Zero Transmission Symposium 2024

Welcome to the GPZL Zero Transmission Symposium webpage! We look forward to meeting you in the beautiful city of Bergen, Norway, on May 23-25 2024. We will be hosted by the University of Bergen, which was the scientific home of Dr Armauer Hansen in 1873 when he discovered that Mycobacterium leprae was the causative agent of leprosy. We are delighted to be able to hold our symposium at a venue whose history is so closely related to our mission today: interrupting the transmission of M. leprae.

If you exit the airport and see this sign, you have arrived at the right place.

One important reason to convene this scientific meeting in 2024 is that this marks 10 years since a similar symposium was held at the National School of Tropical Medicine in Houston, Texas, USA. This is an appropriate moment to take stock of what we have learned in the past 10 years in all the scientific and public health disciplines pursuing the quest for zero transmission. We look forward to welcoming over 50 scientists, programme managers, persons with lived experience of leprosy, fundraisers and representatives of funding partners for 3 days of concentrated deliberations and sense-making of the evidence that is before us. What do we understand about transmission AD 2024? What additional insights can be gained from reviewing all the evidence together, especially looking at evidence from disciplines other than our own? Are there any critical gaps in our understanding or strategies that need to be addressed through research? Can we come up with any new insights to improve leprosy programmes and interventions to accelerate our collective journey to interruption of transmission and elimination of leprosy?

Thank you in advance for making every effort to answer the above questions and make the most of this unique opportunity!

Programme

The symposium will start on Thursday morning at 08:00 with registration. The actual programme will start at 08:30. On the first day we will listen to a series of speakers from different disciplines who will summarise for us the important evidence and developments pertaining to transmission and leprosy in their field in the past 10 years. In the afternoon, we will break into 4 groups roughly along disciplinary lines to discuss what we have heard in the morning in as much detail as we can.

On Day 2 we will start at 09:00. In the morning and afternoon there will be 3 thematic subgroups to choose from. Kindly make sure you indicate your preference for which theme you would like to contribute to in the morning and in afternoon through the survey link well before start of the symposium.

On Day 3 we start again at 09:00 and we will meet as a whole group to listen to summaries of the deliberations of each subgroup, followed by a plenary discussion in which we try and synthesise what we have heard and summarise our learning, the critical gaps and recommendations for programme approaches, interventions and funding strategies.

Please find the timetable of symposium under this link.

Practical information, Thursday

Thursday, the venue is Kalfarveien 31. The venue used to be a state leprosy institution, and is where Armauer Hansen worked some 150 years ago. Click “Directions” in the map below to get directions from your hotel (expect a 20 minute walk).

If you prefer to to take a bus, the closest bus stop is “Stadsporten”; bus 5, 6 and 16E stops here. For information about busses in Bergen, see https://www.skyss.no/en/.

Registration opens at 08:00, the program begins at 08:30. There will be coffee breaks and lunch, and we expect to wrap up the day around 17:30.

Practical information, Friday and Saturday

Friday and Saturday, the venue is Nygårdsgaten 5, centrally located at the University of Bergen campus. Click “Directions” in the map below to get directions from your hotel (expect a 10-15 minute walk).

The program begins at 09:00 both days. Friday we will wrap up aroud 17:30, and then reconvene for the conference dinner at 19:00. Saturday the program ends at 15:30, which is enough time to catch the late international departures from the airport. 

Conference dinner (Friday)

Dinner will be served at Bien Centro, a restaurant specializing in Italian pizza and pasta, Friday at 19:00. The restaurant is located at Nordahl  Bruns gate 9, between the hotels and the venue for day 2 and 3 – see the map below. The entrance is on the side of the building facing the pond.

Other information

If you have questions, please contact the organizers at symposium@zeroleprosy.org

You can also view or download a copy of the Terms of Reference for the symposium, which includes details of the objectives and deliverables. Lastly, there is a list of participants expected to attend the symposium. For those who have agreed to this, their email address is included (link will be published here).

Organizers, hosts and sponsors