Expo 2020 Dubai: Upcoming events to focus on prepping for future pandemics, mental health

Visitors can also participate in a range of fitness activities during the Health and Wellness Week

By Wam

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Photo: Expo 2020 Dubai
Photo: Expo 2020 Dubai

Published: Thu 27 Jan 2022, 4:36 PM

The Covid-19 pandemic that revealed the strengths and weaknesses of our global health system will underpin much of the conversation at Expo 2020 Dubai’s upcoming Health and Wellness Week.

Stakeholders from across the global health ecosystem will gather to highlight and progress towards resilient health care systems fit for all.

The Theme Week, held between January 27 and February 2 and in association with the Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBRU) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), will explore the relationship between mental and physical wellness, and the enabling role of quality access to health care and technology in reaching the last mile and building healthy societies.

The week will comprise various panel discussions across the site, including the Health and Wellness Business Forum on February 1 at Dubai Exhibition Centre, Expo 2020.

Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “For us to be truly healthy, we must also be happy - because these two states of being are connected, deeply and inextricably so.

"If we do not come together to design an inclusive, crisis-proof global health system which transforms the way we access healthcare, strengthens our response to disease outbreaks, and balances our physical and mental well-being we cannot truly overcome the challenges laid bare by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Dr Amer Sharif, Vice Chancellor of MBRU, said: “Since COVID-19, our lives were profoundly changed. It remains crucial to continue the conversation on global healthcare infrastructures and be an active contributor to the global dialogue on how technologies, medicine, and sustainability can be leveraged to prevent future pandemics.

"We, at MBRU, are honoured to have joined the Expo 2020 team and WHO to support the development of this programme. Our role in Health and Wellness Week is a true illustration of our drive as an academic institution to contribute to the conversation on a global scale to achieve healthier societies."


Key speakers across the week include the Hon. Mutahi Kagwe, Cabinet Secretary for Health, Kenya; Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General, World Trade Organisation and Former Minister of Finance, Nigeria; Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist at the World Health Organisation, paediatrician, and a world-renowned expert on tuberculosis and HIV; and Stephen Donnelly TD, Minister for Health, Ireland.

Across Expo 2020, visitors will be inspired to look after their own health and well-being through a raft of fitness activities including yoga, Pilates and zumba.

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