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WCPH 2020 Blog

A call for colleagues from the Middle East to participate in the World Congress on Public Health

  Programme related - Basema Saddik - 25 Jun 2020 9:00 CET

This year the World Congress on Public Health (WCPH) will be held online in October. While this will be different from previous WCPH congresses I have attended, I am confident it will be more than ever an essential forum for people from all over the world to connect and learn from the latest public health research and practice and to network with experts and colleagues. The WCPH will provide excellent opportunities for public health professionals to expand their professional horizons as well as work together to make a difference. With the COVID-19 pandemic still luring around us, there has been no better time to hold this congress and for colleagues from all over the world to work together to overcome this challenge.

In addition to the unprecedented challenges we have seen over the past few months, we have also continued to see threats to food and water supply, poverty, inaccessible health, and continued mass migrations and conflict.  In a world that has been torn up by the COVID-19 pandemic and these added threats, there has been no better time to address political structures at national, regional, and global levels and to discuss the best ways to respond to these threats. I call on colleagues from the Middle East to be part of this dialogue and to attend the conference, not only to learn but also to share and enrich discussions and dialogue through their unique experiences. Substantial and significant improvements in health status have been achieved in the Middle East, mainly due to advancements in technology, health service delivery, and public health programs. However, the region still faces significant public health challenges. The Middle East region is composed of a diverse mix of countries ranging from very poor ones to wealthy oil-exporting countries, which is paramount in giving us a unique opportunity to engage in comprehensive discussion. The conflicts afflicting the Middle East region also provoke an opportunity for discussion on the increase of infectious diseases, health disparity, and the destruction of health infrastructure in many countries. These catastrophic events have prompted the emigration of a substantial number of qualified health care personnel, adding to the problems associated with quality and sustainable health care systems.

The upcoming WCPH will provide a unique forum for discussing strategies that the public health community can develop to tackle these issues within the theme of the World Congress, “Public Health for the Future of Humanity: Analysis, Advocacy, and Action."  The congress and the global public health community have committed to responding to these new circumstances by organizing eight diverse plenary sessions to tackle these challenges including, “What happened to the enlightenment, The earth a strategy for survival, leading the way to a healthier world, The digital information revolution, Health systems fit for the future: promoting better health, economic growth, and social cohesion, Revolutionizing the Public Health Workforce as Agents of Change Moving out of the silos and Making a difference."

Join me at the WCPH in October this year, and together let’s commit to making a difference.

Basema Saddik, MPH, PhD
Associate Professor Epidemiology, Director-Epidemiology and Biostatistics Unit
University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates


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