Healthcare leaders from 80 countries gather at WISH

By: Mai al Abria

DOHA: A road map to a healthier world was unveiled on Tuesday as more than 1,000 world leaders, policy-makers and healthcare experts gathered in Doha to discuss new and ground-breaking solutions to the most urgent global health challenges at the second World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH). The Sultanate was represented at the Summit by Dr Ali bin Talib al Hinai, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Health for Planning Affairs, Dr Ahmed al Busaidi, Director of NCD along with some officials from the Ministry, and Dr Abdullah al Futaisi, from the Oman Medical Speciality Board.

With the spread of Ebola, the continuing rise in heart disease, the advancing wave of diabetes, the growing cost of cancer care, the growth of mental illness; there has never been a more pressing time to address these issues and identify solutions for generations to come.

Her Highness Shaikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation and Founder of WISH addressed the gathering of dignitaries and delegates with a welcome speech that praised the research teams for their commitment to uncover vital new solutions to some of the world’s biggest health crises.

Shaikha Moza said: “The WISH conference helps change our global health reality towards achieving a greater ambition of providing quality health coverage for all. Healthcare and access to healthcare go to the heart of human rights.

We cannot overcome our healthcare challenges unless we begin to invest in solutions that link health and education, as they are intrinsically connected. Innovation in education leads us to innovation in health. It is our wish to promote the causes of both access to basic primary education and universal health coverage.”

WISH acts as a melting pot of ideas, innovations, solutions and action — all aimed at saving lives and saving money. Delegates were invited to attend the unveiling of new research, introductions to new innovations, participate in discussion panels and share ideas, all aimed at creating solutions for growing and costly global health issues including cancer, diabetes, dementia and mental health. With delegates from over 80 different countries in attendance on Tuesday it was clear the potential to share learning and spur-on action is immense.

The report, rising to the challenge, published at WISH highlights that an estimated 10 per cent of the world’s adult population — nearly 600 million people — will suffer with diabetes by 2035. The report pulls together practical examples of initiatives that have been effective at combating diabetes prevalence around the world and concludes by outlining clear steps for addressing the diabetes challenge.

The summit presents a unique opportunity for experts from around the world to share and explore the best evidence-based ideas in healthcare. Over the course of the two-day summit eight major reports will be published, examining research and case studies from around the world to provide new learning and solutions to diverse and widespread health challenges.

243488Meanwhile, WISH is also showcasing some of the latest innovations from around the world including virtual surgery, 3D-printed prosthetics and mobile apps. Day one of the summit, saw five forums present new research papers on; diabetes, mental health and wellbeing in children, universal health coverage, patient safety and dementia. These papers offer workable, cost-effective and evidence-based solutions for governments to adopt and implement around the world.

Engineer Saad al Muhannadi, President of Qatar Foundation said: “WISH is a leading influence in global healthcare and I am very proud of the indispensable contribution it is making to healthcare systems worldwide. By bringing the world’s leading innovators to Doha, WISH is creating a truly unique opportunity for unprecedented collaboration, promoting innovations that will form the basis of the healthcare systems of the future. For me, it is one of the best examples of how Qatar Foundation’s global healthcare initiatives create real benefits for people both here in Qatar, and in countries around the globe.”

This year WISH is hosting two special panels; one took place on Tuesday on genomics, looking at the future of personalised medicine and the ethical dilemmas this new frontier in healthcare could bring; and one taking place on Wednesday on Newborn and Maternal Health hosted alongside The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Harvard University and Save the Children.

Delegates discovered a unique Young Innovators display which has invited the next generation of global experts to showcase their healthcare innovations to attending international experts allowing direct and swift uptake of these valuable and grassroots ideas.

One such example is Braci, a simple but highly effective app that turns sounds into vibrations or images for deaf people to be alerted to reducing the reliance on hearing dogs, carers and costly in-house emergency systems.


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