The Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) has been chosen to host the 2015 Health and Humanitarian Logistics Conference from 18-20 November, at its Illovo campus in Johannesburg. Over 130 delegates from around the world are expected to engage in discussions around this year's theme of "Strengthening Health and Humanitarian Logistics in Africa."
Now in its seventh year, this is the first time the conference will be held in Africa and it will bring together practitioners from across public health, government, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), UN bodies, industry, and academia to discuss common challenges and successes in global health and humanitarian operations and long-term development; share innovative research; and establish priorities in terms of strategy, policy, and investment for effective response and long-term resilience. The main objective of the conference is to interactively discuss the opportunities and challenges in the sector in an open and neutral platform.
"Across the globe, natural disasters, global health security crises, and complex emergencies are such as the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the Syrian refugee crises are on the rise. Such situations illustrate the urgent need for advanced planning and cross-sector coordination and collaboration to enable an empowered local emergency response and to mitigate future crises," commented GIBS Dean, Professor Nicola Kleyn. "It is an honour and a privilege that GIBS has been chosen as the platform where such crucial conversations and outcomes are thrashed out," she added.
The agenda features key note speaker, Tony Banbury - Office of United Nations Secretary General (former head of UN Mission on Ebola Emergency Response - UNMEER); government leaders from Liberia, Nigeria and Togo; logistics and programme directors from NGOs such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, International Medical Corps, FHI 360 and the UN World Food Programme; and companies working on cross-sector initiatives such as the Coca-Cola Company, Imperial Health Sciences, and Johnson & Johnson.
The conference will include a half day of site visits to various health and humanitarian centres in Johannesburg such as the Gift of the Givers Logistics Centre and 'Project Higher Ground'; Unjani Container Clinics Project, the largest hospital in Africa, Baragwanath Hospital, Imperial Health Sciences Warehousing and Logistics Centre as well as UTI Pharmaceutical Distribution Centre.
"We hope participants will walk away with a new sense of priorities in terms of strategy policies and interventions for their organisations," concludes Kleyn.