Location: Geneva, Switzerland
Shall we continue to discover new epidemics of emerging infectious diseases weeks or even months after their beginning or will we be able to better predict their risks? Shall we continue to apply the same classical – poorly reliable and far from precise – methods in monitoring vaccination policies, leaving large segments of unvaccinated, unreached populations, or will we help those in charge of these vaccination campaigns by offering new tools for guidance and control? Shall we leave the power of crowdsourcing and exposure of the population only for marketing and financial purposes, or will we leverage these new techniques of participatory research for the sake of improving health interventions? Shall we continue to drain health care professionals from many LMICs, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, when these countries experience huge local needs in trained human resources, or will we propose to apply innovative teaching methods at massive and affordable scale?
It is no longer effective nor efficient to continue to use only the classical way of collecting data, with often poor quality on health metrics. We now need to use various sources of massive data, which have often been collected for other purposes than health, and to analyze, model and visualize them with new, effective tools. The large amount of investments dedicated to global health, e.g. in the field of vaccination, emerging infectious diseases, neglected diseases, antimicrobial resistance, non-communicable diseases (including cancers and mental health), universal health coverage, health in migrants, deserve better precision and efficiency in guiding action and targeting interventions.
International Geneva gathers a unique set of international organizations dedicated to global health (WHO, UNAIDS, UNITAID, ICRC), NGOs (e.g. MSF), UN Permanent Missions of more than 140 countries; Public-private partnership institutions like the Global Fund Against HIV, Malaria, and Tuberculosis, GAVI, FIND, DNDi; Philanthropic Foundations or Private companies. There is no other place in the world where, every year in May, Health Ministers and their delegations come from all WHO Member States to attend the World Health Assembly, to debate and decide during two weeks on health policies at a global scale. There is no other place in the world which concentrates such a number of bodies, corporations, institutions, skills and competencies in global health.
The University of Geneva and HUG, in partnership with EPFL, the Universities of Lausanne, Basel, Bern, and Zürich have decided to serve, with its academic perspective, this quasi-monopoly of global health located in Geneva, by organizing the 2018 edition of the Geneva Health Forum and focus on Precision Global Health in the Digital Age.