Global health conference in Abu Dhabi to set out plans to eradicate diseases

More than 250 experts will attend the Reaching the Last Mile Forum in November

A Pakistani health worker administers polio vaccine drops to a child during a polio vaccination campaign in Islamabad on December 12, 2018. AFP
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Health leaders from across the globe will come together in Abu Dhabi to help create a road map for a disease-free future.

More than 250 experts drawn from the public and private sector, philanthropists and academics, will converge on the capital in November for the second Reaching the Last Mile Forum.

Delegates will discuss efforts to eradicate infectious diseases affecting people all over the world.

The biennial event is being held under the patronage of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The one-day forum, to be held on November 19, will include interactive sessions, talks and workshops which will celebrate projects which have successfully combated diseases and explore the use of vaccines, technology and public-private partnerships to improve health.

The theme of this year's gathering is 'Accelerating the Pace', and will showcase the stories of health professionals working in the field to eliminate diseases as well as investigating what more can still be done.

The forum will support the Global Polio Eradication Initiative's Endgame Strategy 2019-2023, highlighting the commitment of governments, philanthropists and private sector leaders to end polio.

More than 71 million Pakistani children have been vaccinated against polio as part of a UAE campaign in the South Asian country that began five years ago.

About 407 million drops of polio vaccine were given to children under the age of five in Pakistan between 2014 and April this year as part of the Emirates Polio Campaign.

Efforts to eradicate malaria and tackle neglected tropical diseases will also be on the agenda.

Since 2011, the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince has pledged more than $250 million to global efforts to eliminate deadly and debilitating diseases.

"Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, is personally committed to ending preventable diseases that affect the world’s poorest and most vulnerable communities and helping millions of children and adults live healthy, dignified lives," said Mohamed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, undersecretary of the Crown Prince Court of Abu Dhabi.