30 October 2017
From National to Universal: The UK Contribution to Global Health
23rd, 24th and 25th October, London
Ministers and leading practitioners from the world of global health gathered at the UK’s biggest Health Partnership event to debate the challenges and responses to global health issues and how the UK is contributing to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Prolific speakers including, the Minister of State at DFID, the Rt Hon Alistair Burt, Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Dame Sally Davies and a video message from the Director General of the WHO, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, gave the global health and development community an opportunity to discuss how health partnerships can improve healthcare abroad as well as at home in the NHS. The conference also served to remind us of the incredible individuals, over 1.4 million, who are employed in the NHS, the commitment they have to improving the lives of others is inspiring and none more so than Dr Tirej Brimo. Tirej, after fleeing Syria 10 years ago completed his training in the UK and graduated as a Doctor earlier this year, reminded us that the NHS is a remarkable institution and one that he is proud to now be a part of.
As Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the WHO, stated in his welcoming video for the Conference:
“There is no higher priority for me than helping all countries to move closer to Universal Health Coverage. We need smart investments to ensure the right number of health workers, with the right skills are in the right places”
The themes of sustainability and scale-up within the health partnership community were also furthered as the Rt. Hon. Alistair Burt announced the Health Partnership Scheme successor programme in 2019, a welcome and much celebrated commitment from the UK government. As the Minister went on to comment;
Strong and resilient health systems are essential for countries to lift themselves out of poverty and for people to realise their full potential.
British expertise is playing a critical role in helping to achieve this. Through the Health Partnership Scheme NHS volunteers have trained more than 80,000 health workers in over 30 countries, improving the quality of healthcare and developing skills that benefit our own NHS.
The Conference was closed by Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer for England who spoke of the need for global health and global health security to go hand in hand, to ensure that everyone, everywhere is safe and healthy.
Over three days, the conference brought to bear the stark need for continued partnerships, research and programmes to combat the continually growing health inequalities, whilst highlighting the continued and growing contribution the UK is making to combat this.
If the energy, commitment and enthusiasm that we witnessed during the conference is anything to go by, the future of global health and attainment of Universal Health Coverage is certainly bright!