Group picture of colloquium attendees

THANK YOU!

The 64th ITM Colloquium was a great success! We had a wonderful time hearing experts from all over the world discuss the global landscape of disease burden in the context of climate change. Whether you joined us in Kathmandu or online, we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!

  • During the colloquium there was quite some tweeting going on. Search for #colloq23 to see all the interesting content.
  • Take a look on our Facebook to see pictures!

We already can't wait for #colloq24!

The ITM Colloquium is going to Kathmandu!


64 years after the first ITM colloquium was held in Antwerp (Belgium) in 1959, and following an alternating series of successful congresses in Belgium and partner countries around the globe, we have the great honour to co-host this year’s important annual colloquium with the Nepal Health Research Council in the capital of Nepal, Kathmandu. This will be a great opportunity to share knowledge, expertise and perspectives to discuss the global landscape of disease burden in the context of climate change.

Climate change has already had a significant impact on global health, with more effects on low- and middle-income countries such as Nepal, with rising temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, and increased frequency of extreme weather events leading to a range of health issues. For instance, the melting of glaciers in the Himalayas has led to increased risk of water-borne diseases, as well as flooding and landslides, which can cause injury and death. The rise in temperatures has also contributed to the spread of vector-borne diseases such as dengue fever, malaria, visceral leishmaniasis, as well as respiratory diseases like asthma and allergies. Additionally, changes in precipitation patterns have led to food insecurity and malnutrition, especially in rural areas where agriculture is the primary source of livelihood. Overall, the impact of climate change on health is significant, and urgent action is needed to mitigate its effects. The developments in Nepal may foreshadow the rapidly increasing threat of climate change as well as its indirect impact on health at global scale, and underline the need to provide climate-resilient health systems for an expanding world population.

Our goal is to gather scientists from around the globe and provide a unique opportunity to exchange information and to communicate research results upfront at the next UN Climate Change 28th Conference of Parties (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. At the ITM colloquium, you will meet scientists from diverse backgrounds as well as policy makers from around the globe that share a common interest to learn more about the consequences of climate change on global health and improve our adaptive strategies and resilience in the context of climate change.

The congress programme includes invited lectures from international outstanding experts on climate change impact research. The ITM Colloquium 2023 contains six sessions.

Together we will share expertise and knowledge, discuss the evidence, and stimulate new research ideas. We will provide opportunities to connect different health disciplines and sectors and invest in partnerships and platforms using interactive formats. We aim to engage the entire audience by exchanging experiences and visions with a World Café and a panel discussion with top experts.

We strongly believe that we will deliver a high-quality meeting which will surely be a memorable experience and shift your perspective about how to adapt to climate change and increase worldwide resilience.

Looking forward to welcoming you at the ITM Colloquium in 2023!

Join our virtual event!

The physical event is fully booked, but you can also attend from the comfort of your home. All keynote sessions and some thematic sessions will be streamed online, so whether you're near or far, you will still be able to benefit from ground-breaking exchanges.

If you are attending online, we kindly ask you to register as well. You will receive more practical information (including the link to the online meeting space) closer to the event.


Registration closed



Virtual Colloquium

November 21 - 23
2023

Kathmandu,
Nepal // online

Registration period
closed

Abstract submission
closed

Blog

Colloquium wrap-up

This was colloq23: On the road towards climate-resilient health systems

An account of the 64th ITM Colloquium in Kathmandu, Nepal

Copyright Pranish Shrestha

Nepal is a top-ranked country in terms of vulnerability to climate change

Learn from Nepalese researcher Meghnath Dhimal how they mitigate its effects

Ruth Müller article

Climate change is amplifying mosquito-borne disease outbreaks

Entomologist Ruth Müller explains how she and her team prevent and control a global threat


Sessions and speakers


Concerns about the interrelations between global environmental change and human health are giving prominence to a new field of scientific research and science-based projects subsumed under the label of ‘Planetary Health’ (PH). The field’s emergence is a very recent phenomenon, greatly influenced by a number of important actors in the fields of global health research and climate change. The emergence and current process of definition of the field provides a unique opportunity to study the broader phenomenon of global, interdisciplinary research in the Anthropocene epoch as it is unfolding. In addition, the researchers involved are placed at the centre of these changes, providing in situ access to the development of the field. We welcome contributions on a) bringing a systems perspective to global health research by studying the consequences of human activities over natural systems, b) a future- and action-oriented perspective, adding an element of urgency not present in earlier systemic approaches to disease prevention with a focus on processes that “shape the future of humanity and the Earth’s natural systems that define the safe environmental limits within which humanity can flourish”, c) link scientific visions of (un)desirable futures to an explicit globalist or planetary understanding of ecological and social processes and systems.


Chairs

Basudha Khanal

Basudha Khanal

B.P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences (Nepal)

Ruth Müller

Ruth Müller

Institute of Tropical Medicine (Belgium)

Speakers

Bipin Kumar Acharya

Bipin Kumar Acharya

Nepal Open University (Nepal)

Saleh Aljadeeah

Saleh Aljadeeah

Institute of Tropical Medicine (Belgium)

Nandini Velho

Nandini Velho

Institute of Public Health Bengaluru (India)

The impact of climate change on infectious diseases has become a growing concern in recent years. Rising temperatures, changing rainfall patterns, and extreme weather events have been shown to influence the transmission of many infectious diseases, including malaria, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, West Nile virus, chikungunya, scrub typhus…This session will bring together experts in the fields of infectious disease and climate science to explore the latest research on the complex relationship between climate change and infectious diseases. Discussions will focus on the ways in which climate change is altering disease patterns and the implications for public health policy and preparedness. The session aims to provide a platform for advancing our understanding of this critical issue, and stimulate new ideas and collaborations to address this urgent global health challenge


Chairs

Emmanuel Kaindoa

Emmanuel Kaindoa

Ifakara Health Institute (Tanzania)

Anna Rosanas-Urgell

Anna Rosanas-Urgell

Institute of Tropical Medicine (Belgium)

Speakers

James Wanjama Kabugu

James Wanjama Kabugu

University of Nairobi (Kenya)

Isabelle Kramer

Isabelle Kramer

Goethe University (Germany)

Liza Nagarkoti

Liza Nagarkoti

Lutheran World Federation (Nepal)

Sneha Shrestha

Sneha Shrestha

Dhulikhel Hospital (Nepal)

Surendra Uranw

Surendra Uranw

B.P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences (Nepal)

Climate change has direct and indirect impacts on mental health. These range from mild climate anxiety to effects of extreme weather including food insecurity, ethnic and and gender based violence, migration and neurobiological growth disorder. This session aims to give an overview of these challenges and should cover original work on mental health effects of climate change around the world. We are specifically interested in contributions about the effects of climate change in mountainous regions on food basket areas and food insecurity; specific examples of climate change induced violence and migration; climate change related effects on mental health of pregnant mothers and newborn children; and neurobiological effects of air pollution and overuse of pesticides on. The session aims to contribute to an overview of research opportunities to advance the field Climate Change and Mental Health.


Chairs

Nawaraj Upadhaya

Nawaraj Upadhaya

HealthRight International (USA)

Willem van de Put

Willem van de Put

Institute of Tropical Medicine (Belgium)

Speakers

Amelia Colliver

Amelia Colliver

University of New York (USA)

Kedar Marahatta

Kedar Marahatta

World Health Organization (Nepal)

Willem van de Put

Willem van de Put

Institute of Tropical Medicine (Belgium)

Global environmental changes (GECs) – energy, air pollution, and climate change; urbanization; food, nutrition, and agriculture; chemical contamination; and biodiversity loss – directly and indirectly affect health and the development of non-communicable diseases (NCD) through a web of complex pathways. GECs affect the life course: exposure of an individual (as from foetal life to adulthood) will not only lead to higher risks for said individual to develop NCDs but will also cause epigenetic changes in their chromosomes, increasing the NCD risks of their future generations. Conversely, healthcare for NCDs can also negatively impact the environment; cytostatic (anti-cancer) drugs excreted by cancer patients eventually affect (fresh)water organisms and biodiversity; inhaler propellants damage the ozone layer; monitoring devices contribute to solid wastes, etc. We welcome abstracts demonstrating the complex interrelationships between GECs and NCDs and, optimally, proposing strategic solutions.


Chairs

Grace Marie Ku

Grace Marie Ku

Institute of Tropical Medicine (Belgium)

Diana Sagastume

Diana Sagastume

Institute of Tropical Medicine (Belgium)

Speakers

Kusumsheela Bhatta

Kusumsheela Bhatta

USAID / SSBH (Nepal)

Upendra Bhojani

Upendra Bhojani

Institute of Public Health Bengaluru (India)

Toms K Thomas

Toms K Thomas

SRM University of Sikkim (India)

There is a growing body of evidence linking climate change, child health and sexual and reproductive health (SRH). The climate crisis directly and indirectly affects women’s contraceptive use, fertility intentions, and pregnancy outcomes through increased risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, and birth defects. This ultimately worsens the maternal health outcomes, along with jeopardising progress on sexual activities. Additionally, climate change can lead to the spread of vector-borne diseases, such as malaria and dengue fever, which can be particularly harmful to children. The realisation of child health, sexual and reproductive health is crucial for strengthening resilience and improving the adaptive capacity of vulnerable populations who are already experiencing the disproportionate impacts of climate change.

More evidence from national, regional and international levels are therefore important to address these issues. Hence, this conference calls for the abstracts on the links of climate change, child health and sexual and reproductive health to gather better evidence.


Chairs

Gehanath Baral

Gehanath Baral

Nepal Health Research Council (Nepal)

Jagadishwor Ghimire

Jagadishwor Ghimire

Ipas (Nepal)

Speakers

Alpha Ahmadou Diallo

Alpha Ahmadou Diallo

Gamal Abdel Nasser University of Conakry (Guinea)

Kiconco Penenah

Kiconco Penenah

Martyrs University (Uganda)

Khusbu Poudel

Khusbu Poudel

Ipas Nepal (Nepal)

Climate change is already impacting human health in multiple ways (direct and indirect). It also affects the capacity of health systems to manage and protect population health. In order to address health crisis of climate change, we must invest in adaptation measures, including in preparing health systems resilience, in universal health care, and in integrating health considerations into adaptation across other sectors through health in all polices . Strengthening of preventive public health functions, including climate resilience, is the best protection for the future. In 2015, WHO published the Operational Framework for Building Climate Resilient Health Systems. The Operational Framework describes ten functions of health systems necessary to increase climate resilience, implemented around the six building blocks of health systems that support the delivery of universal health coverage. Addressing climate change risks to population health and improving health system resilience requires proactive efforts and many countries have already started developing climate resilient health systems. In fact, at the COP26 in Glasgow, UK, there were a record number of events focused on health and more than 50 countries committed to the COP26 Health Initiatives to strengthen climate resilience and create low-carbon sustainable health systems. Paris agreement itself as a public health treaty and its preamble refers to health and the right to health. This year in December 2023 in Dubai, UAE, the COP28 Presidency has committed to deliver an official, Presidency-level health programme, including for the first time ever, an official Health Day at the COP ; an anticipated health ministerial meeting; and side events on climate change and health. Furthermore, with this health focus for COP in 2023, many more health organizations than ever before are paying attention to the COP28 in Dubai, and gearing up to play a role. We welcome abstracts on global and national response to address health risks of climate change which could be lesson learnt for other countries of similar settings.


Chairs

Kristie L. Ebi

Kristie L. Ebi

University of Washington (USA)

Suman Rijal

Suman Rijal

WHO SEARO New Delhi (India)

Speakers

Cecil Boston

Cecil Boston

University of Guyana (Guyana)

Romelei Camiling

Romelei Camiling

Alliance for Improving Health Outcomes (Philippines)

Ganga Datta

Ganga Datta Nepal

Tribhuvan University (Nepal)

Hashim Hounkpatin

Hashim Hounkpatin

CERRHUD (Benin)

Keynotes


Bodo Ahrens

Bodo Ahrens

Goethe University
(Germany)

Kathryn Bowen

Kathryn Bowen

University of Melbourne
(Australia)

Kristie L. Ebi

Kristie L. Ebi

University of Washington
(USA)

Jonathan Patz

Jonathan Patz

University of Wisconsin-Madison
(USA)

Suman Rijal

Suman Rijal

WHO SEARO New Delhi
(India)

Ernst Kristian Rødland

Ernst Kristian Rødland

University of Oslo
(Norway)

Amir Sapkota

Amir Sapkota

University of Maryland
(USA)

The organiser and sponsor

Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp

The Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM) in Antwerp (Belgium) is a centre of expertise that initiates collaborations and functions as a mediator between research and policy makers. At ITM, we want to leverage our longstanding reputation to bring research expertise together to tackle health challenges and claim our place as a global centre of expertise, working on health for all. By organising the ITM Colloquium we aim to bring experts together from around the world to discuss the most pressing questions in tropical medicine and international health. The ITM Colloquium functions as a forum to share scientific progress and discuss collaborations.


The local organiser

Nepal Health Research Council, Kathmandu

The Nepal Health Research Council (NHRC) in Kathmandu (Nepal) is a national apex body of Government responsible for providing scientific study and quality health research in the country. NHRC cooperates with the Ministry of Health, non-governmental agencies, private sectors and other relevant ministries to provide consultation, assistance and advice in all matters related to health research, policies and health care services. The council promotes research through research training and grants. NHRC hosts national summits of health and population scientists annually and has also hosted several regional and international conferences. NHRC is pleased to host the 64th ITM Colloquium in collaboration with ITM in Kathmandu, Nepal.


Scientific committee

Ruth Müller

Ruth Müller

Department of Biomedical Sciences
Institute of Tropical Medicine (Antwerp)

Meghnath Dhimal

Meghnath Dhimal

Chief Research Officer
Nepal Health Research Council (Kathmandu)

Narayan Raj Bhattarai

Narayan Raj Bhattarai

B.P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences (Dharan)

Kristien Cloots

Kristien Cloots

Department of Public Health
Institute of Tropical Medicine (Antwerp)

Mandira Lamichhane Dhimal

Mandira Lamichhane Dhimal

Policy Research Institute (Kathmandu)

Laurens Liesenborghs

Laurens Liesenborghs

Department of Clinical Sciences
Institute of Tropical Medicine (Antwerp)

Bishnu Marasini

Bishnu Marasini

Senior Research Officer
Nepal Health Research Council (Kathmandu)

Anna Rosanas-Urgell

Anna Rosanas-Urgell

Department of Biomedical Sciences
Institute of Tropical Medicine (Antwerp)

Reshma Tuladhar

Reshma Tuladhar

Tribhuvan University (Kathmandu)

Surendra Uranw

Surendra Uranw

B.P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences (Dharan)

Steven Van Den Broucke

Steven Van den Broucke

Department of Clinical Sciences
Institute of Tropical Medicine (Antwerp)

Organisation committee



Lut Lynen

Lut Lynen

Director
Institute of Tropical Medicine (Antwerp)

Pradip Gyanwali

Pradip Gyanwali

Executive Chief
Nepal Health Research Council (Kathmandu)

Ann Peters

Ann Peters

General Manager
Institute of Tropical Medicine (Antwerp)

Remke van Elstlande

Remke van Elstlande

Event Manager
Institute of Tropical Medicine (Antwerp)

Axelle Lot

Axelle Lot

Management Assistant
Institute of Tropical Medicine (Antwerp)

Sunrise in Kathmandu

Programme



Time Activity Additional info
16:00-17:00 Registration with tea/coffee
17:00-17:10 Welcome Remarks Dr Pradip Gyanwali, NHRC
17:10-17:15 Official inauguration of the colloquium/conference Chief Guest
17:15-17:25 Remarks from ITM Director Prof Dr Lut Lynen
17:25-17:30 Remarks from Representative of Ministry for Forest and Environment, Nepal Dr Budhhi Prasad Paudel, Joint-Secretary
17:30-17:35 Remarks from Secretary, Ministry of Health and Population
17:35-17:40 Remarks from Hon. Member of National Planning Commission, Nepal
17:40-17:50 Remarks from Chief Guest Hon. Minister for Health and Population, Government of Nepal Mr. Mohan Bahadur Basnet
17:50-18:00 Objectives of ITM Colloquium and overview of programme Prof Dr Ruth Müller
18:00-18:05 ITM Scientific Excellence Award ceremony by ITM Director & ITM Head of Board of Governors Prof Dr Lut Lynen
Dr Jo Bury
18:05-18:25 Keynote presentation ITM Scientific Excellence Awardee
18:25-18:35 Q&A
18:35-18:45 Closing Remarks Prof Dr Gehanath Baral, Chairman, NHRC
18:45-21:00 Cultural Programme followed by dinner
Time Activity Speaker Title
8:00-9:00 Registration + Welcome coffee
9:00-10:45 Keynotes - Bagmati Hall
9:00-9:35 Keynote + Q&A Bodo Ahrens Climate Change Hotspots
9:35-10:10 Keynote + Q&A Ernst Kristian Rødland Consequences of climate change and disrupted natural systems on health
10:10-10:45 Keynote + Q&A Suman Rijal Uncovering the Complex Relationship Between Infectious Diseases and Climate Change: Implications for NTDs and VBDs in SEAR and Mitigation Efforts
10:45-11:10 Coffee break
START PARALLEL SESSIONS A & C
11:10-12:30 SESSION A - Climate Change and Planetary Health
A1: Intro by session chairs Basudha Khanal
Ruth Müller
A2: Presentation Bipin Kumar Acharya Climate change and its impact on spatial and temporal distribution of visceral leishmaniasis transmission risk in Nepal
A3: Presentation Saleh Aljadeeah Pharmaceutical waste in the environment: a neglected threat
A4: Presentation Nandini Velho Co-production efforts for establishing a Planetary Health Interpretation Center in Pakke Tiger Reserve: a multidisciplinary and participatory approach
A5: Session discussion and summary Basudha Khanal
Ruth Müller
11:10-12:30 SESSION C - Climate Change and Mental Health
C1: Intro by session chairs Nawaraj Upadhaya
Willem van de Put
C2: Presentation Willem van de Put What do we talk about when we talk about Mental Health and Climate Change?
C3: Presentation Amelia Colliver Distress and wellbeing in Ladakh’s changing environment
C4: Presentation Kedar Marahatta Climate crisis and coping: a mental health perspective
C5: Session discussion and summary Nawaraj Upadhaya
Willem van de Put
END PARALLEL SESSIONS A & C
12:30-13:30 Lunch
13:30-15:00 World café
15:00-15:30 Coffee break
15:30-17:30 SESSION B - Uncovering the Complex Relationship Between Infectious Diseases and Climate Change
B1: Intro by session chairs Emmanuel Kaindoa
Anna Rosanas-Urgell
B2: Presentation Liza Nagarkoti Understanding the global landscape of disease burden in the context of climate change
B3: Presentation Isabelle Kramer Genomic profiling of climate adaptation in Aedes Aegypti along an altitudinal gradient in Nepal
B4: Presentation Surendra Uranw Shifting of transmission dynamics of visceral leishmaniasis in Nepal: potential impacts of climate change
B5: Presentation James Wanjama Kabugu Rainfall variability and Rift Valley fever: the new trend in disease emergence in a low endemic area of Nyandarua
B6: Presentation Sneha Shrestha Detection of Salmonella Typhi bacteriophages in surface waters as a scalable approach to environmental surveillance
B7: Session discussion and summary Emmanuel Kaindoa
Anna Rosanas-Urgell
17:30-19:00 Reception + social dinner
Time Activity Speaker Title
8:00-9:00 Registration + Welcome coffee
9:00-10:45 Keynotes
9:00-9:35 Keynote + Q&A Jonathan Patz Actions on the climate crisis offer major and immediate health benefits
9:35-10:10 Keynote + Q&A Kathryn Bowen Global and regional health impacts of climate change
10:10-10:45 Keynote + Q&A Amir Sapkota Climate change, extreme weather events and chronic diseases – how do we adapt as a society?
10:45-11:10 Coffee break
START PARALLEL SESSIONS D & E
11:10-12:30 SESSION D - Addressing Non-communicable Diseases and Climate Change
D1: Intro by session chairs Grace Marie Ku
Diana Sagastume
D2: Presentation Upendra Bhojani Tobacco’s huge impact on environment: a wicked problem requiring intersectoral action
D3: Presentation Toms K Thomas Climate change led vulnerability and disruptions in treatment access to cancer patients in Sikkim in North East India
D4: Presentation Kusumsheela Bhatta Factors associated with heat stress and its health effects among people of Nepalgunj Sub-Metropolitan City, Nepal
D5: Session discussion and summary Grace Marie Ku
Diana Sagastume
11:10-12:30 SESSION E - Climate Change, Child Health and Sexual and Reproductive Health
E1: Intro by session chairs Gehanath Baral
Jagadishwor Ghimire
E2: Presentation Khusbu Poudel Impact of climate change on gender and sexual and reproductive health and rights in Khutiya and Banganga river basins: findings from a mixed method
E3: Presentation Kiconco Penenah The impact of climate change on the well-being of pregnant and postpartum women in Uganda: a case study of Ntoroko District
E4: Presentation Alpha Ahmadou Diallo Impact of climate change on maternal and child health and well-being in West Africa
E5: Session discussion and summary Gehanath Baral
Jagadishwor Ghimire
END PARALLEL SESSIONS D & E
12:30-13:30 Lunch
13:30-14:30 Poster Bazar
14:30-16:30 SESSION F - Global and National Response to address Health Risks of Climate Change
F1: Intro by session chairs Kristie Ebi
Suman Rijal
F2: Presentation Cecil Boston Assessing policies for a climate-resilient health system in Guyana: a comprehensive mixed methods study
F3: Presentation Romelei Camiling Climate change in health agenda: review of health sector policies in the Philippines
F4: Presentation Ganga Datta Nepal Climate Resilient Water Safety Plan (CR-WSP): a tool for public health based target
F5: Presentation Hashim Hounkpatin How are health systems in sub-Saharan Africa adapting to protect human health from climate change threats?
F6: Keynote, session discussion and summary Kristie Ebi National and global responses to manage the health risks of climate change
16:30-17:00 Break
17:00-17:30 Farewell + Young researcher award
17:30-18:30 Farewell reception



Conference venue



Conference Hall

Kathmandu Marriott Hotel is a five-star contemporary hotel in the Nepalese capital, only 4km from the international airport. The spacious hotel combines modern design with local creativity and offers excellent service and deluxe amenities. Situated in the heart of the city near top shopping, dining and attractions, Marriott offers a perfect location within walking distance of all the tourist highlights.

Marriott offers more than 750 sq. m of meeting rooms and event spaces. The modern meeting rooms have state-of-the-art audiovisual technology and high-speed internet access. The hotel also takes a fresh approach to dining experiences, so during your conference breaks, you will enjoy superb catering.

You can find more info about the 64th ITM Colloquium meeting rooms here.





Event Location


Marriott Hotel Kathmandu

Manakamana Marg, Naxal
Kathmandu 44600
Nepal

Contact
+977 015970300
kathmandu.marriott@marriott.com
www.marriottkathmandu.com

More practical info about the venue will follow.


Hotels


To make your ITM Colloquium experience as pleasant as possible, we have pre-blocked a number of rooms at the Marriott and the Fairfield by Marriott Hotel at special prices. Please note that you are under no obligation to book a room in the partner hotels and can make your own booking arrangements.



Marriott room

Marriott Hotel


Relax in the conference hotel and retreat to your spacious, well-appointed hotel room at the end of the day.

More info on the hotel website.

Fairfield room

Fairfield by Marriott Hotel


Located in the vibrant Thamel district and at a 15-min walking distance from the conference venue, this hotel offers everything for a productive and relaxing stay. We will provide a shuttle service between the conference venue and the hotel at the beginning and the end of the conference days.

More info on the hotel website.



Partners


We are always open to explore new partnership opportunities. For inquiries, please contact colloquium@itg.be.