gates Award. The prize was established by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to recognize organizations that have made outstanding contributions to improving health, especially in resource-poor settings. The winner was chosen by a jury of international health leaders from more than 150 nominations received from around the world.

The banquet will be emceed by Ray Suarez, senior correspondent for PBS NewsHour. In addition to reporting on global health issues for the NewsHour, Suarez currently hosts the monthly radio program "America Abroad" for Public Radio International and the weekly politics program "Destination Casa Blanca" for Hispanic Information Telecommunications Network, HITN TV.
-end-
Information on the awards that will be given June 16th is available at http://www.globalhealth.org/conference_2011/view_top.php3?id=1071

For schedule information about the Global Health Council's annual conference please visit http://www.globalhealth.org/conference_2011/

The Global Health Council is the world's largest membership alliance of public health organizations and professionals dedicated to saving lives by improving health throughout the world. The Council's members work in more than 150 countries on six continents.

Global Health Council

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