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Global Health Conference

RCPE Symposium Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh

Date: Wednesday, 21 February 2018


Great Hall
Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh,
9 Queen Street,


There has been significant progress in global health in the past three decades. Infant and child mortality has reduced and life expectancy has increased across developing countries. All this can be attributed to the introduction of new vaccines, improved access to care and general social economic development. However, new challenges have emerged. For example, health budgets are limited and policymakers need to make evidence-based decisions to introduce new vaccines. Post introduction, healthcare professionals and policymakers have to deal with an increasing reluctance to vaccination in some population groups. Developing countries also have to deal with the growing burden of non-communicable diseases. In certain settings, these disease states interact adversely and influence disease trajectories; this, in turn, is aggravated by social inequities (syndemics). Large parts of the world are experiencing conflict and around 65.6 million people are estimated to be forcibly displaced globally. Human activity, on a wider horizon, has an impact on the future health of our planet.

This symposium will examine some of the issues related to the introduction of vaccines into national programmes and discuss the key progress made in malaria control. In the context of the increasing recognition of the importance of considering multiple disease burdens in developing countries, the symposium will feature talks on syndemics (particularly in relation to non-communicable diseases and mental health), planetary health and the key challenges in global health over the next decade.  This symposium will have a broad appeal to those with an interest in global health – medical students, general practitioners, general physicians of all grades and stages of training, and public health professionals.

Professor Harish Nair
Chair, Organising Committee

Organising Committee
Professor Harry Campbell
Dr Lucia D'Ambruoso
Professor Elizabeth Grant
Professor Stewart Mercer

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Wednesday 21 February 2018


Registration and Coffee


Welcome and Introductory Remarks
by Professor Derek Bell OBE, President, Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh

Session 1 - Introducing new vaccines: key considerations

Chair: Professor Harish Nair, Professor of Paediatric Infectious Diseases and Global Health, University of Edinburgh


Extrapolating from clinical trials to predict the impact of new vaccines 
Professor Neil Ferguson, Professor of Mathematical Biology & Head of Department, Imperial College, London
* limitations of clinical trials *mathematical modelling to predict the impact of novel vaccines eg dengue and malaria * using evidence base to inform global and national vaccine policy


Global vaccine recommendations: the WHO and the how
Professor Andrew Pollard, Professor of Paediatric Infection and Immunity Oxford University, SAGE member
* assembly, assessment and use of  evidence to inform WHO vaccine policy  


Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance’s vaccine investment strategy
Dr Hope Johnson, Director, Monitoring & Evaluation, Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (Gavi), Switzerland 
* evidence based decision making for vaccine investment * identifying key evidence gaps for future investment 



Session 2 - Introducing new vaccines: challenges

Chair: Professor Harry Campbell, Professor of Genetic Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Edinburgh


Vaccine hesitancy - what, where and why 
Professor Heidi Larson, Professor of Anthropology, Risk and Decision Science, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)
* global state of vaccine confidence * variation by social and cultural settings; local vaccine specific issues * increasing global connectivity of vaccine hesitant groups


Challenges in introducing human papilloma virus vaccine in Denmark
Dr Kare Molbak, Statens Serums Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark
* introduction * fake news and derailment * evidence based restitution 


Chair: Professor Derek Bell OBE, President, Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
Control of malaria – halfway there 
Professor Sir Brian Greenwood CBE, Professor of Clinical Tropical Medicine, The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine 
* what has worked; how this was achieved * key threats * novel interventions including vaccines and  methods of vector control



Session 3 - Syndemics

Chair: Professor Stewart Mercer, Chair in Primary Care Research, University of Glasgow


Syndemics and chronic diseases in sub-Saharan Africa
Professor Stephen Tollman, University of the Witwatersrand and MRC, South Africa; INDEPTH Network, Accra, Ghana
* trajectories of chronic disease and multi-morbidity * impact on health and social care systems * enhancing evidence and engaging key stakeholders


Syndemics in mental health
Dr Alexander Tsai, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital, USA
* syndemics of psychosocial problems in vulnerable populations * models to account for multi level interactive effects * novel methods



Session 4 - New frontiers in global health

Chair: Professor Elizabeth Grant, Director, Global Health Academy, University of Edinburgh


Planetary health: responding to a changing world
Saskia Heijnen, Portfolio Lead, Wellcome Trust
* what is it and why is it important * climate change * urbanisation * food security * role of Wellcome Trust


Safeguarding  health for the future - addressing the challenges of Planetary Health
Professor Sir Andy Haines, Professor of Planetary Health, The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
* emerging themes * challenges in low and middle countries * role of Global Health Community






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Online booking for this event closes on Tuesday 20 February 2018  but places may still be available after that date - please contact the Education Co-ordinator for further information.

An early bird discount applies until Tuesday 23 January 2018.

Registration fees


Early Bird Fee
until Tuesday 23 January 2018

from Wednesday 24 January 2018

Standard fee



RCPE Fellow



RCPE Collegiate / Associate / Foundation Member



Nurse / AHP / Pharmacist / Postgraduate student



Retired FRCPE, including lunch



Retired FRCPE, no lunch



Medical student



Long term / other leave – Fellows and Members, please contact the Event Co-ordinator as some discretion may be available.

Collegiate and Associate Members of the RCPE in clinical research posts may be eligible for funding - please contact the Event Co-ordinator for further information.

Trainees – Scotland Deanery medical specialty trainees can attend any number of eligible symposia for a one-off payment from their study leave budget (block grant scheme).

Further details can be obtained from the Event Co-ordinator.

Free places

Unpaid post – Nil, if confirmation of status provided – please contact the Event Co-ordinator.

Refugee doctors – free places are available to refugee doctors who are Associate Members of the College. Associate Membership for refugee doctors is available free of charge. Please visit our website for instructions on how to join, and then apply to the Event Co-ordinator for your free place.

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Further Info

This event is open to all grades of medical, health care and scientific staff and to students. If you are unsure about eligibility, or the correct fee category, please contact the RCPE member of staff responsible for the event (see Fees page).

All relevant events are approved for Continuing Professional Development (CPD). A certificate of attendance with CPD information will be issued electronically to individual delegates via email. Please note - certificates can only be issued to attendees who have signed their name on the CPD Register/Delegate List available at each event and completed feedback forms have been received.

Please note that on occasion event programmes may be subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances.

A professional photographer may be in attendance at this event. Photographs may be used by the College in digital and printed publicity material. If you do not wish to be photographed, please let a member of staff know at the registration desk.


As a listed building, the College has restricted disabled access. A wheelchair lift is provided at the rear of the College giving access to the Conference Centre and the main historic rooms, but not all of the smaller rooms used for educational events. For further information and assistance please contact the RCPE Co-ordinator responsible for the event.

An induction loop system is available in the conference centre and Great Hall.

Accommodation and Directions to the College

The College has negotiated special rates with a number of local hotels.

Parking is available on the street (metered) or at the Omni Centre car park, 10 minute's walk from the College.

Download pdf map and directions

Bicycle racks are available for cyclists at the door to 8 Queen Street. For access to further bicycle racks, please ask at reception.

Local walking routes

Three short walks can be enjoyed from the College. So if you are visiting us, why not explore the local area. Details can be found at Medal Routes.

Commercial Sponsorship

Many events are supported by commercial companies taking stand space. Health professionals and NHS managers are invited to visit the company stands during the breaks. Companies interested in sponsoring this, or other events listed on the Calendar, should contact the Co-ordinator responsible for the event.

Exhibitors/sponsors play no part in the planning or delivery of the event and the College has developed an Ethical Sponsorship Policy to support organising committees and committee chairs in their negotiations with potential commercial partners for education and other events.

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