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Newsletter 03/2022: Refugee Health & Global Health Security

Dear friends,

Since Russia’s invasion began in Ukraine on February 24, more than 10 million people were forced to flee their homes, of which almost 4 million had to cross borders as refugees. Thousands of people have been killed. Our partner the World Health Organization (WHO) reports more than 80 attacks on health care (as of March 30, source WHO) since the beginning of the war: violations of international humanitarian law and human rights constitute outright war crimes, which can only be condemned in the strongest way possible.

The war in Ukraine also affects those already in need when prices for essential goods like grain or energy rise. Many African countries import wheat from Ukraine and Russia, and now empty silos are threatening food supplies for millions of people. It is a humanitarian crisis and a global health disaster.

Furthermore, this inexcusable aggression increases the burden on the global climate, and above all that, the COVID pandemic is far from over. Only a peaceful world where all nations respect international agreements and borders can sustain human and planetary health and well-being.

Refugee health, global health security, pandemic prevention and response, and improving the international health architecture are top priorities. And they will be central issues at the World Health Summit 2022 together with WHO in October in Berlin.

Finding solutions for global health is the motto of the World Health Summit. And it remains more important than ever.

Stay safe and healthy!

Axel R. Pries
World Health Summit


The World Health Summit 2022 is taking place October 16-18.

Central Topics

- Investment for Health and Well-Being
- Pandemic Preparedness
- Digital Transformation for Health
- Health is a Political Choice
- Strengthening Health Systems Resilience
- Health Equity


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& Digital

Check our website for regular updates on #WHS2022.

The World Health Summit 2022 is the first WHS together with WHO and a kick-off: a joint summit will be taking place every three years from now on. Want to know more about the collaboration? Click here


Getting ready for the World Health Summit Regional Meeting 2022, June 15-17 in Rome, Italy. Hosted and organized by M8 Alliance member Sapienza University of Rome.

Central Topics: 

– Vaccine Development and Policies: Challenges and Strategies
– Healthcare Systems
– Metabolic Syndrome and Chronic Diseases
– New Technologies and personalized Therapies
– New Frontiers in Healthcare Promotion

Keynote Speakers:

John P.A. Ioannidis, Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology and Population Health, Stanford, USA
Anna Vassall, Professor of Health Economics, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK
Joseph Loscalzo, Chair, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, USA
Heidi J. Larson, Director, The Vaccine Confidence Project, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK

More on speakers, program, host, and venue


Registration for on-site participation is open. Early bird registration is available until April 15.
Visit the registration website for details.


Joint Statement from UNICEF, UNFPA, and WHO: Stop Attacks on Health Care in Ukraine

The UN-organizations UNICEF, UNFPA, and WHO call "for an immediate cessation of all attacks on health care in Ukraine" in a joint statement from March 13. "These horrific attacks are killing and causing serious injuries to patients and health workers, destroying vital health infrastructure and forcing thousands to forgo accessing health services despite catastrophic needs." The World Health Summit joins this call to end the violent attacks and harm done to Ukrainian civilians.

WHO Regional Offices Europe, Africa, and Eastern Mediterranean: Prioritizing the Health of Refugees and Migrants 

Promoting a whole-of-route approach to refugee and migrant health was the goal of a special high-level meeting. The three Regional Offices Europe, Africa, and Eastern Mediterranean of WHO convened in Istanbul on March 18 to bring together governments, civil society, and health partners to address the health and well-being of refugees and migrants as well as host communities. The result is a 5+5 framework - 5 lessons learned and 5 priority actions - to "reframe our mindsets on migration, from burden to opportunity; to share lessons learned and practical solutions; and to build a tri-regional partnership for action".


M8 Alliance Focus Topic: Migrant and Refugee Health

In light of the Russian war against the Ukraine and the resulting refugee crisis, the webinars on different aspects of Migrant and Refugee Health organized by the M8 Alliance, and in particular its member Sapienza University, are highly relevant. Migrant and Refugee Health has been a focus topic of the M8 Alliance for many years with regular expert meetings and sessions at the World Health Summit.

Recordings of all webinars on topics like Health of Children on the Move, Ensuring the COVID-19 Vaccine Reaches Undocumented Migrants and many more are available on the World Health Summit YouTube channel

Want to know more on on the webinar series, expert meetings, and the focus topic? Here's the info


Virchow Prize for Global Health: Call for Nominations

For the first time this year, the Virchow Prize for Global Health will be awarded on October 15, on the eve of the World Health Summit 2022. Laureates of this major international prize will be honored for their longstanding commitment and contributions towards improving health and well-being for all. Nominations may be submitted from April 1.

Get all information on the nomination process.


Epidemiologist Jakob Zinsstag, One Health pioneer and speaker at the World Health Summit 2021 (One Health: Good Practices and Challenges) is starring in a new multimedia report from Switzerland on One Health and Pandemics (in German). Here is his part at #WHS2021.

World Health Summit

Regional Meeting 2022

Rome, Italy & Digital

June 15-17, 2022

World Health Summit 2022

Together with WHO

Berlin, Germany & Digital

October 16-18, 2022

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