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“Reaching the Last Mile Forum at Cop28: A Pivotal Event in the Global Health Agenda”

The Reaching the Last Mile Forum is set to take place on December 3 at Expo City Dubai as part of Cop28’s comprehensive agenda. As the world’s first dedicated health day during the global summit, this forum will serve as a platform for evaluating advances made in the fight against prevalent diseases such as polio, malaria, and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).

Collaborative Efforts for Health

This event will bring together a wide range of participants, including global leaders community representatives, donors, NGOs, and various stakeholders. The primary goal is to create fresh momentum, encourage innovative approaches, and secure investments that address the multifaceted challenges at the intersection of climate and health in underserved communities.

Climate Change’s Impact on Health: Agenda

In addition to reviewing progress, the forum will present data on the consequences of climate change for human health and infectious diseases. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has laid bare the vulnerabilities and disparities within global healthcare systems. Simultaneously, climate-related natural disasters have disrupted essential health services in vulnerable regions.

Strengthening Resilience and Collaboration

A key focus of the forum will be on building resilient health systems and enhancing community-based healthcare delivery. Furthermore, it will address ways to improve the quality and sustainability of health systems, particularly in underserved areas.

Global Disease Elimination Efforts: Agenda

This year’s forum is expected to serve as the most significant global event dedicated to eliminating last-mile diseases such as polio, malaria, and NTDs. It provides a crucial platform for taking stock of progress and securing new commitments and partnerships to support disease elimination objectives.

Innovative Financing Solutions: Agenda

Funding last-mile disease elimination has become more challenging due to various global crises, including the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as domestic political factors. During the forum, participants will explore innovative financing solutions from philanthropic sources, private-sector collaborations, and other avenues.

UAE’s Leadership in Disease Eradication

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been at the forefront of the fight against tropical diseases. Since 2010, the UAE has contributed over a quarter of a billion dollars to the battle against preventable tropical diseases, including Guinea worm.

Ending Polio: A Global Commitment

In collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, President Sheikh Mohamed launched the Reaching the Last Mile initiative in 2017, committing $100 million over a decade to eliminate river blindness and lymphatic filariasis in African countries.

Progress in Polio Eradication

President Sheikh Mohamed expressed confidence in ending polio, with poliovirus currently endemic in only Afghanistan and Pakistan, following a 99.9% reduction in global cases.

Addressing Climate Change’s Impact on Malaria Eradication

In January, the UAE pledged $5 million to an international campaign focused on climate change’s effects on malaria eradication. The Reaching the Last Mile initiative will provide funding over the next three years.

Collaborative Initiatives

In June, Sheikh Mohamed and Mr. Gates discussed opportunities for enhanced collaboration and initiatives to combat global epidemic diseases, including polio.

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