Nearly 2,200 healthcare experts participated in the 2018 edition of the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH), an initiative of Qatar Foundation (QF). With Qatar National Convention Centre hosting a capacity crowd of local and international healthcare experts, innovators, entrepreneurs, policymakers, and ministers, this year’s summit, held on November 13-14, was the largest to date.
Sultana Afdhal, CEO, WISH, said: “We were pleased not only with the high level of attendance at WISH 2018, but also with the amount of engagement taking place between delegates – both during formal panel discussion sessions and informally throughout the summit.
“I was particularly delighted to have the opportunity to showcase the role Qatar is playing in encouraging innovation in healthcare to the gathered global healthcare experts, and to welcome senior representatives of the World Health Organization (WHO) to the summit for the first time, namely Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, the director of the WHO Africa region, and Dr. Ahmed Al Mandhari the newly-appointed director of the WHO Eastern Mediterranean region, which is the region that covers Qatar.”
“With the support of QF, WISH will continue to be at the heart of the global exchange of knowledge, innovation and fruitful collaborations relating to healthcare. Between now and our next summit in 2020, we look forward to working with local and international partners to take the learnings from WISH 2018 and play our part in building a healthier world.”
Delegates at WISH 2018 represented more countries – 116 – than ever before, and this year also saw an increase in the number of expert panels to 22, covering areas such as health in conflict settings, maternal health, healthy cities, design in health, viral hepatitis, and artificial intelligence.
WISH 2018 keynote speeches were delivered by Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and chairperson of ‘The Elders’, who focused on the effects of climate change on health; David Miliband, President of the International Rescue Committee, who talked about the importance of eradicating child malnutrition from conflict-ridden regions of the world; and swimmer Michael Phelps, the world’s most decorated Olympian, who encouraged open and stigma-free communication about mental health.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), and Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the United States, shared video messages of special appreciation and encouragement with summit participants.