WISH 2018 focuses on tackling pressing global health issues
November 14 2018 10:17 PM
Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, attends the closing session
Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, attends the closing session of WISH 2018. Over the course of two days, the summit brought together leaders and innovators in healthcare from around the world to tackle pressing healthcare challenges.

 *Sheikha Moza attends closing ceremony

Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation (QF), attended the closing ceremony of the fourth World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) Wednesday.
WISH – an initiative of QF – in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced a global database of Chief Nursing Officers (CNOs). The database will become a digital communications platform for CNOs to share ideas and concerns with each other, wherever they are in the world. 
At the closing ceremony, the delegates were encouraged to return to their communities and seek innovative ways of solving pressing health issues. The ceremony was also attended by a number of dignitaries, health ministers, and policymakers from around the world. 
The final day of the summit also featured a speech on tackling depression by a swimming legend, a call to action on the effects of climate change on health, and a message from the director general of WHO.
A panel discussion on ‘Anxiety and Depression’ took place, chaired by Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, the leading mental health charity in England and Wales. The forum discussed the current global burden of people living with anxiety and depression, risk factors of developing the illnesses, and the treatment gap. 
According to the WHO, only one in 27 people receive adequate care for anxiety or depression in some low and middle-income countries.
“Anxiety and depression are the most common mental health problems globally,” said Farmer. “In 2017, 322 mn people had depression and 264 mn lived with anxiety. The high prevalence and far-reaching impact of these illnesses encourages us to seek solutions. We need to work together to find ways to discuss how society and other sectors such as education and employment can play a part in taking action to prevent anxiety and depression.”
Panelists also discussed how, despite differences in culture and healthcare systems, effective interventions can be translated, accepted, and adapted to various settings.
Record-breaking Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps delivered a keynote speech on the subject of anxiety and depression, having suffered with mental health issues throughout his illustrious career. 

A panel discussion on depression and anxiety

Mary Robinson addressing the gathering

Sultana Afdhal, CEO,WISH speaking at the closing ceremony

“As an athlete, I was taught always to be strong, to never show weakness, and push through any obstacle. At times my depression would overpower me and I’d put my head under the water and scream. In the end, I was lucky. I realised that it was ok to talk about it. As I started opening up and talking about my mental health challenges, I found strength, not vulnerability, and I realised that that it’s OK to not be OK,” he explained.
Other topics discussed on the second day of the summit included providing healthcare to remote areas, how healthcare systems plan for the long term, and safety in maternity. 
Former president of Ireland and chairperson of The Elders, Mary Robinson, was another keynote speaker on the second day, with her speech focusing on the ill-effects of climate change on global health. She also recalled previous chairs, Desmond Tutu and Kofi Annan, and called for “a world where everyone enjoys the right to health, a thriving environment, and a peaceful planet to bequeath to subsequent generations.”
Other than the main speeches and panel discussions, the summit exhibition space continued to attract crowds. Delegates were offered the chance to record their ‘One WISH’ for the future of healthcare via a video message wall.
Day two focused heavily on the subject of nursing. A panel discussion was chaired by Lord Nigel Crisp, co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health in the UK Parliament’s House of Lords. Lord Crisp is also co-chair of the ‘Nursing Now’ campaign, which aims to promote nurses’ role in healthcare and nursing as a profession. 
“WISH 2018 has shown that innovation in healthcare can take many forms, from the technology being introduced by young entrepreneurs to exceptional ideas that are being developed by academics, policymakers, NGOs, and the healthcare industry. We need to focus on putting the best ideas into practice,” added Sultana Afdhal, CEO,WISH.

Last updated: November 15 2018 06:24 PM

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