December 15, 2021 | 11:00 AM GMT


Abu Dhabi, UAE

Conference Agenda

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Keynote Session:

Meetings International -  Conference Keynote Speaker Denis Nuwagaba photo

Denis Nuwagaba

Director Technical Services/Deputy Chief of Party for a five-year USAID

Title: TPO-Uganda game-changer innovations in provision of essential services for HIV+ children during COVID- 19 lockdown in South Western Uganda to attain 94% viral suppression.


Denis Nuwagaba holds MSc Public Health from International Health Sciences University, MA in Development Studies from Uganda Martyrs University. Denis has 18 years of expereince with reputable international and national organizations where he has designed and managed several USAID/PEPFAR funded Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) and HIV/AIDS projects. He currently serves as a Director Technical Services/Deputy Chief of Party for a five-year USAID’s Keeping Children Healthy and Safe (KCHS) project in 17 districts, South Western Uganda aimed at preventing new HIV infections, ensuring all HIV+ children, adults are enrolled into treatment program and virally suppressing to realize better health outcomes.


TPO-Uganda with funding from USAID/PEPFAR is implementing a five-year Keeping Children Healthy and Safe (KCHS) Project in 17 districts of South Western Uganda that enrolls HIV+ children into treatment program plus supporting viral load suppression (VLS).However, COVID-19 complexties disrupted provision of essential services to HIV+ children a threat to Uganda’s  gains in the epidemic response. KCHS project adopted game-changer innovations including tele-case management where services are delivered through phone calls with caregivers, placement of Case Workers at high volume facilities to support children missing appointments, provision of emergency food support to families facing acute food shortage. KCHS is an active member and hosts District COVID-19 task force meetings that allowed project staff and volunteers continue to provide key services like drug refills. KCHS management information system provides reliable weekly data to monitor viral load and address suppression barriers. The October 2020-September 2021project data confirm that service delivery innovations adopted by KCHS have resulted into a remarkable VLS at 94% for HIV+ children 0-18 years which exceeds national VLS coverage at 88% for 10-19 years for the same period.This affirms that  USAID/PEPFAR funded OVC programs are key contribuors towards epidemic control in Uganda. Despite COVID-19 disruptions, KCHS project adaptations made it possible to achieve outstanding VLS which is critical for realizing the third “95” for lifelong antiretroviral treatment adherence. The impressive VLS results achieved by KCHS suggests that projects supporting HIV treatment should be flexible and innovative during emergencies like COVID-19 to keep HIV epidemic response on track to realize 95-95-95 goals

Meetings International -  Conference Keynote Speaker Ashish Verma photo

Ashish Verma

Consultant at International Labour Organization

Title: Inclusive and integrated response paved the way to achieve 90:90:90: Lessons from India.


He has been instrumental in developing strategic partnership of NACO with several key Ministries of Govt. of India through entering into Memoranda of Understanding, partnership with employer organizations, industries of public and private sector, trade unions and key stakeholders for expansion of outreach of national programme and garner support for effective implementation. I have successfully implemented UN project in collaboration with Government (NACO) at the national and state level. 



Prevention of HIV and AIDS required multi-faceted and multi-sectorial response in the resource constraint settings. An inclusive and Integrated approach worked well in minimizing the risk factor, reduction in new HIV cases, expansion of HIV related services and mitigate the impact through HIV sensitive (inclusive & exclusive) social protection schemes. Huge health infrastructure lies with various non-health Ministries, corporate and public sector undertakings, and several institutions actually played critically important roles in early detection and linkages with services on care support & treatment.



Meetings International -  Conference Keynote Speaker David G. Vequist  photo

David G. Vequist

Director of the Center for Medical Tourism Research

Title: International Medical Travel and HIV Treatment


David G. Vequist IV, Ph.D. is the founding Director of the Center for Medical Tourism Research (CMTR), the premier academic center studying patients traveling for choices in healthcare. A Tenured Full Professor of Management in the H-E-B School of Business & Administration at the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) in San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A. He is an accomplished speaker, author, and researcher on the topic of medical & retirement tourism, and health trends. He has presented on five continents, consulted with corporations, NGOs, countries, produced numerous articles, papers, book chapters, and been interviewed in media channels across the world


Several studies, for example Johnson & Vindrola-Padros (2014), Van Beckhoven, et al., (2015), and Whittaker & Leng (2016) have looked at the recurrent trend of patients with HIV-AIDS engaging in international health travel. This increase in healthcare-seeking behaviors across borders is often called, in the literature, medical tourism/medical travel and/or health tourism/health travel. In his study of migration and medical travel, Vequist (2021) found that although many of these international health travelers were seeking better quality procedures in a new country (in this case- from Mexico to the U.S.), overall they had slightly lower ratings of healthcare status after the cross-border travel. However, when treatments are in rare supply or even unavailable within your country (see more in Pheage’s article from 2017 posted on the UN’s website) then international travel may be one of the only ways in which a potential patient has to access the care they seek. In order to be ready for these patient flows, healthcare providers in effected regions need to be prepared. As Guiry, et al. (2013) stated “service providers also need to understand and act on (medical tourists’) expectations in advance and if necessary, improve management skills, training programs and front-line employee service delivery attitudes and behaviors.” This presentation will reflect on these issues and show how medical travel is one of the possible medium to long-term solutions to this continuing global health issue.

Meetings International -  Conference Keynote Speaker Machenja Maduhu photo

Machenja Maduhu

Registered Nurse Officer

Title: Experience and Impact of Stigma and Discrimination Among People on Antiretroviral Therapy in Dar es Salaam


A Registered nurse officer with three years of combined experiences in Clinical and Community health Services. My area of expertise includes but not limited to HIV/TB care, treatments and preventions, Sexual and reproductive health services, Health Promotion, Infection Prevention and Control just to mention few.


Stigma and discrimination towards people living with HIV in Tanzania is a great concern when come HIV/AIDS care, treatment and prevention. Since it infulences poor adherence  to Antiretroviral Process


Meetings International -  Conference Keynote Speaker CHRISTOPHER SONGORO photo


Consultant Pharmacist



CHRISTOPHER SONGORO is a Consultant Pharmacist, He completed his Bachelor of Pharmacy - BPharm, Pharmacy at MUHASMUHAS. He worked at Shree Hindu Mandal Hospital. 


Mother To Child Transmission (MTCT) account for about 90% of Infants and Young Children HIV infections and about 10% of HIV transmission globally MTCT accounts for the vast majority of infections in children 0-14 .Antiretroviral treatment (ART) and other interventions can reduce risk of MTCT from 45% to below 5%.