The 3rd Belt & Road Initiative Global Health International Congress & 2019 Global Health Forum of the University Alliance of the Silk Road was successfully held in the Grand Dynasty Culture Hotel from September 13th to 16th, 2019 in Xi'an, China. It was organized by Xi'an Jiaotong University (XJTU)'s Global Health Institute (GHI), School of Public Health, Health Sciences Center, and Health Sub-Alliance of the University Alliance of the Silk Road, co-organized by the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), International Chinese Nutrition Young Scholar Network (ICNYSN), China Health Policy and Management Society (CHPAMS), Chinese Preventive Medicine Association-Chinese Society on Global Health, Chinese Nutrition Society, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institute for Nutrition and Health and Center for Global Public Health, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., and Artepharm Co., Ltd., China.
The theme of the congress was "Sharing Opportunities for Development, Promoting Health for the Globe". Prof. Hong Yan, Vice President of Xi'an Jiaotong University, President of Xi'an Jiaotong University Health Science Center, was the Honorary President of the Congress. Prof. Youfa Wang, Founding Dean of the Xi'an Jiaotong University Global Health Institute and Vice President of the Chinese Preventive Medicine Association-Chinese Society on Global Health, was the President of the Congress. Other co-presidents of the congress were Prof. Guihua Zhuang, Dean of the Xi’an Jiaotong University School of Public Health, and Dr. Tieru Han, Former Senior Official of the WHO and the President of the Chinese Preventive Medicine Association-Chinese Society on Global Health.
Approximately 500 delegates attended the conference, more than 100 domestic and foreign invited experts gave presentations, including prominent leaders from the World Health Organization, UNICEF, China's National Health Commission and Health Commission of Shaanxi Province, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Asia Pacific Clinical Nutrition Society and Chinese Preventive Medicine Association, and well-known experts from China and abroad, University presidents, Hospital Directors, as well as more than 40 international students from Tanzania, Bangladesh, South Africa, Peru, Nepal, Pakistan and other countries along the "Belt and Road".
At the opening ceremony, Prof. Guang Xi, Vice President of XJTU, delivered a speech on behalf of Prof. Shuguo Wang, President of XJTU. He said that the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by Chinese President Jinping Xi was transforming from an idea to a series of actions. To implement China's National Innovation-driven Development Strategy, the Belt and Road Initiative, Healthy China 2030, to achieve XJTU's development goals of building the world-class university and the Western China Science and Technology Innovation Harboru (iHarbour), XJTU led the establishment of the University Alliance of the Silk Road in January 2015. Currently, 151 universities from 38 countries and regions have joined this Global Education Alliance. In September 2016, GHI was established as one of the 26 research institutes in the iHarbour. Drawing on XJTU's public health, clinical medicine, basic medicine, pharmacy, mathematics, statistics, bioinformatics, management sciences, humanities, engineering and other disciplines, GHI had created a leading cross-national and interdisciplinary global health research platform to overcome major challenges in global health sector. This global health education research platform had obtained phased achievements in performing research on key issues in public health across regions and countries, thereby providing a scientific foundation for the resolution of global health issues and the formulation of health policies. It was anticipated that the convening of the 3rd Belt and Road Initiative Global Health International Congress would further promote the collaborations among experts and scholars in the field of global health, not only by providing important scientific evidence for health policies in China, but also for other countries and regions worldwide to jointly promote global health.
Dr. Zhiqiang Zhang, Deputy Director of the Food Safety Standards and Monitoring and Evaluation Division of the China National Health Commission, Dr. Gauden Galea, WHO Representative in China, Lan Zhao, Deputy Director of Health Commission of Shaanxi Province, China, Prof. Shaw Watanabe, President of the Asia Pacific Clinical Nutrition Society, Prof. Deliang Wen, President of China Medical University, Prof. Youmei Feng, President of Duke Kunshan University, and Dr. Zoë Mullan, Editor-in-Chief of The Lancet Global Health, delivered speeches respectively in the opening ceremony. They unanimously emphasized the positive role of the Belt and Road Initiative Global Health International Congress in international academic research exchange and cooperation and global health development. They hoped that this international congress would further strengthen health-related collaborations along the Belt and Road countries, promote exchanges and cooperation between institutions, establish a global network of health education and research, and help solve major and priority health issues faced by the related countries.
On behalf of the Honorary President Prof. Hong Yan, Co-president Prof. Tieru Han and Prof. Guihua Zhuang, Prof. Youfa Wang, President of the congress welcomed all the participants. He reviewed the first and second Belt and Road Initiative Global Health International Congresses and delivered his keynote speech titled “Starting A New Global Health Journey: Historical Opportunities and Challenges”. Dr. Shenggen Fan, Director of the International Food Policy Research Institute, Dr. Zoë Mullan, Editor-in-Chief of the Lancet Global Health, Dr. Zhiqiang Zhang, Deputy Director of the National Health Commission of China, Prof. Shaw Watanabe, President of the Asia Pacific Clinical Nutrition Society and Dr. Xiaoping Dong, Director of the Global Public Health Center of Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Prof. Youmei Feng, President of Duke Kunshan University, Dr. Francesco Branca, Director of the Department of Health and Development and Nutrition ,World Health Organization and other renowned experts and scholars from China and abroad delivered the keynote speeches on top concerns of global health.
Subsequently, the congress focused on the discussions and exchanges of 21 thematic forums of major global health issues, including the Keynote Speech Forum, Nutrition and Health Forum, Systems Science, Big Data & Artificial Intelligence & mHealth Forum, Obesity Prevention and Control Forum, Deepening Health System Reform & Building and Enjoying Forum, Intelligent Wearable Devices and Sports Health: University-Industry Collaboration Forum, Environmental Health and Endemic Diseases Forum, International Cooperation and Exchange Forum, Chronic Disease Prevention and Control Forum, Leading Experts Cross-Border Cooperation Forum, Interdisciplinary Behavioral Health Forum, Health Aging and Geriatrics Forum, Dialogue with Top International Journal Editors Forum and Young Scholar Forum.
Prof. Xinhua Wang, President of Guangzhou Medical University, Prof. Yaogang Wang, Vice President of Tianjin Medical University, Prof. Xinhua Wang, Vice President of Gansu University of Chinese Medicine, Prof. Gangqiang Ding, Director of China CDC Nutrition and Health Institute, Prof. Jing Wu, Director of China CDC Center for Chronic Diseases Prevention and Control, Prof. Duoquan Wang, Vice Chief of Global Health Center, Institute of Parasitic Diseases of China CDC, and many other domestic and international experts discussed opportunities and challenges of relevant themes. A number of experts and scholars from China and abroad had in-depth discussions about the state of the art of several research topics and contributed to China's efforts to promote global health development and build a community of human destiny.
The congress received about 140 submitted research paper abstracts. After reviewed by an expert committee, 23 scholars were selected to give oral presentations in the Young Scholars Forum, and 63 were selected for poster presentations. Some of them received awards. The accepted abstracts were published in a conference proceeding.
Xinhua News Agency, People's Daily (People's Daily Online), China Central Radio and Television General Station, China News Service, Health Times, Shaanxi News Network, Chinese Business Online, Sina.com, Phoenix.com, Sohu.com, Tencent Daqin.com, Shaanxi Radio and TV Station- "Healthy Life", Xi'an Radio and Television Station- "Medium Live Broadcasting ", "Health Zero Distance", "Live Xi'an", "Xi'an News", Sanqin Metropolis Daily, Shaanxi Media Network etc. attended and reported the conference.
As the starting point of the ancient Silk Road, Xi'an is an ancient city with more than 3,000 years of history and is becoming the bridgehead of the new Silk Road, playing an increasingly important role. This conference set up a unique and broad international cooperation and exchange platform for “Sharing Opportunities for Development, Promoting Health for the Globe”. Domestic and international participants from different fields did extensive academic discussions to share opportunities and exchanges. The conference was highly praised by both China and international experts. They expressed their strong belief that this conference will promote the cultivation of a new generation of researchers, health professionals and policy makers with global vision and social responsibility, promote interdisciplinary and international cooperation, and will play a positive role in advancing public health!