Inside Davos 2020: the World Economic Forum

Global health challenges are getting more complex. Our company is working with leaders everywhere to solve them.

February 1, 2020

Share this article

article hero thumbnail

There are critical public health threats all around the globe. From disease outbreaks like Ebola to the increasing number of moms who die during childbirth, the health issues facing our world are becoming more interconnected and harder to solve.

“We can’t solve complex health challenges with medicines and vaccines alone, even though these tools are critical,” says Dr. Julie Gerberding, M.P.H. “Together with partners in governments, feet-on-the-ground organizations, and impact investment entities, we are helping to build stronger and more resilient global health systems that can successfully manage even the most daunting health threats.”

Julie and other company leaders participate each year in the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to tackle some of the most pressing global, regional and industry issues, including those involving health care, technology, the environment, politics and more. An estimated 3,000 business leaders from public and private sectors, academic institutions, politicians and other influencers take part in the Forum.

davos panel
Julie Gerberding Davos 2020

Ebola, cancer and other complex issues on the table

During the 2020 Forum, our leaders participated in panel discussions related to the future of health care and the importance of partnerships in solving complex health issues.

“The true breakthrough in the struggle to protect the world against the Ebola virus is the unique public-private partnership that has come together to fight this killer,” wrote Ken Frazier, our chairman, in a recent column on the topic.

Forum participants heard about our company’s efforts to bolster confidence in vaccines—a critical need given that the World Health Organization named vaccine hesitancy one of the top 10 public health threats of 2020.

MSD for Mothers showcased its $500 million global program to reduce maternal mortality. Our efforts in 48 countries have helped ensure 10.9 million healthier pregnancies and safer deliveries.

Partnering to advance drone technology to get medicines to hard-to-reach places and our ongoing search for new ways to fight cancer were among other topics that prompted lively and inspirational panel discussions at this year’s Forum.


The 2020 World Economic Forum

The 50th annual Forum ran from Jan. 21 to 24 in Davos, Switzerland, with the theme “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World.” The event featured more than 650 prominent speakers and 175 webcasts.