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Europa Organisation Africa aligns with international meetings body, IAPCO

Medical and healthcare conferencing specialist, EOA, has been accepted as a member office of the International Association of Professional Conference Organisers (IAPCO), which represents the ‘highest level of professional and ethical behaviour in the meetings industry’.


Johannesburg, 20 November 2018:  The increasing drive to promote professional standards within the meetings industry has prompted local conferencing specialist, Europa Organisation Africa (EOA), to successfully apply for ‘member office’ status with the International Association of Professional Conference Organisers (IAPCO).  IAPCO represents the ‘highest levels of professional and ethical behaviour in the meetings industry’ and members commit to uphold the association’s Code of Conduct.

Europa Organisation Africa (EOA) is a locally-based specialist healthcare medical events management company, established in 2013.  EOA enjoys the reputation and backing of the Europa Group, based in France, which is an accredited member of IAPCO.  EOA has built strong and long-term relationships with healthcare professionals, professional societies and health product manufacturers.  EOA continues to manage key healthcare conferences such as SA Heart, Africa PCR, Society of Neurosurgery, SA Rheumatism Arthritis Association and SA Transplant Society.  Although a specialist in the medical and healthcare conferencing area, EOA is positioned to manage meetings across industries.

“We are delighted and humbled by our acceptance as a member office of IAPCO and look forward to taking an active role in the organisation and promoting our common objectives,” said Sue McGuinness of EOA.  “I, together with our experienced team, have set out to change the face of medical congresses that we manage, to become interactive learning experiences.  There is alignment, as education is at the core of IAPCO and everything revolves around it,” she continued.

Recently, EOA was accepted as an associate member of the South African Medical Technology Industry Association (SAMED) and enjoys the status of ‘Trusted Partner of MedTech’, with the European association for the medical technology industry.  EOA is positioned to undertake grant management in line with the MedTech and SAMED codes.  The organisation has gained experience in this area since the prohibition of direct sponsorship of delegates to third-party organised meetings was introduced at the start of 2018.

“As a truly professional congress organiser, we look forward to continuing to strive for the highest levels of service.  Supporting the thrust for more responsible meeting management, such as committing to the protection of the environment and offering environmentally responsible alternatives to clients, is a further imperative,” concluded Sue, on behalf of EOA.

South Africa instrumental in WHO recognition of Rheumatic Fever (RF) and Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) as global health priorities

Resolution at 71st World Health Assembly will lead to coordinated global response

Cape Town – 09 July 2018 – At the recent 71st World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, Member States of the World Health Organization unanimously adopted a Global Resolution on Rheumatic Fever and Rheumatic Heart Disease.  This historic decision marks the first time that Rheumatic Fever (RF) and Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) have been recognized as global health priorities on the world health stage.

Local scientists have been instrumental in driving the agenda to achieve this landmark decision1, 2.  The Resolution was co-sponsored by countries from all six WHO regions, including South Africa.  Rheumatic heart disease is a preventable condition arising from acute rheumatic fever.

“We have worked consistently to demonstrate the urgent need for a unified response to these serious conditions,” said Professor Liesl Zühlke, Associate Professor at the Red Cross Memorial Children’s Hospital, who specialises in paediatric heart disease.  “According to the WHO, rheumatic heart disease affects around 30 million people each year.  In 2015, the disease was estimated to have caused 250 000 deaths.3  The disease most commonly occurs in childhood and adolescence and disproportionately affects girls and women,” continued Professor Zühlke.

At the WHA, there was strong consensus among governments that action was needed on a range of fronts, including strengthening primary and secondary prevention of RF and RHD, integrating RHD services into primary health care, securing a reliable supply of benzathine penicillin G, and ensuring a well-resourced and trained health workforce to provide RHD services.

Professor Liesl Zühlke is the newly elected president of the RHD Evidence, Advocacy, Communication and Hope (Rheach) organisation.   Rheach is a global organisation which aims to identify, describe and disseminate solutions for this neglected disease and to reduce the burden on vulnerable populations around the world.  Rheach will partner the WHO to implement, monitor and provide advice on RF and RHD to endemic countries.  Several members of the South Africa Cardiology community have also been key figures in driving the adoption of this resolution, including Prof. Karen Sliwa, President-elect of the World Heart Federation and Prof. Bongani Mayosi, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at UCT.

Discussions at the WHA highlighted that vulnerable groups and marginalized communities are the most affected by RF and RHD, and that its prevention and control is essential to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and universal health coverage.

“Now that this policy has been adopted by the full World Health Assembly, the Resolution stands as the first global commitment on RHD to be endorsed by all governments.  It now serves as a high-level global policy that demands national and international decision-makers to take action to prioritise and fund RHD prevention and control in all endemic settings,” concluded Professor Zühlke.

  • Ends -

Notes to the Editor

About Rheumatic Fever and Rheumatic heart disease

World Health Organisation, 71st World Health Assembly. 25 May 2018:  [cited 2018 06 27]. Available at:


Delegates agreed a resolution calling for WHO to launch a coordinated global response to rheumatic heart disease, which affects around 30 million people each year. In 2015, the disease was estimated to have caused 350 000 deaths. The disease most commonly occurs in childhood and disproportionately affects girls and women.

Rheumatic heart disease is a preventable condition arising from acute rheumatic fever. Despite the availability of effective measures for prevention and treatment of the disease, cases have not significantly declined in recent years. Socioeconomic and environmental factors such as poor housing, undernutrition, overcrowding and poverty increase the likelihood and the severity of the disease.

Improving standards of living, expanding access to appropriate care, and ensuring a consistent supply of quality-assured antibiotics are some of the key strategies that can dramatically reduce the number of people affected. Delegates called on WHO to reinvigorate efforts to tackle rheumatic fever and to lead and coordinate renewed global efforts for its prevention and control.

For more information on the WHO Resolution:



For more information about:

Rheach: RHD Evidence, Advocacy, Communication and Hope (Rheach)

Visit:  https://www.rheach.org/about

Rheach is a technical support and policy translation initiative to amplify rheumatic heart disease control efforts locally, regionally and globally. Rheach aims to identify, describe and disseminate solutions for this neglected disease and to reduce burden on vulnerable populations around the world.

For further information contact:

Vicki St Quintin

082 4534367

011 325 0020


  1. Zuhlke L, Engel ME, Karthikeyan G, Rangarajan S, Mackie P, Cupido B, Mauff K, Islam S, Joachim A, Daniels R, Francis V, Ogendo S, Gitura B, Mondo C, Okello E, Lwabi P, Al-Kebsi MM, Hugo-Hamman C, Sheta SS, Haileamlak A, Daniel W, Goshu DY, Abdissa SG, Desta AG, Shasho BA, Begna DM, ElSayed A, Ibrahim AS, Musuku J, Bode-Thomas F, Okeahialam BN, Ige O, Sutton C, Misra R, Abul Fadl A, Kennedy N, Damasceno A, Sani M, Ogah OS, Olunuga T, Elhassan HH, Mocumbi AO, Adeoye AM, Mntla P, Ojji D, Mucumbitsi J, Teo K, Yusuf S and Mayosi BM. Characteristics, complications, and gaps in evidence-based interventions in rheumatic heart disease: the Global Rheumatic Heart Disease Registry (the REMEDY study). Eur Heart J. 2015;36:1115-22a.
  2. Mayosi B. The four pillars of rheumatic heart disease control. S Afr Med J. 2009;100:506.
  3. Watkins DA, Johnson CO, Colquhoun SM, Karthikeyan G, Beaton A, Bukhman G, Forouzanfar MH, Longenecker CT, Mayosi BM, Mensah GA, Nascimento BR, Ribeiro ALP, Sable CA, Steer AC, Naghavi M, Mokdad AH, Murray CJL, Vos T, Carapetis JR and Roth GA. Global, Regional, and National Burden of Rheumatic Heart Disease, 1990-2015. N Engl J Med. 2017;377:713-722.

Press Releases & Articles

Our Commitment

Dear Committees and Partners,

As the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 continues in South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a decree on March 15, which sets out various measures to combat the spread of the virus. From now on, "any gathering involving more than 100 people at the same time is prohibited until further notice”.

We take note of this decision and continue to support our committees and partners in this exceptional situation, in order to find the best solution for each and every operation.

Our teams are at work and continue to move projects forward with the professionalism and commitment that characterises Europa Organisation Africa and Europa Group as a whole.

Enabling the medical and scientific communities to come together to share and learn is a priority for us. We continue to pursue this mission by advocating the safety and health of our participants and employees at the forefront of our decisions.

Do feel free to connect with my office should you require any further clarity or assistance.

Yoshni Singh

A call to embrace ‘greener’ medical and healthcare conferences and events

A call to embrace ‘greener’ medical and healthcare conferences and events.

While commemorating World Environment Day on 05 June, the responsibility to our planet should encourage everyone to commit to this priority. EOA's Director, Yoshni Singh shares why it is imperative to do so, particularly within the conferencing and hospitality industry.

13 May 2019 – According to the World Health Organisation, “an estimated 4.2 million premature deaths globally are linked to ambient air pollution, mainly from heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer and acute respiratory infections in children.”[i]

This is a staggering statistic which makes me wonder what carbon footprint we are leaving on the environment through the conferences that we organise and support?  MeetGreen, an organisation that promotes sustainable event practices, reported that “a typical conference attendee produces 1.89KG of waste per day, and 1.16KG of that will go directly to a landfill.  When you project that number for 1000 attendees over 3 days you get 5670KG of waste, the equivalent of 4 compact cars.”[ii]  Which leads me to my next question which is how we can help to promote sustainable practices and alleviate the current environmental strain on the planet?

We should aim to balance the objectives of a successful conference, in which we strive for the benefits of shared learnings, against the interests of our environment and the communities in which we operate. In order to help maintain the environmental and socio-economic balance, we need to consciously create ‘green’ or sustainable conferences and procure environmentally-friendly products and services.

So how does one go green? To go green, as responsible conference organisers, we are expected to develop and communicate the policy and guide implementation for the respective conferences we manage.  Key trends include the move to reusable conference stands; a reduction in the use of printed materials and a greater dependence on digital communications; a move away from bottled water and the use of biodegradable straws and the provision of recycling bins across the venue, while more efficient travel and hospitality arrangements should be made with sustainability objectives in mind. Remember, less is more!

We call on all stakeholders to join Europa Organisation Africa on Wednesday 05 June 2019, together with governments, industry, communities and individuals worldwide, as we commemorate the annual World Environment Day under the theme: “Air Pollution - We can’t stop breathing, but we can do something about the quality of air that we breathe”.

[i] World Health Organisation: [cited 2019 May 06] Available from https://www.who.int/airpollution/ambient/health-impacts/en/

[ii] MeetGreen: ‘Why become sustainable.’ [cited 2019 May 13] Available from



Wits Paediatric Fund partners with EOA

The Wits Paediatric Fund is delighted to announce a new partnership with Europa Organisation Africa who will help us run a fantastic Up to SPAED 2019. Together we are committed to excellent education opportunities, the latest research and earth-friendly conferences.

The EOA team has set out to change the face of medical congresses to become interactive learning experiences. EOA has fostered strong and long-term relationships with healthcare professionals, professional societies and industry.

EOA enjoys the reputation and backing of the Europa Group, based in France.

EOA is a ‘Trusted MedTech Partner’ and member of SAMED, facilitating ethical code compliance, especially through grant management services.

We are so grateful to have such committed and passionate partners!

Yoshni Singh joins EOA as Director of Operations

New Appointment: March 2019

Yoshni Singh has been appointed Director of Operations at Europa Organisation Africa (EOA), a leading medical and healthcare events management company.

Yoshni comes with more than 16 years’ experience in the conference industry, in which she has a proven track record. Yoshni’s reputation was built at the Sandton Convention Centre, where she progressed through the ranks to head up the challenging international portfolio.  Yoshni worked with great impact at the Gauteng Convention Bureau until her entrepreneurial spirit led her to start a 100% black female-owned professional conference organiser.

In her new role as Director of Operations at EOA, Yoshni will lead the conference planning, management and execution of all future meetings, events and congresses.



Contact Details

Tel +27 (0)11 325 0020
Email eoa@eoafrica.co.za