The World Health Summit 2022 took place in Berlin on 16-18 October, bringing together over 4000 participants from 141 countries. The aim was to engage global health leaders and stakeholders to pursue innovation in the face of global health challenges and to reaffirm the position of global health as a key political issue to foster health and wellbeing of all.
The summit spotlighted various key topics, including investments for health and wellbeing, climate change and planetary health, the digital transition in health, sustainable food systems and health systems resilience and equity.
The Summit took place at a timely moment, as the European Commission is developing an EU Global Health Strategy. With the strategy launch foreseen for 16 November, the Commission’s forthcoming proposal strives to elevate the role of health with international partners, going beyond development policy.
Our main takeaway from the Summit? The need for sustainable and equitable investment in health and wellbeing to ensure an equitable global health order is more urgent than ever. Leaders must engage in inclusive discussions on global health, considering government structures, fragmentation, sustainable financing and human rights.
- Improving global health outcomes cannot be achieved without representation, decision makers must question who the real “expert groups” are when making decisions.
- It is crucial to tackle misinformation. 1 in 2 Europeans use Google as a first point of contact in their healthcare journey. We must push social platforms to do better and create policies to achieve reliable, safe and inclusive spaces for users.
- With much talk surrounding prevention and being prepared for the next crisis, disease prevention and health promotion should be taken on board not only to reduce the burden of communicable disease and NCDs, but also to facilitate economic recovery. Investing health will lead to return on investments not only in the cost of health care, but also by allowing economies to bounce back quicker. As outlined by Ye Kung Ong, Minister for Health from Singapore, our current systems are investing in “sick care” not healthcare.
- Youth engagement was a major highlight of this year’s summit. Many young bright minds had the opportunity to use their voice and present on stage. May this continue not just as a box to tick but for “meaningful youth engagement” as brought up by Helga Mutasingwa M.D. of the Global Youth Mobilization.