Programme

May 27, 2024
Coffee break

10:30 am - 11:00 am

Lunch break

12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

Coffee break

3:30 pm - 4:00 pm

CERN Challenge

4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Coffee break

5:30 pm - 6:00 pm

May 28, 2024
Coffee break

10:30 am - 11:00 am

Lunch break

12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

Coffee break

3:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Coffee break

5:30 pm - 6:00 pm

May 29, 2024
Coffee break

10:30 am - 11:00 am

Lunch break

12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

Coffee break

3:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Coffee break

5:30 pm - 6:00 pm

To view Side Events, click here

The Silent Threat: Exploring pollution’s impact on health

Environmental pollution poses significant risks to both our physical and mental well-being. While the adverse effects of air, water, and soil pollution are well-documented in scientific literature, emerging concerns such as pollution from microplastics and chemicals are only now coming to light.

Yet, gaining a comprehensive understanding of the issue remains challenging due to the complexity of ecological interactions. Moreover, certain industrial lobbies often undermine discussions by downplaying the harmful effects of pollution or questioning scientific evidence.

This session aims to foster a shared understanding of the situation and to compile a comprehensive inventory of initiatives aimed at mitigating the health impacts of pollution. Through the presentation of concrete examples, we will seek to quantify the mortality and morbidity associated with pollution, with a particular focus on low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Additionally, we will explore the potential for addressing pollution to reverse its adverse effects on health and the environment.

Bridging science and policy on health and pollution

The pervasive presence of chemicals, waste, and pollution in our daily lives poses a direct threat to both the environment and human health. Recognizing this urgent need for action, on March 2, 2022, the United Nations Environment Assembly of the United Nations Environment Programme made the decision to establish a science-policy panel. This panel aims to enhance the sound management of chemicals and waste while preventing pollution.

Currently, a series of consultations is underway to define the organizational framework of this expert group. The third and final stage of these consultations is scheduled to take place in Geneva from June 17 to 21, 2024.

During this session of the GHF, we will try to understand how this science-policy panel will function and how the scientific community and civil society organizations can actively contribute to its work. Additionally, we will investigate the potential synergies and interactions between this new panel and existing bodies such as the IPCC and IPBES.

Impact of the health system on the environment in LMICs

The activities of the healthcare system, which represent a major part of the economy, have a significant impact on the environment. Depending on the country, healthcare systems are responsible for between 3% and 10% of national carbon emissions. Numerous studies in Europe and the United States have investigated this issue, with ongoing initiatives aimed at reducing the environmental footprint of healthcare facilities.

In countries with limited resources, the debate is still in its infancy. Healthcare systems are organized differently, and the solutions developed in Europe may not align with the needs of LMICs. Challenges such as waste management, energy efficiency, and supply chain optimization are at the forefront of concerns.

Rather than seeing environmental measures as new constraints, there is an opportunity to leverage these challenges to drive transformative strategies within the healthcare sector.

This session of the GHF will delve into the environmental impact of healthcare systems in LMICs, seeking to pinpoint obstacles and opportunities for integrating environmental concerns into efforts to revitalize healthcare infrastructure.

Presentations from the field

The Geneva health forum attaches great importance to ensuring that the voices of those who implement programs on the ground are heard.

Their practical experience is invaluable in assessing and adjusting global health strategies.

Six oral presentations will report on experiences in DRC, France, Niger, Tunisia, Ivory Coast.

Numerous other experiences will be presented via electronic posters.

Satellite Symposium 1-1 (TBA)

Satellite Symposium 1-2 (TBA)

Essential learning for health emergencies and public health – WHO’s open source online learning platform

The global landscape of education and knowledge transfer has been significantly altered by the COVID-19 pandemic. This global crisis has compelled us to rethink our conventional methods of imparting knowledge, urging us to swiftly adapt, enhance, harness technology, and embrace innovations to ensure the efficient, effective, and timely dissemination of health-related information.

The OpenWHO.org online learning platform, endorsed by the World Health Organization, has played a pivotal role in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by expanding its course offerings. It now offers approximately 50 self-paced online courses covering all facets of COVID-19 response, as well as a broad spectrum of over 250 health-related courses across 72 languages.

With over 8 million enrolments hailing from diverse countries worldwide, OpenWHO has extended its learning outreach to previously marginalized groups, including women, individuals over the age of 70, and those under the age of 20.The digitization of learning has served as a bridge, enabling previously underserved participants to access learning programs. The World Health Organization has reported an expansion of learning opportunities in low- and middle-income countries.These courses are freely accessible in multiple languages and are designed to be user-friendly, accommodating individuals with disabilities.

Feedback from learners across all demographics highlights the immense value of just-in-time learning and skill-building in emergency situations, such as epidemics and pandemics.

In anticipation of future pandemics including climate-related major public health emergencies, we are proactively preparing for forthcoming events and the learning response required to address them.

This session aims to present the key findings from OpenWHO.org, WHO’s open access online learning platform, during the learning response to the COVID-19 pandemic and how it informs and helps anticipate the future of learning in the next pandemic and other future potential climate-related major health events.

Organized by
Open WHO

Geneva at the heart of global health cooperation: Insights from WHO and Collaborating Centres

WHO collaborating centres are institutions such as research institutes, parts of universities or academies, which are designated by the Director-General to carry out activities in support of the Organization’s programmes. The WHO collaborating centres are an essential and cost-effective cooperation mechanism, which enables the Organization to fulfill its mandated activities and to harness resources far exceeding its own.

Currently there are over 800 WHO collaborating centres in over 80 Member States working with WHO on areas such as nursing, occupational health, communicable diseases, nutrition, mental health, chronic diseases and health technologies.” Source WHO

This session will explain what is a WHO Collaborating Centre (WHOCC) and what are the benefits of such collaboration mechanism for Global Health. The session will offer an illustration of WHOCCs’ work, based on the experience of 3 active Geneva WHOCC:

  • WHO Collaborating Centre for Telemedicine
  • WHO Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Mental Health
  • WHO Collaborating Centre for Humanitarian Medicine and Disaster Management


Organized by:
Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève (HUG – Geneva University Hospitals)

Reaching elimination of neglected tropical diseases: Challenges and next steps

Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a diverse group of mostly poverty-related health conditions prioritized by the World Health Organization (WHO) for control or elimination. NTDs cause illness, disability, social stigma, and sometimes death, with significant economic impacts on developing economies and the communities within them. The WHO NTD Roadmap has targeted two NTDs for eradication (dracunculiasis and yaws) and eight for elimination as public health problems by 2030 by reducing morbidity and mortality to below agreed thresholds for each: Chagas disease, human African trypanosomiasis, visceral leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, rabies, schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminths, and trachoma.

Substantial efforts have been made by governments of affected countries and their partners to strengthen national disease control programmes, and to develop and evaluate new tools for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of these diseases. Global initiatives have sought to raise funds, commitments, and momentum. These efforts have seen important successes for some NTDs, including human African trypanosomiasis, visceral leishmaniasis, schistosomiasis, lymphatic filariasis, and trachoma, while others, such as rabies, are lagging behind 2030 targets.

Approaching elimination of any disease brings a new set of practical last-mile challenges, and reaching elimination brings the need to sustain success. We do not yet have all the tools required for the prevention or simplified diagnosis and treatment of all diseases slated for

Organized by
DNDi

CERN Challenge

EVENING EVENT:
Impact of climate change on the most vulnerable populations

Climate change exerts significant effects on human health, amplifying risks associated with emerging pathogens, pollution, and extreme weather events.

While the impacts are widespread, vulnerable populations face disproportionate risks. Countries in tropical zones are particularly susceptible to the ravages of storms, floods, and droughts, while climate-sensitive diseases like malaria and dengue fever extend their reach to new territories. Factors such as dependence on agriculture, rapid population growth, and limited financial resources hinder the ability of developing countries to adapt effectively.

In northern regions, vulnerable populations, including the elderly, migrants, precarious households and the homeless, bear the brunt of extreme weather events.

The objective of this session is to deepen our understanding of the scope of climate change’s impact on vulnerable populations. It will examine the effects in tropical countries and among vulnerable populations in the North. Additionally, we will explore potential initiatives to mitigate these impacts and enhance resilience.

The health situation of refugees and migrants : Where do we stand?

The precarious conditions to which migrants are subjected affect their physical and mental health. Migrants face numerous obstacles to accessing essential health services: irregular status, language barriers, lack of health policies that include them, and inaccessibility of services. The high morbidity and mortality rates among migrants, especially in cases of irregular or forced migration or exploitation, constitute a major underestimated health problem that deserves more attention.

In recent years, several international initiatives have attempted to provide global frameworks for action to tackle these difficulties, but the situation remains fragile.

This session will provide a common understanding of the situation of the health and well-being of migrants and refugees. We will try to understand the main health issues facing migrants and refugees. We would like also to understand the main obstacles to improving health and access to healthcare for migrants and refugees. Finally we will make an overview of the different global initiatives done to improve the health of the refugees and migrants.

Lessons Learned: Effective practices in enhancing migrant health

Improving the health of migrants can only be achieved if inclusive national health policies are developed, enabling real access to care and taking into account the social determinants of health.

On a day-to-day basis, healthcare professionals and NGOs in the field are developing initiatives to meet the needs they encounter. Health services must take steps to overcome linguistic, social and cultural barriers to care. Partnerships between public institutions and civil society players are essential. Involving migrants themselves in the management of their own health is a key element.

This session will showcase some innovative initiatives and encourage exchanges of experience between local players and leaders of international organizations.

Ensuring continuity of care at different stages of the migration process

Migrants in mobile situations often face greater health risks, due to hazardous journeys, psychosocial stressors, abuse, nutritional deficiencies or exposure to infectious diseases… Mobility also makes it more difficult to access local healthcare services. Continuity of care for people with chronic illnesses is also made more difficult by mobility.

Ensuring continuity of care for migrants who are constantly on the move can be difficult, but crucial to their health and well-being.

The networking of care services provided by public authorities and NGOs is still in its infancy. The use of digital tools for medical records and telemedicine is growing, but poses a number of problems when it comes to data protection. Mobile applications aimed directly at migrants can facilitate access to services in host countries.

This session will seek to build a common understanding of the difficulty of ensuring continuity of care during migratory journeys. It will also share experiences that improve the health of migrants and refugees, or facilitate access to care during displacement and migration.

Presentations from the field

The Geneva Health Forum attaches great importance to ensuring that the voices of those who implement programs on the ground are heard.

Their practical experience is invaluable in assessing and adjusting global health strategies.

Six oral presentations will report on experiences in Kenya, Italia, Moldava, Pakistan, Ukraine.

Numerous other experiences will be presented via electronic posters.

Addressing Climate Change for Health Resilience and Adaptation (Vanke Scool of Public Health)

Climate change is the biggest global health threat of the 21st century. It transcends environmental paradigms, encompassing vital public health dimensions. The escalation of extreme weather phenomena—heatwaves, floods, droughts, wildfires—ushers in substantial health risks to humanity. These climatic adversities disproportionately burden vulnerable communities and amplify existing health disparities.

This symposium convenes an alliance of global stakeholders: environmental health experts, climate scientists, public health leaders, government officials, and others, to share the latest knowledge and experiences. Together, we will discuss the health impacts of climate change, with a particular emphasis on vulnerable populations. We will also explore the adaptation and mitigation strategies within the context of carbon neutrality, aiming to safeguard population health and well-being. Moreover, by emphasizing interdisciplinary collaboration, we aim to cultivate innovative solutions for mitigating and adapting to the health risks of climate change throughout all stages of life, thereby strengthening resilience for a more robust and healthier future.

Organized by:

Vanke School of Public Health (Tsingua University, Beijing)

 

 

Strengthening surveillance, preparedness, and response to health crises through the operationalization of the humanitarian-development nexus – challenges and lessons learnt.

The operationalization of the humanitarian-development nexus in health plays a crucial role in strengthening the surveillance, preparation, and response to healthcare crises by local health systems and communities, especially in the current context of local conflict and global climate change. The humanitarian-development nexus emphasizes the integration and collaboration between humanitarian and development actors, recognizing the need for a continuum of support from emergency response to long-term development and vice-versa.

Strengthening the Nexus involves harmonizing efforts in analysis, planning, programming, and coordination among humanitarian and development actors (The New Way of Working, WHO). There is not sequencing or transition between humanitarian and development programming, but a need to work alongside, managing complementarities between the two (from continuum to contiguum). The Nexus is not a sum of both sectors, it is not a linear process, and it is not about shifting resources; instead, Nexus is about implementing short-term and long-term activities that happen in parallel to contribute to the SDGs and leaving no one behind. The Nexus concept requires the international aid system to commit in a new paradigm with three fundamental shifts:

  • Favor the reinforcement before replacement of national and local systems.
  • Anticipate, do not wait for, crises.
  • Work towards collective outcomes, based on comparative advantages and over multi-year time frames.


Similarly, the development sector should:

  1. Reach the most vulnerable and poorest in society usually regarded as “humanitarian” caseload.
  2. Strengthen local health systems and communities to be able to respond to crises.
  3. Integrate preparedness and response plans for humanitarian crises to reduce losses.


Preparing for disasters saves countless lives, speeds up people’s recovery and saves money. At the same time, donors, governments, and organizations should include the concept of crisis modifier in their strategies in countries facing humanitarian crises. If implemented effectively, a crisis modifier allows development agencies to respond quickly to anticipated or observed crises, while continuing to invest in projects that address the root causes of people’s vulnerability to shocks and stresses. It’s a practical means to avert or reduce the impact of a crisis on beneficiaries and protect resilience trajectories.

The nexus in health represents an effort to deliver health services equally, continuously, and resiliently to address population needs within protracted crises that might last for many years and that will have volatile evolutions.

Guiding principles of Nexus programming are as follows:

  • Humanitarian intervention should apply early recovery approaches from the onset of their response and should seek integration with existing health services and transition governance to local authorities.
  • Development-oriented work streams should target fragile and conflict-affected areas addressing key bottlenecks in health system performance with more flexibility and adapted management of risks.
  • Implementation needs to be supported by predictable, flexible, and sustainable humanitarian and development funding and coordination and dialogue among all stakeholders.


Humanitarian and development health intervention should be conflict sensitive, designed to do not exacerbate the root causes of the conflict but to contribute to social cohesion, equity, and inclusion, and therefore, contribute to peacebuilding in the humanitarian-development-peace triple nexus. It is necessary to engage in joint evidence-based advocacy to ensure that political decisions aim to sustainably support programs on this subject.

This side event is expected to generate a wealth of knowledge, insights, and collaboration opportunities that can further support the integration of development and humanitarian efforts in the health sector. By analysing experiences, sharing good practices, highlighting policy changes, and addressing challenges, the event can contribute to a more cohesive and effective approach to respond to health crises in complex and dynamic environments.

Operationalizing One Health & Planetary Health in Humanitarian Settings: Research & Practice

Climate change, natural disasters, and other disruptions associated with global environmental change either cause many current humanitarian crises worldwide or exacerbate their severity and scale.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the global environmental crisis have engendered unprecedented political momentum and scientific interest in the concepts of One Health and Planetary Health. These concepts, rooted in the interdependence of human, animal, and environmental health, advocate for integrated and preventive health approaches, gradually permeating the humanitarian sector and presenting new opportunities and challenges for application.

Thanks to funding from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), the inaugural workshop on this topic convened in Geneva in November 2023. Bringing together 38 experts and practitioners from 21 organizations, this workshop laid the groundwork for ongoing discussions and emerging collaborations between academia and humanitarian actors.

The proposed second workshop will serve as a platform to present and discuss results, recommendations, and actions for operationalizing One Health and Planetary Health in humanitarian settings. It will also assess interest among a broader cross-sectoral audience and identify opportunities for funding and project development in the field.

Equitable access to medical innovation for neglected and climate-sensitive infectious diseases: the role of collaborative research platforms

One of the challenges – and injustices – of fighting neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) is that much of the world’s infrastructure, clinical research capacity, and funding for drug, vaccine, and diagnostics research and development is in the so-called “global north”, but the vast majority of the 1.6 billion people in need of medical intervention for the prevention, diagnosis or treatment of NTDs is in the “global south”, along with most of the relevant disease-specific clinical knowledge and expertise. A second major challenge is that there is little market incentive for diagnostics and pharmaceutical companies to invest in medical innovation for NTDs.

While India has long been an important manufacturer of generic drugs to meet global needs, major initiatives to greatly increase clinical research and regional manufacturing capacity around the world are only starting to accelerate now with post-COVID momentum and funding to prevent a repeat of the access inequities seen during the pandemic.

Pandemic preparedness efforts have much to learn from the varied research platforms of the NTD research world. In the absence of market-driven research, NTD researchers have built productive collaborations, bridging clinicians and scientists and their research institutions, national disease control programmes, health ministries, and regulatory authorities in endemic countries with universities and pharmaceutical companies in Asia, Europe, and North America. With the support of global health funders and the engagement of civil society and affected communities, these platforms and partnerships have led to important increases in clinical research capacity in endemic countries and promoted scientific exchange, ultimately leading to the development of safe and affordable new drugs and diagnostics for NTDs.

On the clinical side, the NTD-focused research platform approach has led to the development of disease-specific collaborations for the evaluation of new drugs and diagnostics, such as the Leishmaniasis East Africa Platform, the HAT Platform for sleeping sickness in Africa, the Chagas Platform in Latin America, and, more recently, the cross-regional Dengue Alliance. These collaborations are also supporting an increase in epidemiological research, strengthening the ethics and regulatory environment for research, and building pharmacovigilance and post-market surveillance capacity. There are also consortium approaches at the early drug discovery stage, such as Lead Optimization Latin America (LOLA), which brings together expertise from academia, research institutes, and pharmaceutical companies to share knowledge and promote medical innovation for neglected diseases that affect people in the region.

The aims of this session is to highlight the important role of the research platform approach to developing new drugs and diagnostics for NTDs

Organized by
DNDi

Moving mountains: Leveraging nursing and Midwifery Policy Leadership in Central Asia and beyond to improve health outcomes

Nurses and midwives are often the first point of contact; in Central Asia they account for 70% of health workers and for 90% of the contacts with patients. They are crucial in improving access to quality health care, especially in rural, hard-to-reach and underserved areas.

The objective of this session is to showcase the work of Government Chief Nurses from 4 Central Asian Countries Countries (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) in introducing a broad set of reforms to strengthen the capacity of nurses and midwives to achieve Universal Health Coverage in their respective countries, hence contributing to the WHO Global Strategic Direction for Nursing and Midwifery for 2021-2025 which focus on education, jobs, leadership and service delivery.

Organized by

  • WHO Europe
  • HUG

EVENING EVENT:
In their Own Words: migrants’ perspectives unveiled

We often have an oversimplified view of the health and healthcare problems faced by migrants. It’s a good idea to take the time to listen to the migrants themselves to better understand their experience.

Migrants can play an active role in managing their health and take part in collective self-help activities. Translators, health mediators, participation in research on migrants, and the creation of peer support groups are just some of the ways in which they can get involved.

The aim of this session is to change our perspective on migrants. Listening and recognizing all the energy and resources that migrants can bring is a way to restore their dignity.

Elimination of malaria : Where do we stand?

Since the malaria elimination strategy was adopted by the World Health Assembly in 2015, much progress has been achieved. While the emergence of new tools such as vaccines, novel insecticides, and the utilization of tafenoquine raises hope, new obstacles, such as resistance to treatments, have surfaced.

This session will provide a shared understanding of the progress that has been made and the challenges that remain to eliminate malaria.

Emphasis will be placed on the imperative to consider vulnerable populations, including pregnant women and those affected by poverty. Discussions underscore the critical necessity for sustained investment in all malaria-combating resources.

What role can the vaccine play in eliminating malaria?

From October 2023, WHO recommends the use of malaria vaccines for the prevention of P. falciparum malaria in children living in malaria-endemic areas, giving priority to areas of moderate and high transmission.

Two vaccines have been recommended by the WHO (the RTS,S/AS01 vaccine developed by GSK and the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative, and the R21/Matrix-M vaccine developed by Oxford University and the Serum Institute of India).

Both vaccines have been shown to be safe and effective in preventing malaria in children and, if implemented on a large scale, should have a significant impact on public health.

Hopes are high for these vaccines, and 28 countries have already expressed interest in implementing them.
The WHO has made it clear that this vaccine is not a silver bullet, and that it must be used in conjunction with existing tools. Large-scale implementation of this vaccine also poses a number of financial and logistical challenges.

This session will give a global overview of the interest in these vaccines (vaccine efficacy, studies carried out, countries involved). The aim is to understand the role that vaccines can play in malaria control and elimination, in addition to the malaria control tools currently in use.
The opportunities and challenges of vaccine implementation will be identified.
The importance of maintaining the need for a holistic strategy integrating the various malaria control tools will be emphasized.

Elimination of Malaria : good practices from the field

In addition to vaccination, a number of other innovations offer hope of eliminating malaria. Not all countries are at the same stage of endemicity, and local environmental and economic disparities are considerable. Solutions therefore need to be adapted to local circumstances.

Many innovative strategies are being implemented, sometimes aided by technical innovations (G6PD deficiency testing, tafenoquine, new insecticides, etc.).

The need for reliable diagnosis, the need to maintain effective surveillance, the desire to reach vulnerable populations (pregnant women, migrants, isolated populations…) all call for further efforts.

This session will identify innovative tools and strategies that can be put in place to combat malaria. It will share experiences of the difficulties encountered in the field, and emphasize the importance of developing partnerships for financing, implementation and research. The importance of involving local communities, particularly vulnerable populations, will also be discussed.

Presentations from the field

The Geneva health forum attaches great importance to ensuring that the voices of those who implement programs on the ground are heard.

Their practical experience is invaluable in assessing and adjusting global health strategies.

Six oral presentations will report on experiences in India, Guyana, Suriname, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya and Mali.

Numerous other experiences will be presented via electronic posters.

“Accelerating action against vector-borne and infectious diseases in a changing world” IFPMA

Vector-borne diseases, like dengue, malaria, and other infectious diseases, including neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), are being exacerbated by climate change, demographic shifts, and other environmental factors in today’s rapidly changing world. The battle against these diseases underscores the critical role of innovation in developing new tools, treatments, and strategies for disease management and prevention.

On the margins of the 77th World Health Assembly, join us for a satellite symposium at the Geneva Health Forum. A distinguished panel of experts will underscore the need for continued innovation to address these diseases and discuss the value of multistakeholder strategic partnerships – across the value chain – to ensure delivery to more patients and communities.

NCD (Non-Communicable Disease) management during conflicts: lessons from Ukraine

Do we need a feminist global health policy to spur women’s health innovation? Part 1: Gender biases in Research & Development

In the realm of global health policy and research, persistent and historical gender biases continue to permeate a largely patriarchal ecosystem. These biases result in the oversight of crucial gender dimensions and disadvantage women’s health, hindering adequate investment and innovation tailored to address women’s unique and diverse health needs.

Despite growing awareness of these biases and increased efforts by civil society, academia, and the philanthropic sector (such as the White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research, and the Women’s Health Innovation Opportunity Map by NIH and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) to spur gender responsive and inclusive research and innovation to advance women’s health, progress remains slow and fragmented.

In two sessions, we will delve into the landscape of women’s health research and development (R&D), examining the existing barriers and disparities through a gender lens. Our conversation aims to connect the dots between persistent gender biases in research and the transformative potential of a feminist global health policy (FGHP). By shining a spotlight on the barriers and obstacles in advancing women’s health R&D, we seek to explore whether a FGHP holds the potential to accelerate the discovery and enhance the accessibility of new innovations, crucial to interrupting the prevailing health inequities, particularly those that disproportionately affect women.

Part 1 ‘Gender biases in Research & Development’ aims to explore whether a feminist global health policy (FGHP) is the transformative force needed to disrupt and reconstruct a new global health ecosystem to propel gender equality, address health inequities, and accelerate efforts towards social justice.

Our distinguished panel will shed light on lessons learned from the application of feminist foreign policies, exploring promises and pitfalls of these efforts. The discussion will also include valuable recommendations to spur innovation and advance women’s health in all its diversities.

The objectives of this session are to

  • Examine gender-related barriers and gender disparities in women’s health research and development, identifying challenges hindering innovation.
  • Explore the potential impact of a Feminist Global Health Policy in accelerating the discovery and accessibility of innovative solutions to address health inequities for women.


Organized by

  • Concept Foundation
  • Gendro

Do we need a feminist global health policy to spur women’s health innovation? Part 2: Drug drought in Women’s Health

In the realm of global health policy and research, persistent and historical gender biases continue to permeate a largely patriarchal ecosystem. These biases result in the oversight of crucial gender dimensions and disadvantage women’s health, hindering adequate investment and innovation tailored to address women’s unique and diverse health needs.

Despite growing awareness of these biases and increased efforts by civil society, academia, and the philanthropic sector (such as the White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research, and the Women’s Health Innovation Opportunity Map by NIH and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) to spur gender responsive and inclusive research and innovation to advance women’s health, progress remains slow and fragmented.

In two sessions, we will delve into the landscape of women’s health research and development (R&D), examining the existing barriers and disparities through a gender lens. Our conversation aims to connect the dots between persistent gender biases in research and the transformative potential of a feminist global health policy (FGHP). By shining a spotlight on the barriers and obstacles in advancing women’s health R&D, we seek to explore whether a FGHP holds the potential to accelerate the discovery and enhance the accessibility of new innovations, crucial to interrupting the prevailing health inequities, particularly those that disproportionately affect women.

Part 2 ‘Drug drought in Women’s Health’ aims to discuss gaps and strengths of the women’s health R&D landscape in the last 20 year. Together with our distinguished panel of diverse stakeholders, we will discuss where the need for innovation is, and how the future of women’s health R&D looks like. In continuation with part 1, the discussion will also include valuable recommendations to spur innovation and advance women’s health in all its diversities.

The objectives of this session :

  • Examine gender-related barriers and gender disparities in women’s health research and development, identifying challenges hindering innovation.
  • Explore the potential impact of a Feminist Global Health Policy in accelerating the discovery and accessibility of innovative solutions to address health inequities for women.

Organized by

  • Concept Foundation
  • Gendro

The imperative to detect and treat noma: what are the concrete steps to control the disease?

Noma is a rapidly progressing inflammation of the gums that is estimated to kill up to 90% of the people affected in just a few weeks if not treated timely. Survivors are left with severe wounds making it hard to breathe, eat, speak or see.

Noma affects mainly children but also adults more rarely. People at risk are living in extreme poverty and dealing with malnutrition and lack of oral hygiene. They have limited access to healthcare, clean water and routine vaccinations.

Noma is mostly reported in Africa and Asia but there is no mapping of its global prevalence and cases have been reported worldwide through history. In 1998, WHO estimated that noma affects 140,000 people every year and that 770,000 patients who had survived the initial infection.

In December 2023, WHO added noma to the official list of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). The aim of recognizing noma as a NTD is to raise awareness globally, including in academic circles, and to encourage stakeholders to develop a concerted, multi-sectoral approach with the support of new donors. By targeting underserved communities, interventions to prevent and control noma can contribute to achieve universal health coverage and the sustainable development goals.

The aim of this session is to understand how to use the addition of noma to the WHO’s NTD list as a catalyst to improve surveillance, treat noma and ultimately improve our understanding of the global prevalence of the disease.

Organized by

  • Elysium, Noma Survivors’ Association
  • Sentinelles
  • International Society for Neglected Tropical Diseases (ISNTD)
  • Centre for Applied Human Rights (CAHR) and York Law School

Harnessing AI for Global Health Improvements

Global health is about achieving better health outcomes by working to eliminate health disparities among populations and communities from low-resource settings around the world. In the evolving landscape of global health, marked by significant disparities and constrained resources, AI emerges as a pivotal opportunity for encapsulating the promise and potential to transform healthcare delivery, management, and accessibility across the world.

AI might be leveraged to tackle some of the most pressing health challenges of our time, offering innovative solutions that could bridge gaps, and save lives on an unprecedented scale. However, there is a commitment to understanding how AI can be ethically and effectively integrated into health systems worldwide to meet these goals.

Indeed, AI should be used as a tool not just for automating tasks or analyzing vast datasets, but also for making healthcare more equitable, making medical expertise more accessible to remote and under-resourced communities, and enabling personalize care that respect and respond to individual needs. The deployment of AI for Global Health Improvement in populations and communities from low and middle-income countries called upon to consider a variety of dimensions from the technological innovations to the ethical frameworks around its deployment, and their associated challenges. A global dialogue that brings together technologists, healthcare providers, policymakers, and members of targeted populations and communities may help to enlighten up-to-date theoretical and practical considerations to meet the objectives of using AI for Global Health Improvement in those countries.

The aim of this session is to explore and discuss the potential of AI in enhancing public health outcomes globally, focusing on innovations, ethical considerations, and equitable applications of AI technologies in global health.

Organized by
Unisanté

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Geneva Health Forum

About the Geneva Health Forum

Established in 2006 by the University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG) and the University of Geneva (UNIGE), the Geneva Health Forum (GHF) is a Swiss not-for-profit initiative that brings together a diverse range of stakeholders to discuss and address global health challenges.

The GHF plays a pivotal role in the global health landscape, as a neutral and inclusive platform, fostering dialogue and collaboration among key players in the field, including policymakers, representatives from academia, civil society, and the private sector.

Its core mission is to facilitate constructive dialogue among these global health actors, which, in turn, contributes to the improvement of health policies and access to care worldwide. The Geneva Health Forum proudly collaborates with some of the most prominent international organizations based in Geneva.