Expo City Forum Dubai will provide updates on disease eradication progress.
As part of Cop28, the Reaching the Last Mile Forum will be held on December 3 at Expo City Dubai. The forum will examine progress in the fight against polio, malaria, and other neglected tropical illnesses as part of the global summit's first-ever dedicated health day.
It will bring together global and local leaders, donors, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and other stakeholders to generate fresh momentum, innovation, and investment to address the climate-health concerns confronting last-mile communities.
The evidence on the consequences of climate change on human health and infectious illnesses will be presented at the forum. The Covid-19 epidemic showed major discrepancies and deficiencies in global health systems, while natural disasters caused by climate change impede the delivery of crucial health services in vulnerable populations.
The forum will examine the construction of health systems, with an emphasis on how to reform health systems and develop community workforces. This year's event will also serve as the major global gathering on last-mile disease elimination for diseases such as polio, malaria, and non-communicable diseases (NTDs). It will provide a venue for taking stock of progress and seeking new commitments and collaborations to support elimination targets.
With global crises, natural disasters, and internal politics continue to absorb governments' attention, financing the last mile is becoming increasingly challenging. The forum will look into new funding sources such as philanthropy, private-sector partnerships, and innovative financing.
The UAE, in particular, has been in the forefront of tropical disease eradication. Since 2010, the UAE has contributed more than a quarter-billion dollars to the fight against tropical illnesses including Guinea worm.
President Sheikh Mohamed established the Reaching the Last Mile programme in 2017, with backing from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a 10-year, $100 million fund to eliminate river blindness and lymphatic filariasis in African countries.
Sheikh Mohamed stated in October that polio is on its way out. Poliovirus afflicted 125 nations in 1988, but advances in healthcare delivery to rural, frequently isolated communities and villages have resulted in a 99.9% decline in polio incidence globally, and it is now endemic in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
In January, the UAE contributed $5 million to an international campaign targeted at mitigating the effects of climate change on malaria eradication efforts. Over the next three years, the Reaching the Last Mile programme will invest.
Sheikh Mohamed and Mr Gates discussed the possibilities for further collaboration and initiatives to battle global epidemic diseases such as polio in June.