From the CEO's desk: WONCA events coming up

May, 2019

As I write this I’m in Geneva, along with our President, President-elect and WHO Liaison, representing WONCA at the annual World Health Assembly. It’s always a very busy time, with important meetings with WHO colleagues and statements being made on your behalf in general committee meetings, and I will report back more fully in next month’s news.

For this month though I wanted to look ahead to some WONCA events which are some months away but which I urge you to get into your diary.

Photo: CEO Garth Manning speaking at the recent WONCA APR conference in Kyoto.

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WONCA SAR Conference

The WONCA South Asia Region conference will be held in Lahore, Pakistan, from 22nd to 24th November. There will also be a re-conference for Spice Route – the young doctor movement for South Asia. Full details of the conference, including how to submit an abstract, are here on the WONCA website. Please note that the deadline for abstract submission is 15th June.

WONCA Rural Health Conference 2020

The WONCA Rural Health conference for 2020 will take place in Dhaka, Bangladesh, from 15th to 18th April 2020. Bangladesh is a remarkable country of over 180 million people – having grown from around 35 million at the time of its independence in 1971. Many of these people live in rural and remote places, with limited access to health care, so the timing and location of the conference are most appropriate. I will be visiting Bangladesh in August (where I Iived for four years from 2000-2003) for a conference planning meeting. I’m sure a really great event will be organised and I encourage everyone interested in rural health to attend. The website is still under preparation, but there are regular Facebook posts – search @wrhc2020.

WONCA Regional Events in 2020

In a world conference year there are always fewer regional events. Nevertheless three to mark in your diaries are:
• WONCA Asia Pacific Region (APR) – Auckland, New Zealand 23rd to 26th April
• WONCA Iberoamericana-CIMF – Puerto Rico. Cumbre (Summit) 27th and 28th April; conference 30th April to 2nd May
• WONCA Europe – Berlin, Germany 24th to 27th June

WONCA World Conference 2020

Of course the biggest event of 2020 will be the WONCA World Conference in Abu Dhabi, UAE, from 26th to 29th November. The conference website - – is now operational, with full details about Abu Dhabi and ADNEC (Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre) which will be the location for both WONCA World Council and conference. Early Bird registrations now open, as is abstract submission for workshops and symposia.

Key dates are:
• 1st April 2019 – Abstract submissions open for workshops and symposia
• 1st April 2019 – Early Bird on-line registration open
• 15th September 2019 – On line accommodation open
• 15th December – Workshop and seminar abstract submissions close
• 20th January 2020 – Abstract submissions for oral presentations and posters opens
• 30th January 2020 – Authors notified for workshops and seminars

CEO Search Committee

As I wrote last month – and as many of you will know - I plan to step down from my role as WONCA CEO at the end of 2020, and so the search is now on for my successor. Executive had appointed a CEO Search Committee, led by Anna Stavdal and including Job Metsemakers and Ruth Wilson; they have developed a job description which Executive endorsed at its April meeting.

The advert and job description are on the WONCA website and have been circulated to all Member Organizations and other interested groups. Please do promote this as widely as possible so that we ensure plenty of good quality applicants.

Until next month.

Garth Manning CEO