Invited Speakers Scientific Sessions 2015

 Neglected Tropical Diseases

in Sri Lanka : Towards elimination .

Invited  Speakers

arieDr. Arie Hendrik Havelaar 




A  professor in the Animal Sciences Department and the Emerging Pathogens Institute of the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA. Before moving to the United States in 2014, Arie Havelaar worked at the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, the Netherlands and at the Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands to which he still is affiliated.

 His research focuses on quantitative approaches to foodborne diseases and prevention. Recent activities on the epidemiology of foodborne diseases include estimating the true incidence of foodborne illness, attribution of human disease to food and other pathways, estimating the disease burden using Disability Adjusted Life Years as a summary metric of public health and estimating cost-of-illness. 

Quantitative microbial risk assessment studies include method development with a special interest in dose-response modeling, the impact of acquired immunity and uncertainty analysis. Farm-to-fork modeling of pathogens in animal food chains is a basis for evaluating the public health impact of interventions, cost-benefit and risk-benefit analysis, and decision support modeling. 


angieDr Angela Houston




MBChB, BSc, DTM&H, MSc, MRCP (infectious diseases), FRCPath.

Trained in Medicine at the University of Manchester and obtained a BSc in Biomedical Science. After completing medical training and obtaining membership of the Royal College of Physicians, moved to Liverpool to complete the Diploma of Tropical Medicine. Following this worked for two years as a Lecturer in Clinical Medicine at the University of Malawi, and ran a research project looking at the host response to Non-typhoid Salmonella in HIV infected patients. On return to the UK undertook training in Clinical Microbiology and obtained Fellowship in the Royal College of Pathologists. She has done research on bacteraemias, tuberculosis, syphilis, and C difficile diagnosis.

She currently works as a consultant at St Georges University’s NHS Foundation Trust and for the South West London Pathology Network, one of the busiest HIV and Clinical Infection units in the UK

dirk Dr Dirk Engels 




MD, PhD ,Director, Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases , World Health Organization ,Geneva, Switzerland

 Dr Engels, a Belgian national, is Director of the Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Dr Engels studied medicine at the University of Antwerp and graduated in 1979. He further holds diplomas in tropical medicine and epidemiology, a Masters in Health Services Research from Erasmus University in Rotterdam and a PhD in parasitology from the University of Leiden in the Netherlands.

During the first 15 years of his professional career he successively worked in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Burundi, Rwanda and Senegal, in clinical tropical medicine, public health and tropical disease control, mostly serving people in poor rural settings.

In 1998 he joined WHO as a Medical Officer and in 2005 became Coordinator of the Preventive Chemotherapy and Transmission Control Unit of the NTD Department. In this capacity, he led a team of professionals in developing norms and standards for the implementation of integrated large-scale preventive treatment interventions for the control or elimination of multiple tropical diseases. This resulted in one of the largest global public health interventions to date, with over 700 million people benefitting annually from preventive chemotherapy treatment worldwide.

Dr Engels has revitalized and overhauled WHO’s Dracunculiasis Eradication Programme, emphasizing surveillance and prompt reporting of cases. Today, the disease is on the verge of eradication.