From the CEO: Important things repeated

July, 2016

Hello again from Bangkok. As I mentioned last month, we have entered into a fairly quiet spell in terms of extra activities, though the Secretariat has been very busy of late dealing with WONCA Awards and with nominations for WONCA officer positions, with preparing the Annual Report (of which more in a moment) and with getting papers and logistics ready for the Rio Council and conference.

Rio Timetable

We published the timetable for Rio some time ago, but it’s worth repeating to try to ensure that everyone has a clear idea of the schedule for the various meetings around the time of the World Council. Just prior to Council our Regional Executives meet, whist between Council and conference most of our Working Parties and Special Interest Groups meet, and we have already been in contact with all of these groups regarding logistics arrangements.

Those attending regional executive meetings will need to be at the Windsor Hotel in Barra di Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro, by the evening of Friday 28th October, ready to start on Saturday 29th. All other Council delegates need to be at Windsor Hotel by evening of Saturday 29th October – when there will be an informal welcome reception – ready to begin the work of Council on Sunday morning, October 30th.

Please note that the opening ceremony of the conference will be at 6pm on Wednesday 2nd November. We hope that Dr Carissa Etienne, Director of PAHO – the Pan American Health Organization (WHO for the Americas) – will deliver a keynote speech, as will our President, Professor Michael Kidd. The closing ceremony will be late afternoon on Saturday 5th November. There will still be some conference sessions on Sunday 6th, but these will be especially geared towards our Iberoamericana colleagues and will be in Spanish and Portuguese.

A particular date for your diary is Friday 4th November at 11.15, when the WONCA Awards ceremony will be held, followed by the Presidential handover from Michael Kidd to Amanda Howe.

That timetable in full:



 Monday 24th and  Tuesday 25th October  Executive travel to Paraty for meeting
 Wednesday 26th to lunchtime Friday 28th October  Executive meeting Paraty.
 early afternoon Fri 28th October  Executive travel back to Rio
 Saturday 29th October  Regional meetings in Windsor Hotel, Barra da Tijuca
 Evening welcome reception for Council delegates
 Sunday 30th October to lunchtime Tuesday 1st November  WONCA World Council, Windsor Hotel, Barra di Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro
 Tuesday 1st November afternoon  Meeting of new WONCA Executive; some WPs and SIGs meet
 Wednesday 2nd November Breakfast meeting (0730 – 0900)  new Executive, together with new Chairs of WONCA WPs and SIGs
 Afternoon of Tuesday 1st and all day Wednesday 2nd  Meetings of WONCA WPs and SIGs at conference venue (RioCentro)
 Wednesday 2nd November  WONCA WPs and SIGs meet at RioCentro (the conference centre)
 Evening of Wednesday 2nd November6pm  Opening ceremony and welcome reception of WONCA World Conference – RioCentro
 Thursday 3rd to Sunday 6th November   WONCA World Conference
  Sunday 6th will have an Iberoamericana theme
 Saturday 5th late afternoon   closing ceremony
 Sunday 6th   Additional sessions in Spanish and Portuguese.

Full details of the conference, and also the hotels, social activities and tours being arranged, can be found on the conference website ( or you can always access full details through the WONCA website (

Zika Virus

I included this update ion the Zika virus in my column last month, but it’s worth repeating, in order to reassure people about the very low risks posed by travel to Brazil. We continue to keep a close eye on WHO’s advice regarding the Zika virus. In its latest bulletin, dated 31st May, WHO continues to advise that, based on available evidence, it has issued no general restrictions on travel to countries, areas and/or territories with Zika virus transmission. However, WHO is advising pregnant women not to travel to areas with ongoing Zika virus outbreaks. This advice is based on the increased risk of microcephaly and other congenital malformations in babies born to pregnant women infected with Zika virus. This advice is summarised on our website.

WHO offers general advice to travellers to help to prevent mosquito bites. This and other information on Zika can be found on the WHO website.

WONCA Annual Report

Finally for this month, work is well advanced on the latest Annual Report, covering the period from July 2015 to June 2016. Most work is now completed, but if any of the WONCA Regions, WPs, SIGs or YDMs have yet to submit an article then there is JUST time, as long as I get it by the end of the first week of August. ( email to [email protected]).  It’s a great way to promote the activities in your region or group, and to let members know what is happening, so we hope very much that every group will contribute.

Until next month.

Dr Garth Manning