Oxford University will host a crucial health summit between the G7 nations on 3rd – 4th June. Health ministers from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US will meet to discuss global health policies and actions. India, South Korea, South Africa, and Australia will also attend as guests.

Attendees will discuss issues concerning antibiotic resistance, clinical trials, and global health security against future pandemics. Digital health – the intersection of technology, healthcare, and personalised treatments – will also be on the agenda. The discussions will inform future discussions at the G7 Leaders’ Summit on 11th – 13th June.

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, Professor Louise Richardson, said: “Oxford University is honoured to host the G7 Health Ministers. This past year has demonstrated just how much can be accomplished when universities, business and government work together to advance global health. We hope that in the course of this meeting insights and information will be shared, ideas generated, and lasting partnerships forged. In particular, we hope that as a result of this meeting plans will be developed to ensure that we are never again caught unprepared for a pandemic.”

The G7 nations account for two thirds of the global pharmaceutical market. In addition, the Oxford/AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Pfizer vaccines were developed in the UK, US, and Germany respectively.

Matt Hancock, Secretary of Health and Social Care, said: “Oxford is the birthplace of the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine and at the heart of British life science. Oxford is a perfect location to stage pivotal meetings on how the world readies itself to combat future health threats.

“We should not underestimate how far dreadful viruses can reach and the devastating impact they can have.  … Collectively we can build back better from this virus and … have an opportunity to learn from this pandemic and take measures that will develop global health security.”

A ministerial working dinner on 3rd June will also be attended by representatives from the life sciences industry. They will discuss the themes of the Prime Minister’s ‘Pandemic Preparedness Partnership’ between the public and private sectors.

Oxford City Council Leader, Councillor Susan Brown, said: “Oxford is proud to host this international gathering of ministers and life science leaders, to plan a global approach to ending the COVID-19 pandemic. Our city has rightly become synonymous with excellence in life science research and manufacturing. We are proud that Oxford’s name is carried by the vaccine used most widely across the world. There is a real opportunity for those gathered to step up international support for the vaccination programmes still only in their early stages in many developing countries, particularly in Africa.”

Image: Yoonsuh Park/unsplash.com


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