Royal Overseas League, London, UK
Message from H.E. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus Director General, The World Health Organization
“Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen. Thank you so much for the invitation to speak to you today and I’m really sorry I can’t be with you in person. As you know, Universal Health Coverage is WHO’s top priority. Our aim is a world in which all people receive the high-quality health services they need without suffering financial hardship. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Alma-Ata Declaration which highlighted the vital importance of primary healthcare. Primary care remains the foundation of Universal Health Coverage. But today we have an extra tool that we did not have 40 years
ago, digital technology. Mobile technologies and telemedicine can make a huge difference in helping to reach people in the remotest villages with medical services. Digital technologies can also be used to detect and respond rapidly to outbreaks and other health emergencies, to train health workers, and to improve health data. More than 120 countries including many Commonwealth states have now developed digital health strategies. A key challenge is to make sure that new technologies are made to work for the poorest and the most vulnerable not just the rich. In that regard, I welcome the establishment of the
Commonwealth Center for Digital Health with its focus on fostering innovative technologies for health that are appropriate for low income countries. Thank you for your commitment. WHO stands ready to work with you to harness the power of digital technologies for a healthier, safer and fairer world. I thank you.”
Message from H.E. The Rt. Hon. Patricia Scotland QC Secretary General, The Commonwealth of Nations
"Digital health systems are an increasingly important component in the delivery of health services and care. A range of Commonwealth contributions is enabling our member countries to adopt such solutions. These facilitate more equitable access for all communities in accordance with the values and principles of our Commonwealth Charter. The Commonwealth Centre for Digital Health (CWCDH) has the potential to make new opportunities and tools available to health professionals in our member countries. Initiatives such as this exemplify the Commonwealth spirit of innovation which we encourage."