The Importance of public health


Visitors take a break at the Expo 2020 Dubai. Kamal Kassim, Gulf Today

Staff Reporter, Gulf Today

In line with the Health and Wellness Week at Expo 2020 Dubai, the Swiss Pavilion is organising a series of talks, lectures and panel discussions, focusing on human wellness and public health. Experts from Switzerland, the UAE and the region will share their views and experiences on this multidisciplinary way of looking at wellness.

The activities during the week linked to the importance of public health come in line with the UN SDGs, which are a universal call to action to protect the planet, end poverty and ensure global peace and prosperity.

The Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+) is leading the Health and Wellness Week activities and it is a foundation of Swiss universities that assembles the inter-university faculty of public health sciences affiliated with 12 Swiss universities. SSPH+ is also the national coordinating body for the promotion of post-graduate university education and research in public health.

Dante Larini, Project Manager of Swissnex at the Swiss Pavilion, said, “Together, the 17 UN SDGs bring forth the message of human wellness and its sustainability in the long run. Public health is a significant and strategic element of human wellness and the Health and Wellness Week will explore multidisciplinary perspectives on the subject. In the backdrop of the continuing COVID and pandemic circumstances, we consider it as very salient to focus on public health.”

The key events during the Health and Wellness Week include a presentation on January 31 at the Swiss Pavilion, entitled, `Young Minds for Healthy Lives on Healthy Planet.’ A Q&A led by young UAE participants reviewing scientific papers will follow the presentation.

During the week, students from Accademia Teatro Dimitri from Ticino will interpret public health and SDGs artistically through a unique combination of science and art. This will be complemented by an exhibit designed by students of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI).

Other activities include a panel by SSPH+ on Health in Urban Space, presentations by PHD students on tackling public health, presentations by Swiss experts on public health beyond the pandemic and a WHO-Europe panel on COVID-19.

Switzerland was the first country to confirm its participation in the Expo 2020 Dubai. The Swiss Pavilion offers a unique encounter with Switzerland. It highlights Switzerland as a country of scenic beauty and a leading hub of technology and innovation by presenting the excellence of Swiss universities, start-ups and companies as well as creating joint events with local partners.

The Swiss Pavilion relies on a public-private partnership model. It promotes Switzerland’s economic capacity and attractiveness to the UAE – the most important trading partner in the Middle East. It turns the spotlight on its high-quality products and services together with its partners Schindler, Rolex SA, Switzerland Tourism, Roche, Clariant, Novartis, Nestlé, and KGS Diamond Group Ltd and suppliers. Presence Switzerland oversees the Swiss Pavilion. It is the unit of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, which is responsible for Switzerland’s image abroad and Switzerland’s official presence in international events, such as World Expos.

The selected project ‘Reflections’ was designed by the Swiss project team OOS AG (architecture), Bellprat Partner AG (scenography) and Lorenz Eugster Landscaping GmbH (landscaping) and built by General contractor Expomobilia.

Swissnex is the global network connecting Switzerland and the world in education, research, and innovation. At the Swiss Pavilion, Swissnex presents content based on the Expo theme weeks, which are linked to the UN sustainable. Development goals. Swiss universities, start-ups and innovative companies will shed the light on their research and inventions through temporary exhibits and presentations for the public. In addition to this, panels, workshops, pitch contests and networking events will take place at the event space and the rooftop terrace.

Swissnex at the Swiss Pavilion also aims to connect our Swiss partners with equivalents from the UAE, The Middle East and other national pavilions. By inviting local and international researchers and students to events and workshops, the Swiss Pavilion is positioned as a hub for communication and creating new collaborative partnerships.

Slovak Republic: The Slovak Republic celebrated its National Day at Expo 2020 Dubai on Thursday with a visit from President Zuzana Čaputová, who urged the global community to work together on transitioning to a greener economy while shining a spotlight on Slovakia’s state-of-the-art mobility innovations that will help achieve a sustainable, fairer society for all.

President Zuzana Čaputová, was welcomed by Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology and Chairwoman of the UAE Space Agency.

President Čaputová said, “This world exposition is a testament of humankind’s creativity and ability to innovate. And it is also proof that when people, countries and cultures come together, they can achieve spectacular things. This gives me hope that we can, and we will, overcome the global challenges such as the pandemic and its social and economic impacts, or the climate crisis, if we work together.”

She encouraged the audience to visit the Slovakia Pavilion in the Mobility District, where they can discover the country’s advances in aviation, space and unique hydrogen technologies. Among the special exhibits, the pavilion features a hydrogen-powered passenger car, utilising technology intended to revolutionise the passenger, freight and public transport sectors.

“These are far from being just fancy or futuristic items – what you will see is just a sample of projects developed by the Slovak businesses and innovators to help shape the world’s transition towards a greener, climate-neutral and fairer economy and societies. Because ultimately, this is what we need to become if we are to survive on this planet,” she said, adding, “I am delighted that Slovakia is part of the effort to advance innovations and creativity through this Expo.”

Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri said, “Slovakia’s participation presents the future of mobility, demonstrating the country’s strong commitment to sustainable energy within the fields of hydrogen and aerospace technology, including its original hydrogen technologies and robotics, as well as its leadership in the automotive and energy sectors.

“Through Expo 2020 and beyond, we are keen to expand our relations with Slovakia and explore new horizons of cooperation between our nations. We hope to utilise this extraordinary global event to join one another and work towards our collective benefit and that of future generations to come.”

President Čaputová agreed, “I am glad that our bilateral relations with the United Arab Emirates are already very good. We are ready to deepen them further, especially in the field of scientific cooperation and education, green technologies or tourism.”

Activities to mark the National Day included perfectly choreographed traditional song and dance showcasing Slovakia’s heritage and folklore, while the ‘Mirror Family’ – an energetic, futuristic dance show and visual spectacle – entertained visitors with performances across the site.


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