Posted on September 22, 2020

The World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH), Qatar Foundation’s global health initiative, has announced a strategic partnership with The BMJ, one of the world's oldest, most respected, and most cited general medical journals.

Under the new partnership, WISH have worked with The BMJ on three reports that will include peer-reviewed academic papers written by global experts. In addition to being presented at WISH 2020, these papers will be published in the high-impact journal, benefiting from the scale and reach of its international readership of doctors and other health professionals. More than 50 million users from over 150 countries access BMJ’s websites every year.

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Sultana Afdhal, Chief Executive Officer of WISH, said: “One of the goals of our biennial summit is to find optimal ways for evidence-based research to be translated into practical policy-driven solutions that help deliver healthcare in an efficient and cost-effective manner worldwide. It is, therefore, fitting that we work with a trusted knowledge-leader such as The BMJ, as a research and publishing partner, given our mutual commitment to sharing evidence-based knowledge and supporting healthcare leaders in building healthier communities and improving health outcomes."

The BMJ is an international peer-reviewed medical journal, responsible for publishing some of the world’s most influential research affecting public discourse and policy making. The strategic partnership with The BMJ will contribute to one of the major goals of the biennial WISH summit, which is to disseminate evidence-based content to a wide audience of global leaders, policy makers and healthcare practitioners.

Professor Kamran Abbasi, Executive Editor of The BMJ said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to work on these important areas with the support of WISH. Our expert teams have produced exceptional reports with clear recommendations for health professionals and policy makers. The challenge now is to act on these recommendations to counter the impacts on health of toxic stress, climate change and drought. This year’s summit will play an important part in moving those issues from research into policy.”

The reports commissioned for the summit are each chaired by world-leading experts and supported by a team of senior leaders drawn from the academic, research, and policy arenas. The reports cover toxic stress in children, healthy dry cities, and the relationship between climate change and communicable diseases.

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A report on toxic stress and PTSD in children provides an opportunity to consider the effects of long-term stress on children’s physical and mental development, and develop strategies to mitigate these ill-effects. The forum is being co-chaired by Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, Surgeon General of California, and Prof. Zulfiqar A. Bhutta, Co-Director of the Centre for Global Child Health, The Hospital for Sick Children and Founding Director of the Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health, Aga Khan University.

The group convened by The BMJ to consider the relationship between climate change and communicable diseases will highlight global health responses shown to be effective in curbing the impact of climate change on the spread of infectious disease and climate-linked increases in communicable diseases, as well as considering how to fill the gaps in the current body of evidence. The forum is co-chaired by Prof. Rachel Lowe, Associate Professor and Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Prof. Jeremy Hess, Professor in Emergency Medicine, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, and Global Health, and Adjunct Professor, Atmospheric Sciences, and Director, Center for Health and the Global Environment (CHanGE), University of Washington.

The team behind the report looking at the topic of healthy dry cities is co-chaired by Prof. Howard Frumkin, Professor Emeritus of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at the University of Washington School of Public Health, and Dr. Maitreyi Bordia Das, Practice Manager and Global Lead at the World Bank. The report aims to identify the most effective strategies for optimizing public health policy in tackling urban drought. In addition to producing the three research reports, BMJ will also be featuring the WISH report authors in their popular podcasts ahead of the summit.

More than 2,000 healthcare experts from 116 countries participated in the 2018 edition of WISH. This year’s virtual event is expected to benefit from a significant increase in international participation. WISH 2020 will extend over five days, and, for the first time, registration is open to all participants free of cost. Among the discussions on global health challenges will be a number of sessions on Covid-19, which has inevitably dominated discourse around global health this year.

To register for virtual WISH 2020, scheduled to take place from 15-19 November, visit www.wish.org.qa

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