Over 1,100 researchers from all around the world have gathered in Melbourne for the event, which aims to bring together professionals in the field to raise global awareness and improve standards of diagnosis, prevention and treatment of pneumococci and pneumococcal diseases. The Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria, officially opened the symposium at the opening ceremony (pictured).

The ISPPD is a non-profit, non-governmental association and has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. Initiated in 1998 at the 1st meeting in Denmark, ISPPD conferences have been organized every 2 years in different countries with local sponsors.

Murdoch Children's very own Professor Kim Mulholland is the Robert Austrian Lecturer for ISPDD-11 delivered a  keynote speech. The researchers took part in workshops, networking events, poster sessions.

In their Welcome Letter, Co-Chairs of the Scientific Organising Committee and MCRI researchers Catherine Satzke and Kim Mulholland said "we have made substantial progress in controlling pneumococcal disease, but there remain many challenges and unanswered questions for us to address". 

"At the time of the Denmark meeting global use of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines seemed a distant goal, but the past two decades have seen great progress.  As with other new vaccines for general use, pneumococcal conjugate vaccine introduction started in the richest countries and gradually moved to the poorer countries where the need is greatest.  The Gavi Alliance has provided a mechanism for providing these expensive vaccines to the poorest countries, but many lower-middle-income countries have been left out. "

"In Asia, pneumococcal conjugate vaccine introduction has been very slow, but now we see growing interest in the vaccine in major countries like Indonesia and India.  Appropriately, the program for this meeting will put the spotlight on Asia, and Indigenous communities in the region, while bringing the very latest scientific developments in the field of pneumococcal disease and its control."