Our plans for 2020

node lead section
Monday, 13 January 2020

As we start 2020, we can look forward to an important and exciting year for the world of tropical medicine and global health.

A landmark year for NTDs

In just over two weeks, on 30 January, we look forward to being part of the first World NTD Day celebrations – a chance to mobilise greater attention, action and investment on neglected tropical diseases. Around this time, we’ll also be working with our partners, including Lepra to mark World Leprosy Day on 27 January.  


A woman in Rwanda with elephantiasis washes her legs as part of the WHO-recommended morbidity management and disability prevention for podoconiosis and lymphatic filariasis. © Kebede Deribe

Later this year, WHO will launch its new roadmap for NTDs and plans for the next decade of activity needed to achieve eradication, elimination and control of NTDs.

We are primed to help and support as much as we can – through the work of our members and also directly through our activities of funding, showcasing research and policy work.

In June of this year, the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting will take place in Rwanda, where we hope to see a high profile for issues such as NTDs.

Innovation at RSTMH

At RSTMH we also have a busy year ahead. We’re currently working on a new website which we hope will be more engaging, informative and easier to use.

We are also working on a global product which we hope will help our members and supporters understand the world of global health and tropical medicine better – watch this space for more news!

Activities in 2020

We will soon deliver the 45th Topics in Infection meeting in London on 31 January; a great opportunity to showcase the big issues in infectious diseases. This year, the focus is on measles, Lyme disease, flu, listeria and others.

Next week we are attending the 2020 Planetary Health Conference in The Gambia – where we hope to input in and learn about debate and progress in the field since our planetary health meeting in 2017.

Supporting early career researchers

On 4 February, we will open our 2020 small grants programme – an opportunity for early career researchers and professionals based anywhere in the world to look at initial ideas and questions in tropical medicine and global health with funding of up to £5,000. The research can be anything from lab-based to field based to around translation or policy.

Across India in March, we are hosting meetings with partners AIIMS Bhubaneswar, Amity University, BIRAC, CMC Vellore, C-Camp, SRM University and others to showcase early ideas for research from students and recent graduates in tropical medicine, infectious disease, global health and aligned subjects. We hope many of our presenters will go on to apply for a small grant to test out their theories and questions. 

Mid-strategy review

This year we are just over halfway through our current 2017-2022 strategy. The strategy helped us to state our vision and goals clearly, focus our minds on thematic areas and different groups, such as our members early in their careers and outside of the UK.

In May we plan to deliver a mid-strategy review meeting where we will explain the highlights so far and plans to come. The date will be announced shortly, and we hope you’ll be able to join us.

Growing income

As we mentioned last year, growing our income and ensuring it covers our annual costs is extremely important. We would like to ensure we are here to support the current and next generation of researchers, professionals and other pioneers who are working to solve the issues of our sector.

This year there will be many more ways you can help us through donations of your time, advice and money. There are already ways you can provide a donation, support us while you spend on Amazon and pledge to support us in your Will.

Snakebite, emerging diseases and the nursing community

We will celebrate the third International Snakebite Awareness Day on 19 September and hope to have launched a special issue of Transactions on snakebite by this time.

In early October, we will hold our Annual Meeting on the topic of emerging diseases and outbreaks, one of the priority themes in our strategy. We look forward to picking up some of the points raised during ECTMIH 2019 around this area of work and seeing where we can add assistance.

This year is also the Year of the Nurse of the Midwife and we will be working with our members, friends and partners from the global nursing community to support their activities, as well as encourage more nurses to share with us their experiences and learnings. 

Partners and members

Partnership remains an important part of our work and we look forward to supporting our colleagues at NNN, JITMM, MSF, Students for Global Health and others as they deliver their events throughout 2020.  

Our members remain at the heart of our plans and everything we do. We hope our global network of members stays with us and encourages others to join in the months and year to come.

Finally, we hope to provide more and better opportunities for members to strengthen their careers and for us to work together to deliver change, save lives, eradicate disease and improve access and equity in health.

Sign up to our newsletter for more updates 

Latest blog posts