Coronavirus: Riyadh Health Summit call to share digital data in COVID-19 fight

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The Riyadh Global Digital Healthcare Summit (RGDHS) ended Wednesday with a declaration calling for the sharing of digital healthcare practices and data to help the world fight the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

RGDHS brought together global leaders in healthcare systems, public health, digital health, academic institutions and businesses on August 11-12 for a virtual summit to discuss the role of digital health technology in fighting COVID-19 and future pandemics.

“This declaration is a call to action to create the infrastructure to share good digital health evidence-based practices, and real-time high-quality data that encompasses local and global levels, to enable more health systems and countries to have actionable insights,” Dr. Bandar Alknawy, CEO, Ministry of National Guard Health Affairs, and President of the RGDHS said at the conclusion of the event.

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Alknawy went on to explain the importance of the declaration in tackling pandemics in the future and preventing another situation similar to the coronavirus taking place.

“Digital and data technology will promote the coordinated development of shared global public health policies and resilient health and care systems in order specially to perform better in future pandemic and other health challenges,” he said.

The Ministry of National Guard’s Health Affairs Department and G20 Saudi Secretariat had organized RGDHS in collaboration with the Saudi Center for International Strategic Partnerships.

“We’re really overwhelmed with the level of enthusiasm over the globe as over 135,000 participants registered virtually for this event and over 300,000 unregistered viewers over multiple social media channels has re-watched this event. This is truly remarkable, this is really one of the largest virtual events ever witnessed,” Alknawy said in the closing ceremony.

The summit follows an Extraordinary Summit of the G20 earlier this year in March, during which members of the 20 most powerful countries in the world all expressed their commitment to fighting the coronavirus pandemic as a united front.

Saudi Arabia has been directly contributing to the fight around the world. In June, the UK expressed its gratitude to Saudi Arabia for the donation of thousands of pieces of medical equipment to the country’s National Health Service. The Kingdom has also donated $150 million to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GIVA), and $500 million to help international efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

In April, the Kingdom’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs shared a message of values and international solidarity, highlighting the work of more than six thousand Saudi doctors in 41 countries “standing by” fellow humans in the fight against the novel coronavirus.

Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud on the launch of the vaccine donation added that the Kingdom has provided over $86 billion in aid throughout the past three decades to over 81 countries to help them improve their livelihood and healthcare.

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