Prepping for future pandemics, medical innovation and mental health top agenda at Expo 2020’s Health and Wellness Week

DUBAI, 26 January 2022 – 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 (27 January – 2 February), held in association with the Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBRU) and the World Health Organization (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.

Expo’s eighth Theme Week, the event will comprise various panel discussions across the site, including the Health and Wellness Business Forum on 1 February at Dubai Exhibition Centre, Expo 2020.

Her Excellency 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.”“أسبوع الصحة واللياقة” في إكسبو 2020 دبي يناقش تحديات النظام الصحي العالمي

Dr. Amer Sharif, Vice Chancellor of Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences, MBRU, said: “We are proud to join hands with Expo 2020 Dubai and the World Health Organization on Health and Wellness Week, which will address the very imperative topic of how to create a healthier, happier world. 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 honored 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 Organization and Former Minister of Finance, Nigeria; Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist at the World Health Organization, paediatrician, and a world-renowned expert on tuberculosis and HIV; and Stephen Donnelly TD, Minister for Health, Ireland.

A full Health and Wellness Week events programme, containing key details and ways to watch proceedings remotely though Virtual Expo, can be found here.

Across Expo 2020, visitors will be inspired to look after their own health and wellbeing through a raft of fitness activities including Yoga, Pilates and Zumba, available through the Glofox App (App Store and Google Play), while downloadable journeys ‘Ready, Set Go!’ and ‘How Humans Heal’ guide guests through food and fitness practices from around and explore fascinating topics including plant-based healing and robotic brain surgery.

Expo 2020’s 10 Theme Weeks, held under the World Expo’s Programme for People and Planet, are offering an exchange of inspiring new perspectives to address the greatest challenges and opportunities of our time.