The World Health Summit in Berlin – A Recap of Events

November 1, 2019

By Rosemary James, SOT Coordinator and Key Correspondent with the IGHN 

The World Health Summit was organized by Charité hospital group, the M8 University Alliance and sponsored by France, Germany, the WHO and the European Commission. The Irish Global Health Network sent our two interns, Abigail Greenwood and Jane O’Flynn, along with Board Member Rosie James to report from the event.
With 2,500 attendees and 20 ministers of health, it was certainly memorable. The main themes of this year’s event were climate change & public health, Universal Health Coverage, G7/G20 health policy, digital health and education.Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO gave a hopeful speech about UHC and health security- how they are ‘two sides of the same coin’. 

Highlights from the sessions attended by IGHN include:

  • Sir Andrew Haines, Professor of Environmental Change and Public Health from LSHTM speaking on the numerous effects that climate change and pollution is having on human health.
  • Migrant & refugee mental health – a health systems approach. Lebanon, Turkey, Iran and Germany presented their solutions to the crisis, ranging from art therapy for children to state-sponsored specialized psychiatric clinics for migrants. 
  • The Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP) announced its ambitious new budget plan ‘5 by 25’, gaining funds from numerous countries. It hopes to use an additional €500 million to develop 5 new treatments by 2025.
  • Young Physician Leaders leadership discussion, where Dr Sadhbh Lee, obstetrics/gynaecology trainee in University Hospital Galway and co-founder of Irish Doctors for the Environment, spoke about the importance of youth advocacy and having an encouraging mentor to pursue the challenging career that is medicine.
 Abigail and Rosie also attended the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) 15th anniversary symposium on October 30th on behalf of Access to Medicines Ireland (AMI), one of our Friends of the Forum.
Stay tuned for more coverage of the event in the coming weeks, which will be posted on our Key Correspondent’s Blog. 
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