Expo Health and Wellness Week logo
DUBAI, 3 February 2021 – What innovations and technologies are transforming the way communities address global health concerns, and how can we harness these to build happier, healthier societies?
These questions were at the core of Health and Wellness Week, the latest in a series of Expo 2020 Dubai-led thematic weeks that seek to address some of the greatest challenges facing humanity and explore solutions that benefit us all.
Held on 2 February in collaboration with Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBRU), the virtual live-streamed event brought together International Participants, partners and renowned global experts for panel discussions and Q&As.
Looking at how the COVID-19 pandemic has tested our interconnected world, our health systems and society as a whole, sessions – now available on demand – explored the opportunity offered by the UAE and Expo 2020 to come together to design a healthier and happier global society.
Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “Health and wellness are fundamental drivers of human development, yet they are under threat – and we must respond. The fierce test of the last 12 months has shown us that we must all come together to re-design what tomorrow could and must look like.
“Our Expo later this year will be the moment in which all stakeholders, at every level, can come together and collectively re-create an inclusive, global health system – one that will allow access to healthcare for communities and is preventative and protective of all, rather than some.”
Dr Reem Al Gurg, Director of Strategy and Institutional Excellence and Assistant Professor, Health Policy, MBRU, said: “COVID-19 has taught us not only how important healthcare is, but how informed decision making and evidence-based science is a crucial component for any society’s protection and prosperity. As an institution that highly values excellence, connectivity and giving, we are proud to join hands with Expo 2020 Dubai to work towards a healthier and happier society.”
Speakers also included Professor Shekhar Saxena, Practice of Global Mental Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Philomena Raftery, Technical Officer, World Health Organization Health Emergencies Programme in Cambodia.
Sessions included a discussion with representatives from Hungary about how the country’s abundant mineral-rich springs can be used to treat a range of health conditions, spotlighting our relationship with the natural world. Another celebrated female frontline health workers, while exploring opportunities to tackle gender discrimination, bias and inequalities within the health sector.
Touching on Expo 2020’s health and wellness efforts, including its worker wellness strategy and response to COVID-19, the event wrapped up with a World Majlis – moderated by Helen Farmer, Senior Presenter at Arabian Radio Network (ARN) – on how to build healthier and happier communities in a post-pandemic era.
Global health and wellness is one of the key challenges Expo seeks to address by bringing people, communities and nations together to build bridges, enable action and inspire solutions, and Expo is already supporting a number of healthcare-related innovations and projects across the world.
These include MeeTwo – a UK-based mental health app that helps teenagers talk about difficult issues – and Coolar, whose electricity independent, water-based cooling technology enables off-grid health facilities in developing regions to reliably store lifesaving medicines and vaccines. Both are supported under Expo 2020’s global innovation and partnership programme, Expo Live.
They also include the USD 3 Janma kit from India-based ayzh, spotlighted under Expo’s Global Best Practice Programme, containing simple tools to equip healthcare workers with the essential supplies, skills, and confidence to provide a clean and safe birth.
Health and Wellness Week was the sixth in a series of 10 thematic weeks – launched in October 2020 with Space Week – that brings together influential policymakers, thought leaders, Expo participants and the public to help shape the thought-provoking content and conversations taking place during Expo 2020 Dubai.
Running from 1 October 2021 until 31 March 2022, Expo 2020 will seek collaborative solutions to the world’s most pressing issues – including weeks dedicated to the Global Goals, Climate and Biodiversity, Knowledge and Learning, and Water – to help shape a better, more sustainable future for all.