HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser attending the gala dinner of the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH ) at Al Shaqab equestrian centre. Her Highness was seated with Princess Lalla Salma of Morocco. They were flanked by the Duke of York Prince Andrew (right) and Boris Johnson, Mayor of London.
By Noimot Olayiwola/Staff Reporter
The first World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH), a high-profile initiative intended to promote and facilitate innovation in the delivery of healthcare around the globe, was inaugurated yesterday by Qatar Foundation Chairperson HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser.
“Innovation is not only about finding better treatments, rather to produce methods to reduce the need for those treatments,” she said while explaining that one method is instilling health education among citizens and encouraging them to engage in healthy behaviour and activities.
“I am confident that this conference will serve as a platform that is far-reaching and more stimulating in innovating appropriate solutions to control the pressing health challenges of today, some of which form the research themes of discussion in the conference sessions,” she said.
Qatar is striving to build a world-class system and innovative solutions by transforming its healthcare system into patient-centred research and academic centres, she added.
WISH is bringing together governments, business leaders, academics, clinicians, new media pioneers and the third sector to help unravel some of the most pressing global health challenges.
WISH chair and Imperial College London’s Institute of Global Health Innovation director Prof Lord Ara Darzi thanked HH Sheikha Moza for being the driving force behind the initiatives in health for Qatar while pointing out that the Arab region has a proud history in innovation.
“The Arab region is cradle of science, mathematics, chemistry, physics and ethics, the foundation upon which modern medicine was built and the building blocks of all human progress. In the 21st century, Qatar stands at the leading role of innovation with the most impressive projects in science, technology and medicine anywhere on earth,” he noted.
“Qatar is at the forefront in healthcare innovation and improvement and pioneering the best and embracing changes much quicker.”
He maintained that to overcome the challenges of rising diseases and other issues, the world must embrace innovation in order “to procure the health we want”.
Also present at the opening plenary were Duke of York Prince Andrew, Sir Donald Tsang from Hong Kong and Princess Lalla Salma of Morocco, who spoke about an innovative cancer programme launched by her foundation Lalla Salma Institute for Fight against Cancer.
A keynote speech was made by United Health Group Global Health Division president Simon Stevens during the opening event moderated by British radio and television presenter