Five days full of contents for over 200 live hours. A major event redesigned for the digital world to accommodate attendees living in different time zones in an incredible programme schedule, organised in 12 twelve theme-based tracks on important topics such as digital health, mental health, vulnerable groups, the Sustainable Development Goals, vaccination and of course a special track entirely dedicated to COVID-19.
309 online appointments, from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm CET, including 7 pre-conferences, 8 plenary sessions, with the participation of more than 40 high-profile experts and policy-makers representing international institutions such as the WHO Regional Office for Europe, the Association of Schools of Public Health in Africa, the European Commission, the Alliance of Associations of Public Health of the Americas, the World Health Organisation (WHO), the International Development Law Organization, The Lancet and Women in Global Health, as well as 148 workshops, 8 satellite sessions, 112 oral presentations and 26 world leadership dialogues.
The figures are mind-boggling especially those on the attendance recorded by this congress. Impressive participation that exceeded the attendance at the last in-person World Congress on Public Health.
The Congress theme “Public health for the future of humanity: analysis, advocacy and action”, in its sixteenth edition, could not but consider the significant efforts made by public health to tackle the current crisis. This entailed not only to deal with the new circumstances following the Covid-19 pandemic, but also the duty and the importance of never forgetting the many other health threats.
The global temperature is far beyond what has been seen since records began, poverty and inequality that are leading to mass migration and conflicts, and also threats to food and water supply and international agreements that are being torn up, all these factors are increasing divisions at a time in which a favourable climate of global solidarity is desirable.
Co-organised by the World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA), by the European Public Health Association (EUPHA) and by the Italian Society of Hygiene, Preventive Medicine and Public Health (SItI), the WCPH2020 Congress has brought together the global public health community at a critical time for the planet.
Among the many challenges it had to face, Congress succeeded in keeping thousands of people glued to their seats, because beyond the numbers and behind the screens, there was an all-human interaction.