Pacific Health Summit Themes

Every year the Summit focused on a single theme designed to tackle a critical topic in global health, including affordability and technologies for health (2012), vaccines (2011), maternal and newborn health (2010), multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (2009), malnutrition (2008), pandemic influenza (2007), and early health (2005 and 2006).

Affordability and Technologies for Health
The 2012 Summit provided the opportunity for the world’s top experts from all sectors to discuss how a spectrum of technologies are, can, and will be game changers for global health. This was, and continues to be, a critical conversation, as both developing and developed societies grapple with the need to put affordability, access, and equity at the top of their health agendas, while facing an increasingly complex disease burden that is heedless of borders. Read the 2012 Summit Report.

The 2011 Summit addressed vaccines in a global context, with emphasis on middle- and low-income countries facing disproportionately significant funding, delivery, and access challenges. The theme evolved beside a vaccines manufacturing landscape that is increasingly global. Plenary sessions honed in on how the vaccines paradigm might be affected by new international players in terms of innovation, pricing, and collaboration. A smaller workshop targeted the direct role that China has to play now and in the near future. Cold-chain logistics, funding issues, and how to address trust, cultural, and behavioral barriers that feed suspicion of immunization efforts were other critical points of debate. Read the 2011 Summit Report.

Maternal and Newborn Health
The 2010 Summit convened around the theme of “Maternal and Newborn Health: The Crux of a Decent Humanity.” Recognizing that every year nearly 350,000 women die during pregnancy or childbirth and 3.6 million children die in their first four weeks of life, leaders tackled issues like integrating new technologies in the MNH field, including utilizing information and communicative technologies to link expectant mothers with relevant health messages. The Summit also built on its annual mission to effectively utilize the business sector’s unique capability to drive advancement in health, drawing awareness to opportunities that exist in adapting and bringing medical advancements to rural areas. Sessions on financing mechanisms and the smooth incorporation of MNH budgets into the overall global health agenda were other foci of conversation. Read the 2010 Summit Report.

Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis
The critical problem of how to address the pernicious spread of Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB) was addressed through the 2009 Summit theme: “MDR-TB: Overcoming Global Resistance.” Over the course of two days, participants explored ways to strengthen existing approaches to basic TB control and MDR-TB management. The assembled quorum critically assessed the need to push staid TB technologies and treatments into the 21st century, noting the unexplored benefits that accelerated uptake of therapies like fixed-dose combination may provide. With high rates of discontinued medical treatment fueling MDR-TB prevalence, Summit participants discussed alternative delivery and oversight plans. Another top priority, eliminating the dearth of general awareness and funding compared to other diseases like HIV/AIDS and malaria, was prevalent throughout the Summit. Read the 2009 Summit Report.

“The Global Nutrition Challenge” headlined as the 2008 Summit theme, focusing on the complex challenge of too little of the right nutrition for vulnerable populations and the rapidly emerging health threat of too much of the wrong nutrition in both developed and developing societies. The role of public-private partnerships emerged as an essential focus in the effort to ensure access to requisite sources of nutrition. Initiative for action was catalyzed through talk of how to utilize private industry’s unparalleled ability to reach vast populations, especially through food fortification and existing supply chains. Another key area of discussion was the critical challenge of ensuring a “healthy start” for children by stressing maternal and infant nutrition. Read the 2008 Summit Report.

In 2007, the Summit addressed the topic of “Pandemics: Working Together for an Effective and Equitable Response.” This interest dates back to the inaugural Summit in June 2005 when Jong-wook Lee, then Director-General of the World Health Organization, eloquently and passionately addressed the need for greater attention on the threat of a global avian influenza pandemic. The preparedness of manufacturers, the strength of existing infrastructure, supply chain management, and the repercussions of panic during a pandemic were among the issues at the epicenter of Summit discussions. Special emphasis was placed on the issue of developing and stockpiling pre-pandemic H5N1 vaccines. Read the 2007 Summit Report.

Early Health
In 2006, the Summit continued its focus on emerging science and technology and its intersection with health policy, particularly in the area of “early health” and the value of early detection and intervention. Plenary sessions focused on cost-associative benefits of prevention-based health care, the antaean, pre-emptive value of vaccines, and the role that mobile technology, health information collection and sharing across networks, and other innovations have to play in streamlining care and reducing pecuniary burdens. Against the backdrop of the recent SARS and avian flu concerns, participants also met on the pressing question of how to prepare for the next pandemic.

Health Information Technology (HIT) Case Studies and Reports
The Summit’s Health Technology lab highlights first-rate examples of creative and affordable technologies that are designed with their end populations and users in mind. It also explores the challenges surrounding the uptake of innovations, and the pervasive questions of how best to implement, incentivize, and effectively deploy new technologies for health.

About the Pacific Health Summit

Since its inception in 2005, the Summit mission was to connect science, industry, and policy for a healthier world. By fostering substantive, cross-sector communication, the Secretariat sought to catalyze strategic alliances that will produce long-term results and partnerships. Learn more.