The three-day World Innovation Summit for Health ( WISH) 2022 conference held under the theme Healing The Future started Tuesday at Multaqa in the Education City. Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation opened the summit. Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of Tanzania, speaking at the opening ceremony. (supplied picture) The opening ceremony was attended by Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of Tanzania; Jeannette Kagame, First Lady of Rwanda; Dr Fatima Maada Bio, First Lady of Sierra Leone, a number of their excellencies, Sheikhs, ministers, policy makers, scholars and specialists from around the world. “WISH has always been a summit of big ideas. This year our themes are many, with one overarching goal – a search for solutions to enable all of us to live balanced, safe and healthy lives,” said Sheikha Moza in her opening remarks. Another panel discussion on day one of WISH 2022. Prof Lord Darzi of Denham, executive chair of WISH said: “This has been WISH’s mission from the start: to bring people together to develop, to promote, disseminate innovations that can really transform the world. Over the next three days, it is my hope that we can learn together, inspire each other to achieve our shared ambitions. We can show the world how, in place of discord and division, collaboration and cooperation can help us meet the challenges we face. With the power of the WISH community, we can promote better health for everyone and broaden access to high quality care for all. This is what we mean by healing the future.” Keynote speaker, Dr Noubar Afeyan The audience also heard from Tanzanian President Hassan who recognised the key role WISH has had by contributing immensely to the literature on health issues and on influencing governmental policies aiming to achieve universal healthcare. She noted: “The interest of WISH of having a fair, equitable, and healthy world is clearly reflected by the range of experts gathered here today. I’m witnessing firsthand the enthusiasm of key global players in the health sector to drive efforts to promote healthier and equitable access to health services in order to achieve sustainable development. Certainly, todays conference is a state in the right direction and Im in full support of it. HE Dr Hanan Mohamed al-Kuwari, Qatars Minister of Public Health; Dr Ahmed al-Mandhari, regional director for the Eastern Mediterranean of the World Health Organisation and ministerial delegations from 16 countries were also present, including those from Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Prof Lord Darzi of Denham addressing the gathering. The keynote speaker at the opening ceremony, Dr Noubar Afeyan, founder and CEO of Flagship Pioneering, and co-founder of Moderna, the American pharmaceutical and biotechnology company that developed a key vaccine for Covid-19 said: “The efforts of all of us in this room to advance human health are taking place against the backdrop of what we call a Health Care System, but in reality is a Sick Care System. We spend an enormous amount of time, effort, and money treating people once they are sick, rather than trying to keep them healthy. “By waiting for disease to manifest, costs are higher, preventing many from accessing care and outcomes are worse. Early detection that preempts disease or reverses or manages a pre-disease condition could offer a solution to health care inequities. We call this preemptive health: the application of leading-edge biological sciences and digital technology to traditional public health goals.” Speaking in the context of the creation of Moderna’s safe and highly effective Covid-19 vaccine, he emphasised the role of innovation and imagination in creating breakthrough leaps in biotechnology, and examined the pathway to preventing and preempting disease before it takes hold of. The opening ceremony concluded with an expert panel discussion on building the resilience of global health systems. The discussion was underpinned by an evidence-based policy report launched shortly before the summit titled “Building Health System Resilience; a roadmap for navigating future pandemics”. Day one of WISH also hosted a forum discussion based on the WISH 2022 report titled “A new era for vaccine innovation: Harnessing the lessons learned from Covid-19 Vaccine”. Expert speakers included Dr Jerome Kim, director general, International Vaccine Institute, and Prof Dame Sarah Gilbert, professor of vaccinology at the University of Oxford and co-developer of the Oxford AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.