Will COVID-19 drive real action on antimicrobial resistance (AMR)? (S11)

The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly stolen the limelight from other key health threats, but it is important to remember that they, like the ‘slow burning’ yet pertinent public health challenge of AMR, are still with us, too. What COVID-19 did demonstrate is that interestingly, in an emergency situation, while the initial reaction is more of a ‘fight and flight response’, upon further reflection we all acknowledge that in the face of common threats, it’s ultimately down to a joint effort to respond adequately. Will a call for more Europe in health in the aftermath of the COVID-19 health crisis therefore also mean more European collaboration and action on AMR?  

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The young generation is raising their voices – but will they be heard? (S15)

Unlike any other session at the European Health Forum Gastein 2020, the session Young European Voices (S15) was primarily targeted at young professionals with varying backgrounds and interest in health. The session aimed to facilitate a platform for future policy leaders from different European youth movements to share their expert opinion and to enter into a dialogue with high-level representatives from European institutions. The focus was on health systems resilience and digital health transformation.

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Nemesis (S10)

Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed. Thor and Loki. No protagonist is complete without a nemesis. The nemesis allows for conflict, and therefore a more compelling story. A less intuitive context however in which to look for a nemesis is public health. And yet, in an EHFG 2020 session on informed decision-making in times of limited evidence, Trish Greenhalgh of the University of Oxford posed the intriguing question:

Could COVID-19 be evidence-based medicine’s nemesis?

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Paving the way through the jungle to mitigate COVID-19’s impact on health inequities (S18)

The session on ‘Mitigating COVID-19’s impact on health inequalities: Investing in an equitable and resilient recovery’ organised by EuroHealthNet, the Health Foundation and Trimbos Instituut, and the Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction, resulted in a storm of ideas. At first, it seemed a bit overwhelming to try to find one clear path through the jungle of intertwined micro and macro risk factors on health inequities, which have been nowadays magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic. Caroline Costongs set the scene by citing Bambra et al.’s paper, which describes COVID-19 as a syndemic pandemic: “inequalities in COVID-19 are related to existing inequalities in chronic diseases and the social determinants of health” [1].

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Science of healthy living (S5): Challenging the status quo to enable healthier choices

The session “Science of healthy living” organised by the United European Gastroenterology (UEG) explored the status quo of associations between unhealthy lifestyles – mainly nutrition – and non-communicable diseases (NCDs), especially cancer. Moreover, the speakers discussed the measures needed to make healthier options the easiest choice for people.

EHFG 2020, Session 5: Science of healthy living.
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