The Discovery Health Summit focuses on health issues, specifically related to non-communicable diseases (NCDs). NCDs are chronic diseases that last for a long period of time and progress very slowly, but could also result in rapid deaths, for example: heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, liver disease, osteoporosis, obesity and Alzheimers.

The Discovery Health Summit is a specialised summit targeting only doctors (GPs). Therefore, it is a scientific and diagnostic-based gathering.

17:30-19:00 REGISTRATION (AND SAVOURY “DINNER”)

19:00-19:30 GOOD HEALTH CAN CHANGE THE WORLD

Dr Jonathan Broomberg
Discovery Health CEO

19:30-20:00 GENOMES IN THE FIGHT AGAINST THE NCD PANDEMIC

A person’s total risk for NCDs is a combination of their unique genetic make-up as well as their environment and behaviour. Advances in genomic research and technologies has increased our understanding of NCDs as well as the genes associated with these diseases. Combining life sciences with computer sciences is creating powerful new capabilities such as the ability to predict the onset of illness before it occurs. This could lead to significant changes in how the medical profession detects and treats NCDs.

Dr Craig Venter (pre-recorded)
PHD, Biochemist and Entrepreneur

20:00-20:30 THE INFLUENCE OF STRUCTURAL ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS ON HEALTH

Supermarkets are the problem. Although supermarkets are lauded as vital in addressing obesity because of the large variety of fresh fruits and vegetables available, they also stock large quantities of low-nutrient foods that contribute to unnecessary weight gain. Even more worrying, is that these low-nutrient foods are being placed in “prime” shelf positions, such as end-of-aisle positions, to increase sales. But it’s not only sales that are increasing, chronic diseases – obesity, diabetes, cholesterol – is on the increase too. In light of this, should obesity still be viewed as a matter of personal responsibility and not the consequnce of living in an obesogenic environment that overwhelms and undermines individuals?

Deborah Cohen
author of A Big Fat Crisis: The Hidden Influences Behind the Obesity Epidemic, and How We Can End It.

20:30-21:00 TEA / COFFEE & SWEET

21:00-21:30 DISRUPTIVE CHANGE: USING INNOVATION IN THE PREVENTION OF NON-COMMUNICABLE DISEASES

As morbidity levels related to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) steadily rises, so does the need to explore the use of technology in managing prevention. New and innovative thinking is essential to foster new creative approaches that leverage and integrate evidence through the support of big data, technology and design thinking. This session aims to delve into the prevention of NCDs, and addresses how innovative data-driven approaches can assist in tackling them.

Prof Wayne Derman
Professor of Sports Science & Sports Medicine, Stellenbosch Research Unit for Sports Science and Sports Medicine

21:30-22:00 STATE OF THE NATION: HEALTH

Since 2009, important changes in the country’s health system have resulted in an increase in life expectancy to 60 years. Some of these improvements can be attributed to South Africa’s antiretroviral programme, now the largest in the world, as well as advances in tuberculosis diagnostics, treatment scale-up and integration. However, key health challenges across the board remain, including the re-engineering of primary health care and the rapidly growing threat of non-communicable diseases. Professor Bongani Mayosi provides a overview of the nation’s state of health, including the so-called colliding epidemics of HIV and tuberculosis; chronic illness and mental health; injury and violence; and maternal, neonatal, and child health.

Professor Bongani Mayosi
Professor and Head of the Department of Medicine at the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Cape Town (UCT)

Moderator: Ryan Noach

22:00 - CLOSING

Agenda may be subject to change.