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Driving the Discussion on the Future of Health

Only together can we overcome this terrible time

“Only together we can overcome this terrible time,” said Prof. Walter Ricciardi, congress co-chair and president of the World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA). “It was important to have a place, even if virtual, to share and compare information, data, knowledge and exchange opinions and policies on key issues. The high quality of the debate was supported by the provenance of participants from all over the world creating a synergy and drive for tomorrow by learning from the global COVID-19 pandemic to build a just, healthier and peaceful world.” 

Revolving around the theme “Public Health for the Future of Humanity: Analysis, Advocacy and Action,” the scientific programme included 12 tracks, such as digital health, mental health, vulnerable groups, the Sustainable Development Goals and vaccination, as well as a COVID-19 dedicated track that highlighted some of the latest developments on coronavirus polices, control measures and the impact on health systems and community services. Over 3,500 delegates from 122 countries attended the virtual congress, which featured eight plenary sessions with more than 40 high-profile experts and policymakers from international institutions like the European Commission and WHO Regional Office for Europe; 30 leadership dialogues and 150 workshops.

The decision to take the congress virtual was made last spring, when the evolution of the pandemic was still uncertain and it was not advisable to host an in-person congress, said Ricciardi. 

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