11 reasons 2017 was a success for RSTMH

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Thursday, 14 December 2017

Thank you for all your support this year.

2017 has been a great for the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Below are just some of our highlights. We couldn’t have achieved any of it without you.  

We hosted our first meeting on the topic of planetary health

The increasing interconnectedness and interdependence of our world inspired us to focus our annual meeting on the topic of planetary health.

The meeting brought up many challenges, but also ideas for innovation and progress. Find out more about the discussions and the next steps for RSTMH in the field of planetary health.


Kate Raworth presents at our annual meeting. © Brendan Foster

We announced that we’re hosting ECTMIH 2019 in Liverpool

In October, we announced our intention to host the European Congress of Tropical Medicine and International Health (ECTMIH) in 2019 in the UK. We will be hosting the event on behalf of the Federation of European Societies of Tropical Medicine and International Health (FESMIH), on their 25th anniversary year. 

Every two years, ECTMIH brings together more than 1,500 scientists and experts from across the world and provides a platform for sharing research and innovation in the field of tropical medicine and global health. Stay tuned for more information on ECTMIH 2019. 


We're honoured to be hosting ECTMIH in 2019

We launched a new 5-year strategy with events across four continents

In 2017 we revisited how we describe ourselves, our ambitions and how we work. We set new priorities and goals for the next 5 years to achieve better impact for the society, our members and friends. Thank you to everyone who shared their views, including members, lapsed members and non-members from a range of countries, sectors and at different career stages.

We have launched our new strategy at events in the US, Tanzania, India, Thailand and across the UK, to name but a few.


Tamar Ghosh with Sir Dominic Asquith, British High Commissioner to India at our strategy launch in Delhi

We were inundated with applications to our small grants programme

In July, we awarded more than £100,000 in small grants and travel scholarships for researchers and scientists across the field of tropical medicine and global health.

We were overwhelmed by the three-fold increase in submissions from the prior year, and recognise the need for awards at this low level. Our next round will open in early 2018, so keep your eyes peeled.

We awarded the George Macdonald medal to two incredible researchers

For the first time, we jointly awarded the George Macdonald Medal to researchers Professor Ann Ashworth and Professor Betty Kirkwood.

Kirkwood has led many important trials over the last 30 years, tackling key gaps in evidence to enable effective decision making for maternal, newborn and child health policies and programmes. Ashworth is an inspirational researcher, mentor and leader who, through decades of research, developed the international guidelines for the treatment and care of children with severe acute undernutrition.


Professor Ann Ashworth and Professor Betty Kirkwood with their medals. © Brendan Foster

We reaffirmed our partnership with ASTMH

In November, we attended the sixty-sixth ASTMH conference in Baltimore. ASTMH is one of our close and important partners and to formalise the partnership between the two societies and celebrate future collaboration, we hosted a joint reception with our members.

During the event a scroll was signed by Steve Higgs, ASTMH Immediate Past-President, and RSTMH President Simon Cathcart in recognition of our shared aim to reduce the global impact of tropical diseases.


Steve Higgs, ASTMH Immediate Past-President, and RSTMH President Simon Cathcart in Baltimore.

We awarded the Chalmers medal to Dr Azra Ghani

Professor Azra Ghani from the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Imperial College London was this year’s Chalmers medal winner. Professor Ghani’s research has had a major impact on our understanding of the role and effectiveness of malaria control strategies which combine multiple interventions.

She also gave the keynote address at our Research in Progress meeting in December, where she was awarded the medal.


Dr Azra Ghani receiving her medal from Ian Boulton, RSTMH Events Committee.

We held the first Research in Progress meeting outside of the UK, in partnership with LSHTM

As part of our strategy to have a more global reach, we held our first-ever East Africa Research in Progress meeting in Moshi, Tanzania this September. The meeting was a successful collaboration between RSTMH, The East African Diploma in Tropical Medicine & Hygiene, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, KCMC and the Medical Association of Tanzania.

We were inundated with over 159 research abstracts from across the region, including from Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Mozambique. It gave students and early career researchers and professionals a unique opportunity to present their work, and to have some opportunities for mentoring.


A presentation at our East African Research in Progress

We gave the Emerging Leaders award to Dr Direk Limmathurotsakul

This new annual award recognises significant contributions in leadership and service, including mentoring and other forms of capacity-building.

The 2017 winner was Dr Direk Limmathurotsakul, Head of Microbiology Department and Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Tropical Medicine at Mahidol University in Thailand, who is recognised as a world expert on melioidosis. 


Dr Direk Limmathurotsakul receiving his award. © Brendan Foster

We attended the fifth anniversary of the London Declaration on NTDs

In January we attended the fifth anniversary of the London Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases at the World Health Organization in Geneva.

This was an opportunity to celebrate the progress made and to reflect on the effort still needed to improve the lives of the billions of people worldwide who are still affected by neglected tropical diseases.

We spent time with our most committed members

In October and November, we hosted two dinners in London with some of our longest-serving members, to celebrate their many decades of support and discuss our new strategy. We look forward to hosting more dinners with many of you in the near future.


A dinner hosted for long-standing members. 

We wish you and your loved ones a healthy and happy 2018 and look forward to working together in the year to come.