WORLD HEALTH SUMMIT 2010 NEWSLETTER, NO. 6
Berlin, September 9, 2010
World Health Summit – Personalities
Dr. Luis Sambo,Regional Director Africa, World Health Organization
“Five years before the Millennium Development Goal deadline of 2015, there is growing concern that MDG 5 – Improve maternal health – is the one that is furthest off track. Effort to improve maternal and child health requires action on all factors that affect the health of women and children. This includes addressing poverty, hunger, gender inequality, ensuring women’s and children’s rights and improving education for women and girls. The efforts need strong national leadership and ownership, a whole-of-country approach, including not only from all governments, but also from the private sector, foundations, non-governmental organizations and civil society, as well as international organizations.”
These strong words, reflecting the spirit of the World Health Summit, come from Dr. Luis Sambo who will be speaking during a panel discussion on “Accelerating towards Achieving the Millennium Development Goals 4 & 5" at the summit in Berlin.
Dr. Luis Sambo is the Regional Director of WHO for Africa serving his second term in this function.
Under his leadership during the past five years, wide ranging reforms were initiated that have contributed to improvement in health outcomes of the African region.
Prior to joining WHO, Dr. Sambo was the Vice Minister of Health in Angola from 1983-1989. He has served in various positions within WHO including Chief of the Inter-Country Strategic Support Team for Southern African Countries, WHO Country Representative for Guinea Bissau, Head of Health For All Strategy, Director of the Division of Health Systems and Services Development at the Regional Office and Director of Programme Management at the Regional Office.
He holds a medical degree from the University of Angola and the University of Lisbon and specialized in public health at the College of Post-Graduate Medicine, University of Angola.
The WHO African Region has an estimated population of 654 million in 46 Member States, all but one in Sub-Saharan Africa. They are Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, and the Republic of Congo.
Sessions at the World Health Summit
Working Session “Empowerment Through Research:Capacity Building in Low- Income Countries”
The Constitution of the World Health Organization first articulated that health is a fundamental human right in 1946 . As a result, one of the aims of the medical research and scientific community, of the healthcare industry, as well of the many internationally operating health organizations and initiatives is to improve the health of populations around the world. Health interventions play an essential role in reaching this goal. The fact that medical developments are generally concentrated in industrial countries, however, leads to a shortage of approaches appropriate to the particular challenges of the developing world.
Not all health interventions are easily transferable, so developing countries need solutions tailored to their own epidemiological and societal contexts or to specific regional conditions (e.g. lack of cold chain capacity in some developing countries).
Improving cooperation between health research centers in these countries with international centers or organizations in high-income countries can lead to output that is greater than the sum of isolated efforts and support research on relevant illnesses. For example, the task force on Malaria Research Capability Strengthening in Africa, a program of the Multilateral Initiative on Malaria coordinated by the WHO Special Program for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, provided individual grants to African investigators in Europe or the US .
Such international programs and efforts enable African scientists to perform research based in Africa and work on scientific problems in the African context. Also the G8 have declared to focus efforts on training of medical personnel and on establishing stronger health innovation networks in Africa and other regions.
- How could we encourage well educated individuals in academia, industry, and other areas to remain in their countries and provide career opportunities for them?
- Is there a way to successfully commercialize research from developing countries to make it more attractive?
- Is it possible to commercialize ideas and research output to kick off a positively reinforcing cycle of "more investments, more research, more output"?
The World Health Summit will present a Working Session on “Capacity Building in Low-Income Countries” taking up these and other questions on redesigning healthcare provisions and systems. These questions will be raised with the public, private and non-profit- sectors.
This Working Session will be co-hosted by the Academy of Science for the Developing World and the German Academy of Science Leopoldina.
Amongst the confirmed chairmen and speakers for this session are:
- Nelson K. Sewankambo, Principal, Makerere University College of Health Sciences in Uganda
- Peter Singer, Global Challenges of Canada for Africa, Toronto
The Working Session takes place at October 12th, 2010, 10.30-12.30 in Session Room “Langenbeck”.
World Health Summit Network
The M8 Alliance and its Members
The “M8 Alliance of Academies, Universities, and Health Centers” was officially inaugurated on October 14th, 2009, on the occasion of the 1st World Health Summit as a medical and scientific forum of excellence. It is composed of a network of prestigious medical institutions to deal with scientific, political, and economic issues related to medicine and public health, together with stakeholders from politics and industry at the national, European, and international levels. The World Health Summit will be the central platform of the M8 Alliance.
Imperial College of London, United Kingdom
“Knowledge is the glory and the protection of the empire” – is still the motto of Imperial College London today. The college, which was founded in 1907, is currently considered to be one of the world’s leading academic institutions. The rambling campus situated right next to London’s Hyde Park has produced no less than 14 Nobel prize-winners to date – evidence of how good at research the college actually is. “The Imperial” has a firm place in the hearts of many Londoners.
When “The Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine,” which is the college’s official name, was ceremoniously opened on 8 July 1907, none of the founding fathers guessed how important it would soon become. Great Britain was its zenith in terms of both economic influence and science. “The Empire ruled the world.” And in years to come, the researchers, professors and students at Imperial College London were soon to play their part in making Britain a top class academic player.
There were numerous organizational hurdles to overcome before people were able to get down to work in the rambling corridors, lecture theaters and research laboratories. Technically speaking, Imperial College is actually nothing more than an amalgamation of many great time-honoured institutions, some of which are more than 500 years old. The “College of St. Gregory and St. Martin” was founded in 1447. Charing Cross Hospital, Westminster Hospital and St. Mary’s Hospital (all in London) were opened between 1823 and 1845. They were all finally amalgamated into Imperial College. “Together we are stronger” is the college motto.
Today, about 13,400 academics study at the college situated in Kensington, a respectable middle-class area of London, where students and lecturers from all over the world have long been a common sight. What is more, it is impossible to imagine West London today without Imperial College. It has become an important part of Kensington both economically and socially.
If you talk to the students it soon becomes clear that Imperial College is not just any UK university. “I am proud to be able to study here. The admission examination was really difficult and I know that many candidates failed the very first exam,” revealed Emma Potter, a student at Imperial. The college management makes no secret of the fact that the admission of new students is a highly selective process. All candidates must apply for a place through the normal admissions process known as the University and College Admissions Service (UCAS). Most courses require at least 3 A levels. This is the highest achievement in the British school-leaving examination. Between 1999 and 2007, only one out of five applicants was accepted, according to the college. The fact that four out of five applicants do not pass the admission examination shows how hard this examination really is.
Those who pass this hurdle are proud of it. “To study at Imperial College is really special, because it is playing in the top class academic league! It is in no way second to top universities like Oxford and Cambridge,” according to one student.
The college regularly comes out correspondingly well in university rankings and tests, both nationally and internationally. In the Research Assessment Exercise Test 2008 (RAE), five subjects taught at Imperial College, Mathematics, Epidemiology, Public Health as well as various branches of engineering, occupied a top position. The internationally recognized research quality assessment is by no means the least important aspect of the RAE Evaluation. Imperial College has excelled in it for years. Consequently, the campus is popular with international students.
Medicine is a particularly important subject at the college. The Imperial College Healthcare Trust was founded on 1 October 2007. It is an amalgamation of two large British hospitals: the Hammersmith Hospital Trust and St. Mary’s NHS Trust (both in London). These two hospitals, both of which are part of the British state health service (National Health Service, NHS), have amalgamated with the Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College.
The new group, which is organized as a healthcare trust, assumes responsibility for a total of five large NHS hospitals: Charing Cross Hospital, Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital, Hammersmith Hospital, St. Mary’s Hospital and Western Eye Hospital. At present, the Healthcare Trust is the largest of its kind in Great Britain. Every year, more than one million patients are treated by the hospitals attached to it. The annual budget comes to more than 900 million Euros. Interestingly, one of the most important aims of the Imperial College Healthcare Trust is to combine research and daily clinical practice. In other words: research and daily clinical practice are successfully integrated at Imperial. This offers patients treated in the associated hospitals many advantages. It is by no means uncommon for them to benefit from new innovative treatment methods and drug therapies earlier than other British patients.
Like many other British teaching and research institutes, Imperial College London suffers from the present economic crisis. Research funds no longer flow in abundance. Many sponsors are either withdrawing completely or at least reducing their financial commitment. However, experts view the future prospects of Imperial College in a very positive light. In part, this is because of its long tradition. Additionally, the college has succeeded in the past ten years in restructuring both its organization and orientation. International competitiveness plays an increasingly important role here.
Prof. Dr. Stephen K. Smith, Principal of the Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College, London will be the President of the World health Summit this year.
Boehringer Ingelheim initiatives in the fight against HIV/AIDS in developing countries
The HIV/AIDS pandemic is destroying lives and deteriorating living conditions all over the globe. More than 95% of people infected by HIV/AIDS are living in the developing world with limited access to life saving anti-retroviral drugs. Less than 50%% of adults and children in need of anti-retroviral therapies receive them. Also, only 45% of mothers received so far services to prevent the transmission of HIV to their children during birth.
Boehringer Ingelheim shares the view that access to medicines saving human lives cannot be limited to those who can afford them. A multi-sectoral response by national governments, health cares systems, private industry, NGOs and civil society is required with all partners contributing to the best of their abilities and expertise. Boehringer Ingelheim has demonstrated its corporate social responsibility for developing countries through the Viramune® Donation Programme, implemented in 2000 for the prevention of mother-to-child-transmission, preferential pricing, voluntary licensing and various health care development supporting activities.
Expanded Access - Patent Policy for the developing world
In the past Boehringer Ingelheim granted Voluntary Licenses to several companies in Africa enabling them to produce generic nevirapine as part of a medicine combination to treat HIV/AIDS for low income countries. In order to further improve and facilitate access to nevirapine, Boehringer Ingelheim will not enforce its patents. It offers interested manufactures listed on the WHO prequalification list “non-assert declarations” allowing them to supply nevirapine-containing medicines for all low income countries according to the World Bank classification of economies, all countries classified as Least Developed Country (LDC) according to the United Nations and all African states which are not classified as low income of LDC like South Africa and Botswana.
Expanded Access - Preferential Pricing policy for anti-retroviral drugs
The company offers a tiered preferential price with a total of 141 countries benefiting from the scheme. The prices do not reflect any costs for research and development or distribution which are born by the company.
Prevention of Mother-to-Child-Transmission (pmtct)
Viramune® Donation Programme
The Viramune Donation Programme is Boehringer Ingelheim`s contribution to pmtct in developing countries. It serves as a catalyst for building health care infrastructure and has the potential to reach out to more remote sites. So far more than 1.9 mother/infant pairs could benefit from the programme which provides single-dose nevirapine for mother and baby free of charge for pmtct. Where available it should be administered with additional anti-retroviral medicine as recommended by WHO. Recent studies suggest that in women and infants previously treated with single-dose nevirapine for prevention of mother-to-child-transmission of HIV-1, the efficacy of subsequent Viramune® combination therapy may be reduced.
We Care- Health Care Development supporting activities
Boehringer Ingelheim regards capacity building and human resources development as a crucial objective in any health care development policy in emerging economies. The company contributes to this endeavour, for example with active involvement in health education and training programmes, improving health care infrastructure and special efforts such as strengthening of supply chain management systems.
World Health Summit Charity Night – World Doctors Orchestra
Ludwig van Beethoven, Sinfony No. 9
The World Doctors Orchestra combines the pleasure of fine music with global medical responsibility
Twice a year, around 100 physicians from over twenty nations exchange their white coats for evening attire and perform a benefit concert for people in need of health care. Founder and conductor of the World Doctors Orchestra is Prof. Stefan Willich. He chose his fellow musicians from 300 candidates with outstanding musical credentials. Read more
World Health Summit Charity Night on Monday, October 11, 2010, 7.30 p.m. at the Concert Hall, Gendarmenmarkt with keynote speaker Luc Antoine Montagnier (Nobel Prize Laureate 2006)
Although all of the physicians share a passion for music, this is not an end in itself. Indeed, the driving force behind the World Doctors Orchestra is the conviction that neither national borders nor political or economic interests should limit access to adequate health care. With its series of benefit concerts, the World Doctors Orchestra wants to raise awareness of the need for a global social concept in public health based on the premise that health care is a human right and a precondition for human development. An international orchestra as a worldwide “medical ambassador”.
The World Doctors Orchestra is a registered non-profit association, independent of any political, religious, or economic influences. The concerts in 2009 are supported by sponsoring partners. In 2010 additional charity concerts are planned both in and outside Europe.
The Philharmonic Choir Berlin is one of Germany’s most renowned choirs enjoying a long tradition. Foundet in 1882, Jörg-Peter Weigle is the director since 2003. Since its foundation, the Philharmonic Choir Berlin has been working with internationally known guest conductors, including Claudio Abbado, Riccardo Chailly, or Vladimir Ashkenazy. Furthermore, numerous radio, TV and CD productions as well as concerts in Europe and lately in Asia document the great versatility of the choir.
This 5th charity concert is also the gala concert of the World Health Summit 2010 and part of the celebrations of the 300 year anniversary of the Charité Berlin. It takes place in cooperation with the Berliner Wissenschaftsjahr 2010 “Berlin - Hauptstadt für die Wissenschaft” .
The proceeds of the concert evening will go to three medical aid projects:
- The Berlin Center for the Treatment of Torture Victims (bzfo)
- Centre Intégré de Recherches Biocliniques d’Abidjan (CIRBA)
Conductor: Stefan Willich
Philharmonic Choir Berlin
Rehearsal: Jörg-Peter Weigle
Soloists: Anja Kampe, Soprano
Simone Schröder, Alto
Endrick Wottrich, Tenor
Falk Struckmann, Bassbariton
Tickets for the World Doctors Orchestra are available with your registration to the World Health Summit (registration(at)worldhealthsummit.org, Tel.: +49 (0)30 24603 240) or at the Concert Hall, ticket hotline +49 (0)30 20309-2101 or online under www.konzerthaus.de and at all booking offices.
World Health Summit Secretariat
c/o K.I.T Group GmbH
Association & Conference Management Group
Kurfürstendamm 71, 10709 Berlin
Tel.: +49 30 246 03 240