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First World Health Summit Regional Meeting – Asia 2013 opens in Singapore

09.04.2013
Yesterday, Singapore hosts for the first time key opinion leaders from academia, politics, industry, civil society and media as they convene for the World Health Summit, Regional Meeting – Asia (WHSRMA).

Mr Gan Kim Yong, Minister for Health, Singapore, underscored the importance of WHSRMA coming to Asia. “Health and health care will continue to dominate discussions on the sustainable growth and development of all nations.

Asia, as home to more than half the human race, has a growing place in this discussion, due to changing demographics, the need to balance growth with sustainability and unfortunately, the emergence of new and threatening diseases such as SARS.”

About 900 delegates from 46 countries, among them 120 speakers from more than 20 nations, including Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, United Kingdom and the United States, will be gathered from today through Wednesday (8th to 10th April) to discuss the issues and challenges in public health facing Asia. Prof Detlev Ganten, the founding president of the World Health Summit, emphasised the significance of the gathering of global experts and thought leaders in health care.

“Key opinion leaders from academia, politics, industry, civil society and media will share their expertise on possible solutions to health challenges worldwide…as the region grapples with both opportunities as well as challenges.”

Professor John Wong, President of World Health Summit 2013 and Co-chairman, WHSRMA Organising Committee, shared that the overall theme for WHSRMA 2013 - Health for Sustainable Development in Asia – underscores the importance of pre-empting and dealing with health issues as a key factor in the continued dynamic growth in Asian economies. The four major themes to be discussed at the Regional Meeting include:

• The Impact of Health on Asian Economies
• Innovations in Health in Asia
• Financing Health Care in Asia
• Emerging Health Threats in Asia

At present, more than half of the world’s population is not receiving proper medical care. Furthermore, studies have demonstrated real differences in the prevalence and profile of certain diseases in Asian populations. In Asia, more than 4,000 Asian children die every day from infectious diseases. Asia also has three of four countries with the highest users of tobacco in the world. A significant number of lung cancers in Asians are seen in non-smokers, which bear a unique mutation while China and India have a high incidence of diabetes even in the absence of obesity. As such, there is an urgent need for a cross-sectoral approach and multidisciplinary research to unleash the power and creativity of academic medicine and to involve societies, governments and industries. Policy makers must frame issues which encompass a citizen’s whole life span; academics need to do the relevant scholarship; industry needs to develop marketable solutions; media can shape how we think and act; and civic society can mobilize constituencies.

Details of WHSRMA
Date: 8th to 10th April 2013
Venue: Ritz-Carlton, Millenia, Singapore

For more information, please contact:

Joscelin KWEK
Ruder Finn Asia
(65) 6336 6451
kwekj@ruderfinnasia.com

Jeremy FOO
Ruder Finn Asia
(65) 6235 4495
fooj@ruderfinnasia.com

Tobias Gerber | idw
Further information:
http://www.worldhealthsummit.org/whsrma2013

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