World Health Summit

By Seema Biswas

The World Health Summit was held in Berlin last week. Leaders in Global Health from universities, health services, policy institutes and the humanitarian sector came together to discuss the health of populations, including some of the world’s most vulnerable communities affected by conflict and disaster. The topics for discussion were timely. No one could have escaped news of the tragedy of the civil war in Yemen, South Sudan and Syria, the challenges to peace, security and development in Afghanistan and Iraq, the effects of climate change as Haiti is once again struck by disaster, and the daunting work ahead on the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. What was heart-warming was the number of students taking part: medical students, students studying health policy, politics, the social sciences and information technology.

It is only by working together that we can make meaningful progress on health disparities, in serving the health needs of mothers and children, people with chronic disease, populations fleeing conflict and trapped in war zones and underserved communities across the world.

Discussion focussed on addressing the social determinants of health and socioeconomic disparities for global security, universal access to healthcare, and advocacy that is mindful of people as individuals with their own histories and identities.

A call was sent out to build an evidence base that can be used to inform policy. At BMJ Case Reports, our global health case reports highlight the determinants of health that affect individuals and the challenges they face in accessing quality healthcare. Read through our online collection and submit your cases. Together we can advocate for needs of our patients.