Leading domestic and international experts gathered to discuss health:
“The 4th Belt & Road Initiative Global Health International Congress & 2022 University Alliance of the Silk Road Health Forum” successfully concluded
On June 17-19, 2022, “The 4th Belt & Road Initiative Global Health International Congress & 2022 University Alliance of the Silk Road Health Forum” was successfully held. The theme of the conference was “Interdisciplinary International Collaboration • Addressing Human Challenges • Promoting Health for the Globe”. The three-day conference consisted of 24 forums, and more than 160 invited authoritative experts from home and abroad presented at the conference, with 110,000 views online.
The cross-disciplinary cooperation team consisted of multiple units at home and from abroad jointly organized this successful high-class international conference , bringing an academic feast to the field. The conference is organized by Xi'an Jiaotong University (XJTU) Health Sciences Center, Global Health Institute, School of Public Health, the Health Sub-Alliance of the University Alliance of the Silk Road, Obesity Prevention and Control Section of Chinese Nutrition Society (CNS-OPCS), etc. The Guiding Units are the Chinese Preventive Medical Association (CPMA) and the Chinese Nutrition Society (CNS). The conference is co-organized by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), International Health Literacy Association (IHLA), World Obesity Federation (WOF), China Health Policy and Management Society (CHPMS), International Chinese Nutrition Young Scholar Network (ICNYSN), The XJTU First and Second Affiliated Hospitals, School of Public Policy and Administration, School of Basic Medical Sciences, and Department of International Cooperation and Exchanges. Conference sponsors include Novo Nordisk Region China, FOSUNPHARMA, Chengdu Tianyi Cuisine Nutritional Food Co. Ltd, etc.
（Congress Poster Key Vision）
The Honorary Presidents of the conference are Yi Lv, Vice President of XJTU, and Yan Hong, former Vice President of XJTU. The conference was chaired by Youfa Wang, Dean of XJTU Global Health Institute and President of CNS-OPCS, Yuexin Yang, President of CNS, and Guihua Zhuang, Dean of the XJTU School of Public Health.
More than 160 specially invited authoritative experts, scholars, university presidents, and hospital deans from China, the United States, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Canada, Thailand, Vietnam, and other countries participated in the conference, including two Nobel Prize winners in Physiology or Medicine Peter Doherty and Thomas Südhof, eight academicians (Junshi Chen, Daiming Fan, Fu Gao, Dongfeng Gu, Weiping Jia, Hongbing Shen, Yiling Wu, Qimin Zhan), several leaders from international organizations and many authoritative experts at home and abroad.
The conference focused on major global health issues. It covered many important topics and hot issues in the health field, including the Prevention and Control of COVID-19, Global Health, Obesity Prevention and Control, Diabetes and Chronic Diseases Prevention and Control, Gerontology & Healthy Aging, Nutrition and Health, Environmental and Endemic Diseases Prevention and Control, Smart Medicine (mHealth), Active Health and Healthy China, Medical-Prevention Integration, Dialogue with Editors of Top International Journals, Research on Immune Diseases, etc.
(Guest speaker at the Opening Ceremony)
The opening ceremony was held on June 18, hosted by Prof. Youfa Wang , president of the conference; 12 leaders and authoritative experts from home and abroad delivered speeches, including Francesco Branca (Director of Department of Nutrition and Food Safety of World Health Organization), Gauden Galea (Chief Representative Officer in China of WHO), Qunan Mao, (Vice Director of Office of Healthy China Action Promotion Committee, and Director of Department of Planning and Information of National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China(P.R. China)), Jinfeng Liu, (Director of Office of the National Nutrition and Health Steering Committee, and Director of Department of Food Safety Standards, Monitoring and Evaluation), Jun Fang, (Deputy Director General of Department of International Cooperation and Exchanges, Ministry of Education of P.R. China), Zijian Feng, (Vice President and Secretary-General of Chinese Preventive Medicine Association), Yuexin Yang, (President of Chinese Nutrition Society), Yong Feng, (Minister Counselor, Permanent Mission of P.R. China to the United Nations Office at Geneva And Other International Organizations in Switzerland), Zhijie Zheng, (Director of China Office of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), Ting Jiang, (Vice President of Solution, Smart Wearable & Health Product Line, Huawei Consumer Business Group), and Lan Zhao (Deputy Director of Shaanxi Health Commission). Shuguo Wang (President of XJTU) made the final speech.
On behalf of the five honorary and co-chairman of the conference, Youfa Wang first extended a warm welcome to all the guests and delegates, reviewed the previous three “Belt & Road Initiative Global Health International Congress”, and gave an introduction of the conference. Moreover, he announced the establishment of the new XJTU International Obesity and Metabolic Disease Research Center (IOMC), aiming to become an internationally leading interdisciplinary research center on obesity, diabetes, and other metabolic diseases, including conducting basic research, prevention, clinical treatment, and translational research. He welcomed scholars at home and from abroad to join and cooperate with the center.
The 12 distinguished speakers warmly congratulated and appreciated the success of the international conference under the current international situation and delivered opening speeches, including the topic of major challenges in global aging and chronic diseases, the achievements of the third anniversary of the “Healthy China” Initiative, the key measures of food safety, nutrition and health in China, and the initiative health driven by smart wearable innovative technology, etc. Furthermore, they affirmed the importance of the conference to the global fight against epidemics, the implementation of the “Belt and Road Initiative”, the construction of “Healthy China” and jointly promoting the development of a human health community. They highly commended the conference that the interdisciplinary, cross-disciplinary, and cross-border platform set up by this conference would facilitate more practical cooperation and jointly safeguard a better future for human health.
On behalf of XJTU, President Shuguo Wang pointed out that global health was a common challenge faced by humankind recently. Therefore, universities were duty-bound to strengthen the cultivation of talents with international vision and advanced concepts. To carry forward the spirit of the Silk Road and enhance international cooperation and exchanges are the directions of the Silk Road University Alliance’s unremitting efforts. “We believe in the future, we envision the future, and we need to work together for a better future. Work together, we can make the future of humankind a more inclusive one. Work together, we will transform future challenges into opportunities.” He sincerely hoped that scholars in related fields would work and collaborate inclusively, and jointly contribute to the development of “Healthy China” and a healthy, harmonious, united, and sustainable world.
After the opening ceremony, Fu Gao, Director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CCDC), and Honorary Dean of the XJTU Global Health Institute, delivered a special keynote speech entitled “Reflections on the prevention and control of Covid-19 and future global pandemics”. He stressed that medical science should take precedence over science, and epidemic prevention and control is not only a scientific issue, but also a political and social issue. He called on all humankind to unite and fight the pandemic. Thereafter, other forums were held with fascinating reports and discussions on various topics.
In the following two keynote forums, two Nobel Prize winners, eight academicians, and other authoritative experts delivered academic reports, respectively. The 1996 Nobel Laureate Peter Doherty gave a report entitled “One Health and the Pandemic Threat”; The 2013 Nobel Laureate Thomas Südhof presented “Neurodegenerative Disease Treatment: Challenges and Opportunities”; Dan He, Director General of China Population and Development Research Center, delivered a report entitled “Achievements of China's health poverty alleviation efforts”; Wannian Liang, President of Tsinghua university health institute of China, the National Health Committee Outbreak Response Disposal Work Leading Group leader, China - WHO COVID - 19 outbreak China leader, presented “China's experience in fighting Covid-19”, they introduced China's relevant achievements and experience to the delegates. Jeffrey P. Koplan, Former Director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), shared thoughts and suggestions in his presentation entitled “Global Covid- 19 pandemic prevention and control”.
In addition, Academician Junshi Chen, (General Counsel of National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment), discussed “Sustainable Food Systems”; Academician HongBing Shen, (Vice Director of National Disease Control and Prevention), presented “Polygenic risk score (PRS): from genomics to precision prevention”; Academician DongFeng Gu, (Acting Vice President of Southern University of Science and Technology), reported “Cardiovascular disease prevention and control in China: challenges and prospects”; Academician DaiMing Fan, (President of China Anti-Cancer Association), delivered “Integrative medicine, from medical knowledge to medical epistemology”; Academician QiMin Zhan, (Dean of Peking University International Cancer Institute), discussed “Science and technology innovation and clinical medicine development”; Academician YiLing Wu, (Vice President of the World Federation of Traditional Chinese Medicine Societies, and Founder and Discipline Leader of TCM Luobing Discipline), presented “Construction of Chinese medicine Mailuo theory and its application in research of prevention and treatment of microvascular diseases”; Academician WeiPing Jia, (Director of Shanghai Diabetes Institute), offered a speech entitled “Application of digital medicine in chronic diseases management”; Professor JianYe Wang, (Director of National Center for Geriatrics, and Professor of Peking University and China Union Medical College), talked about “Strategies and implementation for advancing healthy aging in China”. The participating authoritative experts jointly contributed to promoting global health development and constructing a human health community.
（Guest speaker at the Keynote Speech）
（Guest speaker at the Thematic Forum2）
At present, global health and health development still face many challenges. For example, the COVID- 19 pandemic, obesity, and related chronic diseases pose serious threats to human health and are major public health problems need to be addressed urgently. The conference had fascinating discussions around relevant topics.
Prevention and control of COVID-19 and future global pandemic
The conference discussed the research progress and challenges of COVID- 19 prevention and control in an in-depth and extensive way. Invited experts offered different perspectives in several forums. Fu Gao stressed the important role of inclusiveness in COVID- 19 prevention and control; Peter Doherty stated that it was the main challenge for all countries to work together to deal with future pandemics; Jeffrey P. Koplan emphasized that global response to COVID- 19 called for international collaboration; Wannian Liang shared China’s experience of fighting COVID-19.
The conference also held a separate COVID- 19 prevention and control forum, chaired by Guihua Zhuang, (Dean of the XJTU School of Public Health), where well-known experts discussed the role of public health, vaccine research and development, digital modeling, scientific and technological development, and health economics in COVID- 19 prevention and control.
Prevention and control of chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes
To promote collaboration in facing global challenges, the conference held five forums working with well-known domestic and international organizations in the field , including a joint forum with WOF, one with IDF, Obesity Prevention and Control Forum, Nutrition and Health Forum, and Chronic Diseases Prevention and Control Forum. The WOF joint forum is the first official cooperation between WOF, the world's only international organization with the goal of obesity prevention and control, and a Chinese institution. The IDF joint forum builds bridges in the field of obesity and diabetes and promotes cross-border cooperation. The Nutrition and Health Forum is a joint forum with the Institute of Nutrition and Health of CCDC. These forums discussed the strategies and challenges of obesity prevention and control from the perspectives of clinical treatment, lifestyle, public health, and biostatistics.
The conference set up two sub-forums jointly organized with international academic organizations to promote in-depth international cooperation and exchanges. The Obesity Prevention and Control Forum co-organized with WOF, was chaired by Donna Ryan, (Former President of WOF), and Youfa Wang, (Chairman of CNS-OPCS). Several international authoritative experts including Louis Baur, (President-elect of WOF), Johanan Ralston, (CEO of WOF), and others, reported on some successful cases and implications of obesity prevention and control in the world, the biological mechanism of obesity, the challenges of obesity treatment, and obesity prevention and control in China. Finally, a roundtable discussion was carried out centered on “the most critical steps to address the global obesity epidemic”. The panelists made recommendations for future work.
(Guest Speakers at the IDF&WOF Forum)
The chairs of the Diabetes Prevention and Control Forum co-organized with IDF were Akhtar Hussain, (president-elect of IDF), and Ji Linong, (Director of the Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism at Peking University People’s Hospital and Director of Diabetes Center). Stephen Colagiuri (Vice President of IDF) and other international experts presented. They discussed the role of IDF in the pathogenesis and treatment of diabetes, diet, and diabetes, and introduced the IDF’s diabetes education program-- Diabetes School.
The chairs of the Obesity Prevention and Control Forum1 were Deliang Wen, (Secretary of Party Committee of Jinzhou Medical University, Former President of China Medical University), and Youfa Wang. Experts from university hospitals and enterprises discussed obesity prevention and control strategies in China and obesity treatment in the future development of obesity assessment in the digital age, and held a panel discussion on “the most urgent and effective interventions in our current obesity prevention and control efforts”. The forum also introduced “The Expert Consensus on Obesity Prevention and Control of Chinese residents” jointly developed by 34 authoritative experts in various fields in China, including multiple academicians and leaders of many relevant societies, which was officially published in May 2022.
The chais of the Nutrition and Health Forum were Xiaoguang Yang, (Vice President of CNS), and Gangqiang Ding, (Director of the Institute of Nutrition and Health of CCDC). Several experts covered various topics such as dietary intervention, nutritional treatment, and the role of lifestyle in obesity. In addition, other experts participated in panel discussions about how to use new technologies and action plans to promote a healthy diet and achieve Healthy China.
The chairs of the Chronic Disease Prevention and Control Forum were Xiancang Ma, (Vice President of the First Affiliated Hospital of XJTU), and Lingxia Zeng, (Chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics of the School of Public Health and Executive Director of the GHI Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Control). Six experts reported on whether improving birth outcomes can prevent chronic diseases in adults, the prevalence of chronic diseases and risk factors in China, the burden of gastrointestinal tumors, and the design and analysis of clinical trials related to rational drug use of chronic diseases in the elderly, and the role of very large scale cohort studies in precision medicine and population health.
The Conference set up three forums on Gerontology and Healthy Aging, chaired by Xi Chen, (Associate Professor of Health Policy and Economics of Yale University), and Zuyun Liu, (Professor of the Second Affiliated Hospital and School of Public Health, Zhejiang University), Li Xi, (Director of Center of Healthy Aging and Geriatrics, Global Health Institute, XJTU the first affiliated hospital), Ju Han, (Deputy Party Secretary and Secretary of Commission for Discipline Inspection of the First Affiliated Hospital of XJTU & Director of Life Cycle Health Research Institute of the First Affiliated Hospital of XJTU) and others, respectively.
Gerontology & Healthy Aging session 1 invited five top international experts in the field of geriatric health to give reports online, covering hot issues in the field of geriatric health, such as death, disability, cognitive ability, healthy aging policy, and dementia. The reports showcased the latest progress of important interdisciplinary research on healthy aging.
The theme of Gerontology & Healthy Aging session 2 is “Focus on Geriatric Syndrome Assessment and Intervention and Chronic Disease Management to Promote Healthy Aging”. The speakers discussed the current situation of geriatric medicine development challenges and opportunities, less muscle disease diagnosis, and expert consensus interpretation, China’s elderly ejection fraction retained new progress of diagnosis and treatment of heart failure, China of diagnosis and treatment of senile hypertension management guidelines, weak elderly expert consensus and so on the reporting and in-depth discussion, to further improve clinical expertise, promoting the development of geriatric medicine discipline provides a new way of thinking.
The theme of Gerontology & Healthy Aging session 3 is “Scientific Innovation for Health, Enjoy Silver Age”. The speakers were government officials, experts from institutions of higher learning, medical institutions, enterprises, financial institutions, industry, etc, who held fruitful discussions on the future direction of geriatrics medicine, new technologies and therapies for geriatrics, and how science and technology might help build a new system of aging health services.
Other Important Health Issues
Other forums were also fascinating, including Global Health, Active Health and Healthy China, Smart Medicine (mHealth), Environmental and Endemic Diseases Prevention and Control, Medical-Prevention Integration, and Basic Medical Research. They were chaired by Tieru Han, (President of The Chinese Preventive Medicine Association-Chinese Society on Global Health, and former senior official of WHO), Zhijie Zheng, (Chief Representative and Director of China Country Office, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), Zhiqiang Zhang, (Former Deputy Director of the Food Safety Standards and Monitoring and Evaluation Department, the National Health Commission), Xiaonong Zhou, (Director of National Institute of Parasitic Diseases CCDC), Zongfang Li, (Dean of The Second Affiliated Hospital, XJTU), Mei Tian, (Executive President of Human Phenome Institute, Fudan University), Baopeng Tang, (Vice President of the First Affiliated Hospital of Xinjiang Medical University), Yunguo Chen, (Vice President of Xinjiang Bingtuan Sishi Hospital), Zhongliang Zhou, (Dean of XJTU School of public policy and administration,), Baojun Zhang, (Dean of XJTU School of Basic Medical Science), and Jinghong Chen, (Director of the XJTU GHI Center of Environment and Endemic Disease Control),respectively.
Promote the career development of young scholars
The congress set up a forum named Dialogue with Editor-in-chief of Top International Journals, and a number of authoritative journal editors have carried out report and roundtable discussions, including Jie Cai, (Editor-in-Chief of The Lancet Regional Health – Western Pacific), Hong Xiao, (Vice General Manager of China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI)), etc., which provided advice and guidance for researches in the field of health, especially young scholars
In addition, to promote exchange among young scholars and their future career development, the conference specially set up Young Scholar Forum and poster exhibition. Among large number of submitted research abstracts, 27 scholars were selected by the Review Committee for oral presentations in the Young Scholar Forum, and 133 were selected for poster exhibition. After further evaluation by the Review Committee at the scene, 4 of the scholars won first class prize of outstanding research award, 10 won second prize, 13 got excellent award, and 25 won excellent poster award.
The three-day event ended on June 19. It attracted 110,000 online viewers. The conference has been highly praised by many domestic and international experts and participants. They expressed that the conference had played an important role in promoting international exchange and cooperation, cultivating a new generation of health researchers and policymakers with international vision and advanced concepts, sharing China's experience and wisdom, and contributing to the construction of “Healthy China”.
At the starting point of the ancient Silk Road, Xi ’an, the ancient capital of the thirteen dynasties, is piloting the new Silk Road. As the largest developing country, China has always been actively advocating and promoting global health cooperation, shoulders international responsibilities with unremitting efforts, assisting other countries, and joining hands with international partners in fighting the epidemic, promoting global health, and promoting the construction of a human health community and protect the bright future of human health.
(Writers: Lihua Yan, Jianduan Zhang, Rui Wang)