DOHA: As 1400 health experts, academics and innovators from around the world gathered at the Qatar National Convention Center to highlight world health issues under the platform of the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) the focus was on working together to improve existing healthcare facilities.
In her inaugural address at WISH 2016 Her Highness Sheikha Moza binte Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation said:
"All of our countries have a healthcare system, but none of them are perfect. Each country faces it's own healthcare challenges and to reduce the disease burden and make a healthier life, we all work together."
The summit included policy briefings on universal health coverage and learning through international collaboration particularly on patient safety as well as panel discussion on the sidelines on autism, health professional education, precision medicine, accountable care, behavioural insights and genomics in the Gulf region and Islamic world.
Executive Chair of WISH, Professor Lord Ara Darzi laid emphasis towards bringing about real change that matters. "Here, today, we have a global network of health reformers with a shared ambition; to make our health systems more responsive, with better quality and better value for money."
Speaking to Geo News, Professor of Islam and Biomedical Ethics Mohammed Ghaly said while genetics technology is still new, genomics is even newer; one of the main characteristics of genomics is the explosion of knowledge, we know much more than what we could expect ever about ourself."
Dr. Karim Munir, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School and a Director at the Center for Autism and related disorders said autism has received a lot of publicity and under the new definition autism is a neurological developmental disorder. He added that the ratio of incidence has increased over the years, in the 1980's one in 2000 children had autism but in 2014 the ratio stands at one in 68 children.
In keeping with WISH’s goal of creating a global healthcare community, keynote speaker Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer for England and a member of the World Health Organization’s executive board urged delegates to work together to fight drug-resistant infectious diseases, which she said results in 700,000 deaths worldwide each year.
Dame Davies said: “These diseases are fueled by the lack of a balance in antibiotics consumption that is fast becoming a major health disaster in the 21st century. It is imperative for us to move beyond the planning phase and take tangible actions to tackle this global epidemic. Continued awareness and education, ways to contain infections, optimised use of antibacterial drugs, innovation, and developing favourable market conditions are a few of the steps global policy makers have been agreeing to undertake in this process. I call on all the ministers, policy-makers and health professionals to work together towards innovating for a brighter future. We can change the world when we want to and when we choose to change.”
Chief Executive of the Behavioural Insight Team, Dr. David Halpern said while most countries have spent huge amounts on health care they have not spent on causes of diseases and key preventive elements such as diet, smoking, pollution and other behavioural factors have received comparatively little attention and at the same time behavioural models within the medical community are also on the decline.
Dr. Dean Jamison emeritus Professor, Department of Global Health at the University of Washington said while progress has been made in reducing maternal and child mortality and deaths from infectious diseases, it is essential that policymakers do not become complacent. Without sustained health investments, these gains will be lost he added.
The two-day conference saw health experts from around the world come together to discuss future threats that will create hassle and trauma for future generations and urged the world that every body from every community will have to participate, to increase awareness about diseases and eliminate the burden of disease from the world.