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Burnet’s Professor Margaret Hellard will play a key role at this year’s World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) in Qatar, chairing the Viral Hepatitis Forum.
Viral hepatitis has just been announced as one of nine research topics that will form the focus of the WISH 2018 conference, an initiative of Qatar Foundation (QF), from 13-14 November.
Viral hepatitis, a disease of the liver caused by an infection that results in the death of around 1.34 million people globally per year, will be investigated by an international group of experts in the field of infectious diseases in the months leading up to the summit.
The group’s findings will be presented in a report that will be published in time for WISH 2018 and will feature during a panel session, chaired by Burnet Deputy Director, Professor Hellard. The aim of the report is to produce policy recommendations that can have a positive impact on the management of viral hepatitis and support global efforts being made to prevent transmission – particularly in vulnerable populations.
Professor Hellard boasts more than two decades of clinical and research expertise, including using new technologies, such as social media, for health promotion and prevention interventions.
Professor Hellard said: “I agreed to chair the WISH viral hepatitis forum because the vision and mission of WISH strongly aligns with what I believe is currently required from the global healthcare community.
“The World Health Organization has set ambitious targets to eliminate hepatitis B and hepatitis C as a public health threat by 2030. This is achievable, but it requires a sustained approach.
“I’m delighted that viral hepatitis will be under the spotlight at WISH 2018. The event will bring together the world’s leading experts and decision makers to discuss the major policy and health system barriers to achieving viral hepatitis eradication. Through the presentation of innovative investment cases, the aim is to identify future pathways to ensure the ambitious 2030 global targets can be met without any country falling behind.”
Mr Sultana Afdhal, Acting CEO of WISH said: “WISH works diligently towards creating a healthier world through global collaboration. By convening (global) experts on viral hepatitis we are focused on tackling a serious disease that is sometimes referred to as a silent killer, since its symptoms can easily go unnoticed.
“Qatar has a long history of supporting efforts to combat viral hepatitis and thanks to a successful screening and vaccination program, it has one of the lowest incidences of viral hepatitis globally.”
WISH 2018 will feature nine groundbreaking research forums led by internationally renowned experts in their field. They will highlight and address some of the world’s most pressing challenges across medical, ethical, technological, and humanitarian aspects of healthcare.