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Peking University Global Health and Development Forum 2021 held

MAY . 03 2021
Peking University, May 3, 2021: On April 25, 2021, Dr. Han Qide, honorary chairman of the China Association for Science and Technology, and Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general were among the distinguished speakers for the Peking University Global Health and Development Forum 2021. The Forum was jointly hosted by Peking University Institute for Global Health and Development and National School of Development, aiming to explore new strategies for international cooperation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and to share research achievements in digital health and access to medicine. Distinguished guests from academia, governments, industries, and international agencies including WHO, United Nations, Global Fund, World Bank, the Chinese Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CCUGH), as well as colleagues from Peking University Institute of South-South Cooperation and Development participated in the Forum online and offline.

Opening remarks

Professor Gordon Liu, dean of Peking University Institute for Global Health and Development, moderated the opening session. He said that the human world had experienced chaos since the outbreak of COVID-19, today we are fortunate enough to be able to conduct much of our activities for normal life while continuing to cope with the pandemic challenges; however, we still need to be alert and address critical issues in global health in general and the pandemic in particular.

Gordon G. Liu at opening remarks

Professor Han Qide, co-chair of the Advisory Council, PKU Institute for Global Health and Development, emphasized three essential points: First, viruses have no borders. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear that the fate of human race is connected with each other and collaboration at the global scale is a must for us to fight and win the battle. Second, the pandemic is like an alarm bell, highlighting our awareness of the importance of health and how we need to improve our public health and healthcare system to be better prepared for COVID-19 and other future threats to health. Third, economic development plays an important role in promoting human health in general and fighting against COVID-19 in particular. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, we have witnessed development and innovation on many fronts. Development not only includes how we interact and collaborate with each other, but even how we live, study and work. Digital health is a good example.

Han Qide at opening remarks

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, emphasized that we must address the disparity in access to, quality and safe use of digital health technologies in low income and underserved communities. An overarching challenge to digital health is to preserve the privacy, safety and integrity of individual health data. WHO Global Strategy on Digital Health is designed to help countries adopt these 21st century tools as part of their journey towards universal health coverage while strengthening governance and data protection.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at opening remarks

Dr. Peter Sands, executive director of Global Fund, said that the pandemic had underscored the need for a digital revolution in healthcare delivery and showed how fundamental it was. We need a massive and rampant change in how we manage health information and data aggregation. Countries need not only more funds to build their digital capabilities but also better solutions, more technical support and paths to spend that money well.

Dr. Siddharth Chatterje, United Nations resident coordinator in China, quoted the words of the philosopher Herophilus, “without health, we don’t have strength; without intelligence, we don’t have wealth” to emphasize that stronger health systems and universal health coverage must occur to achieve sustainable development. He introduced ongoing actions in Africa to illustrate how we can harness big data and innovation to leapfrog stronger health system and universal health coverage.

Steve Davis, senior China strategy adviser, interim director for the China Country Office, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, believes that China has an even greater potential for becoming an effective provider of global, public goods in the future. He offered two ideas on how China could leverage its unique position to further its global efforts in supplying affordable quality health products. Frist, to maximize the impact and minimize the cost of global goods, it is imperative that we think holistically about the full journey of these products across the entire value chain from beginning to end, what activities should be done and what resources must be mobilized in different stages. Second, we must accelerate the drive for affordable, digital public goods and global health.

Session I: Global cooperation against pandemic

Professor Fu Jun, academic dean of Peking University Institute of South-South Cooperation and Development, moderated the session and gave a speech on Global Health and Crisis Management. He introduced the 4R model of crisis management: recognition, readiness, response and recovery, and discussed China's performance in COVID-19 and SARS within this framework.

Professor Zha Daojong, from Peking University School of International Studies gave a talk on Fair Access for All to Coronavirus Vaccines. He introduced four points to promote fair access of Coronavirus vaccine from the perspectives of policy interference, manufacturing capacity, regulatory pre-approval mechanism and public education and publicity.

Zhang Li, director of Strategic Innovation and New Investors Hub at Gavi, delivered a talk on COVAX mechanism and progress. She briefly introduced Gavi's mission and Gavi's efforts to improve vaccine accessibility in low - and middle-income countries. She believes that the effectiveness and global accessibility of the new vaccines are crucial to the development of the world economy.

Somil Nagpal, health sector coordinator of World Bank Jakarta, Indonesia, spoked on Ensuring access to COVID vaccines in emerging economies: The case of Indonesia. He introduced Indonesia's COVAX vaccination plan and the current vaccination situation, and also talked about the measures taken by Indonesia to improve the national accessibility of COVAX.

Session II: Digital health and medicine

Professor Qin Xuezheng, associate dean of Peking University School of Economics and Institute for Global Health and Development, moderated this session.

Professor Zhang Luxia, associate dean of Peking University National Institute of Health Data Science, discussed Health AI – Experience from China. She said that the state council issued a number of new policies related to artificial intelligence to encourage the local government to establish AI application and to pilot AI-relevant new policies. In 2018, the definition and standards of medical AI products was firstly included in categories and classification list of medical devices by the national medical products administration, which is a benchmark to indicate that AI medicine has already transitioned from application to commercialization in China. But the effectiveness and validity of health AI products need to be proved by clinical trials and we need more industry partners to be interested in that kind of studies and to be involved.

Dr. Wu Xiaobin, BeiGene global president & global chief operation officer, delivered a speech on Post COVID-19, Perspectives on Globalization of China Innovative Medicine Industry. Very few people realized that in the space of bio tech, China made great progress in the past few years. Many innovative products manufactured by local Chinese innovative companies have been approved to enter the market. China’s bio tech industry will be working together with multinational biotech companies to provide the patients with more affordable medicine and service.

Ouyang Qiong, CEO of Hangzhou AIMed Technology, made a presentation on Intelligent Assistant for Healthcare Professionals and Patients. As one of the major business communication tools, chat bots use massive data analyses of doctor patient online communication to have insights on real needs. Real-time information is automatically captured to generate up to date medical content and deliver evidence to healthcare professionals. The intelligent medical reports can empower doctors and educate patients, improve diagnosis accuracy and increase the capabilities of medicine.

Liz Ashall-Payne, co-founder and CEO of ORCHA, spoked on Supporting the Digital Patient. Digital health applications have emerged in the context of digital medicine, but their widespread and effective adoption still faces four major obstacles: awareness, accessibility, trust and ongoing governance. Only when these issues are addressed will people and patients truly have access to high-quality digital health tools.

Session III: Global health governance

Professor Zheng Zhijie, associate dean of Peking University Institute for Global Health and Development, moderated this session. He also gave a talk on PKU Global Health Programs, focusing on challenges and opportunities of global health, aiming to train the next generation leaders, develop oversea R&E infrastructure, conduct global health research, explore ways of collaboration, and engage in global governance.

Professor Hao Yuantao’s presentation was about Data Analysis for Epidemic Control and Prevention: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of COVID-19 Reproduction Numbers. Comprehensive interventions and lockdowns would be effective for reducing COVID-19 transmission and avoiding future outbreaks. Since lockdowns cannot last forever, multiple measures are more recommended for governments.

Professor Wang Youfa, dean of Global Health Institute, Xi’an Jiaotong University, spoke on Noncommunicable Disease (NCD) Prevention & Control & International Collaboration. Prevalence of NCDs is high, and management is inadequate; 85% of these "premature" (<70 years) deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries and the high costs of NCD treatment, combined with loss of income, force millions of people into poverty annually

Professor Zhou Yongmei, from Peking University Institute of South-South Cooperation and Development, gave a talk on Global Actions for Global Challenges: the case of marine plastics. Plastics will harm marine life, human health and economy. She further proposed that global actions are required to control plastic emission.

Edited by: Huang Weijian
Source: Peking University Institute for Global Health and Development