RLM Forum

The biennial Reaching the Last Mile (RLM) Forum convenes global health leaders to share insights and best practices on how to map out, eliminate and eradicate infectious diseases.

The 2019 RLM Forum, themed “Accelerating the Pace,” convened high-level guests from across government, private sector, philanthropy and academia to discuss reaching the last mile of disease elimination faster. The one-day event, held on 19th November 2019 in Abu Dhabi, brought together more than 300 preeminent global leaders and featured several major announcements. Participants celebrated successes, highlighted challenges, and identified solutions to reach the last mile in infectious disease elimination faster — touching on various topics including vaccines, technology and public-private partnerships.


A number of prominent global health leaders presented and engaged in on-stage panel discussions throughout the day.

Rt. Hon. Helen Clark
Former Prime Minister of New Zealand
Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus
Director General of the WHO
Dr. Robert R. Redfield
Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Dr. Maha Barakat
Chair of the RBM Partnership to End Malaria
Dr. Seth Berkley
CEO of Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance
Ellen Agler
CEO of the END Fund
Robyn Calder Harawi
Executive Director of The ELMA Philanthropies Services (U.S.) Inc.
Sir Richard Feachem
Professor of Global Health at UC-San Francisco
Corine Karema
Senior Technical Advisor for Infectious Diseases at Quality and Equity HealthCare
Ira Magaziner
CEO of Clinton Health Access Initiative
Chuck Slaughter
Chairman and Founder of Living Goods
Peter Sands
Executive Director, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria


  • Registration Opens: Refreshments and light breakfast served

  • Welcome and Opening Keynotes: The Master of Ceremonies will open the Forum, followed by keynote addresses from local and international global health leaders

  • Discussion – Health for All: Building the Health Workforce: Six weeks after the UN high-level meeting on Universal Health Coverage, speakers will discuss effective strategies for strengthening and health workforce and the role community health workers can play in satisfying the need and demand for essential health services. 

  • Announcement from WHO AFRO: The WHO AFRO team will make an announcement on vaccine preventable diseases

  • Coffee Break: Guests will have the opportunity to network and explore the exhibition space, which will feature highlight specific disease elimination efforts, technology demonstrations and information on the threat that climate change poses to derail hard-won global health victories

  • Progress and Challenges in the Last Mile: A discussion chair will lead two separate panels of international experts in discussing recent progress made on disease elimination and solutions for overcoming challenges in accessing the last mile

  • NTDs Towards 2030:  This session will highlight the work of new initiatives, while emphasizing the need to set the agenda, incentivize new funders and build innovative partnerships as we work towards achieving the goals of the WHO’s NTD 2030 Roadmap.

  • Breakout Session A – Heroes from the Field: Speakers will share their personal journeys and stories related to disease elimination, which may touch on topics around surviving a disease, accessing the health system, delivering care in remote communities or the discovery of a breakthrough vaccine/drug.

  • Breakout Session B – Advocacy for Disease Elimination:

    In this session, global health leaders who work in various advocacy areas including grassroots campaign organizers, non-profit founders and public health advocates will share insights on how to use advocacy to create a demonstrated impact on disease elimination.

  • Lunch

  • In Pursuit of the End of Malaria – Presenting the Findings of the Lancet Commission on Malaria Eradication: This session will highlight the findings for the Lancet report, followed by a moderated discussion

  • Fireside Chat with the Incoming CEO of GLIDE: This session will feature a short discussion with the new CEO of the Global Institute for Disease Elimination (GLIDE).

  • Keynote Address

  • Break

  • Panel Discussion – Cooperating to Accelerate the Pace of Disease Elimination: A high level panel comprised of international global health leaders will discuss how governments, philanthropy, financial institutions and multilaterals can work together to reach the last mile faster

  • GPEI Polio Pledging Moment: Prominent leaders in global health will highlight their commitments to GPEI’s Endgame Strategy 2019-2023

  • Break

  • Keynote Address

  • Polio On-Stage Moment & Photo

  • Presentation of the REACH Awards: The REACH Awards Ceremony will honor the unsung heroes, innovators and advocates working on the front lines of disease elimination efforts, recognizing those who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership and commitment

  • Closing Remarks

  • Reception: WHO AFRO Vaccine Preventable Disease Surveillance Investment Case


We all share the ambition to eliminate infectious diseases for good and, as a valued attendee, we would really appreciate your support spreading the word across your networks and social channels.
Please help us amplify awareness of the RLM Forum on social. This toolkit is a guide to make engagement quick and easy. Please tag @RLMGlobalHealth and use #RLMForum & #AcceleratingThePace or #REACHAwards in all posts related to the RLM Forum.