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Guam hosting World Health Conference in 2015

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 by Jolene Toves

Guam - For the first time in history Guam will host the World Health Organization Conference, set for next year.

It was last week Public Health director James Gillan visited Manila for the 65th WHO Regional Committee Meeting it was there that Guam was chosen to host the world health organization conference set for next year.  "We advertised us as 'Where America's Day Begins', and the last two years it has been in manila so they are looking for a change really a lot of very pleased people it came as a result of almost three years worth of working with doctor shin who is the regional director of the Western Pacific Office."

37 countries will be sending about 350 delegates to our island to discuss a variety of world health issues. According to Gillan hosting a conference of this magnitude is not going to be cheap. "We managed to get the federal government to assist us with some of the costs because this is not going to be cheap when you relocate almost all of the Western Pacific regional staff to come and support this meeting that's a big expense because we have to pay airfare per diem transporting about a thousand pounds of equipment," he continued.

He says the federal government through HHS Global Affairs has provided funding to pay for that part of the expenses. He adds that the Governor's Office is also committed to supporting the event and will be providing the venue. Gillan says an advance team from WHO is on island who are looking at different hotels for a possible venue, saying, "We are going to be in Tumon because it is an ideal location there is everything there for them to see it will be right now it is tentatively scheduled for October 12th through the 16th of 2015."

Gillan says this is an opportunity to bring all the South Pacific islands and countries together and join. He says what they are looking for is a policy change with the Office of Global Affairs so that the Northern and the Southern Pacific regions can share common health issues. According to Gillan while he will have a better sense of the conference agenda next month he says three issues he believes will be focused on are 2015 development goals for maternal and child health and reduction in infant mortality, strengthening international health regulations and non-communicable diseases. 
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