ASTMH Annual Meeting 2022blog
A Crucial Message to Launch #TropMed21: All of Our Efforts are More Important Than Ever
By: Matthew Davis, Burness
Despite the many challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the crisis has reinforced the value of ASTMH and the work of its members in confronting the many health challenges facing the world today, said ASTMH President Julie Jacobson, MD, DTM&H, in her opening remarks at the launch of #TropMed21.
“Two years ago, global health and infectious diseases were not something you read about on the front page of the paper,” she said. “Now it’s front and center every day, and with that attention our responsibilities grow. All of our efforts are more important than ever, and we will need to be more creative and more collaborative to overcome the setbacks.”
Dr. Jacobson noted that, “ASTMH continues to be represented in all aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic, as researchers, clinicians and health workers,” while the Society’s journal is publishing pandemic-related work on a weekly basis. She also pointed to advocacy efforts focused on securing support for ongoing work and preparing for the next pandemic.
She said that despite the many setbacks suffered in many areas of global health, the past year has featured a few bright spots: the rapid development of highly effective mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and the WHO recommendation supporting widespread use of the RTS,S malaria vaccine, “the first successful anti-parasite [vaccine] in human history.”
“That’s a major step for malaria eradication,” she said.
Dr. Jacobson acknowledged that it’s disappointing not to be meeting together this year in person. But she encouraged attendees to take advantage of the features available with the online platform to share ideas, seek ways around the barriers many are facing and “celebrate our success.”