Held under theme ‘One World, Our Health’, the 2020 edition of the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) closed on Thrusday with a final exchange of knowledge, innovation, and policy-driven solutions designed to help deliver healthcare in an efficient and cost-effective manner to improve and save lives.
Ahead of World Children’s Day, which is observed today (November 20), the final WISH panels amplified the summit focus on the health of children. High level panelists participating in sessions across the day included The Countess of Wessex, Qatar Foundation vice-chairperson and CEO HE Sheikha Hind bint Hamad al-Thani, and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and former President of Chile Michelle Bachelet.
A panel discussion on the role of schools in child and adolescent health featured a presentation by Professor Russell Viner, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, of a report commissioned by WISH for the summit. The session offered an opportunity to consider case studies from around the world and identify comprehensive ways to take advantage of the “social vaccine” that schools can provide.
Ahead of a panel discussion that explored toxic stress and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in children, Dr Nadine Burke Harris, Surgeon General of California, gave a presentation based on a new WISH report that examined the effects of long term-stress on children’s physical and mental development, which are likely to continue into adulthood, and strategies to mitigate these ill effects.
At the start of the day, Omani artist, Safiya al-Bahlani, a disability rights activist, spoke on personal resilience in her masterclass. This echoed sessions delivered on previous days by Yasmin Mogahed, Giles Duley, and Alastair Campbell. Supporting the mental health and resilience of frontline workers was the topic of the final ‘In Focus’ session in partnership with Nursing Now, which featured the reading of the iconic healthcare-focus poem ‘These Are The Hands’ by its author Michael Rosen.
A hackathon organised by the International Federation of Medical Student Associations presented an interactive way to brainstorm ideas on how to better integrate climate change into health curricula or transform it into a life-long-learning opportunity. A final quick-fire Agora session then debated ‘When Will We Wake up to The Global Health Threats of Climate Change?’
A session titled ‘Women in Innovation’, held in partnership with Qatari-Russian Center for Cooperation, saw leading Russian innovators sharing their experience and knowledge and what needs to be done to unlock women’s potential in health innovation.