كتبت: نحوى طه
Under the auspices of the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, Egypt’s First Harm Reduction Summit is set to take place tomorrow, the 14th of November, in Cairo. With the theme of “Empowering Effective Change,” the summit aims to illuminate the concept of harm reduction and mitigate the negative effects of harmful practices on the environment, health, and society. The summit is set to create a platform to showcase successful case studies that have positively impacted both businesses and communities, aligning with national development goals in accordance with Egypt’s Vision 2030.
The opening speech of the summit will be delivered by H.E. Dr. Yasmine Fouad, Minister of Environment, who will discuss the ministry’s efforts to change perceptions and approaches toward unfavorable behaviors and habits and empower harm reduction. A high-level delegation of government entities and business organizations will deliver the opening remarks, including Dr. Sherif El Gabali, Chairman of Board of the Egyptian Chamber of Chemical Industries, and Eng. Heba Hammad, General Manager of Egyptian Standards (EOS), Convenor Egyptian Codex and ISO Convenor of DCCG/TC292.
The first session, titled “Harm Reduction Perspectives from Medical Experts,” will explore innovative scientific methods aimed at mitigating health risks stemming from natural environmental factors and harmful human habits and behaviors. The session will emphasize the significance of early disease detection and effective treatments, particularly in the case of diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular issues. Topics covered in this session will include strategies for preventing skin cancer and minimizing the dangers of excessive sun exposure, promoting healthy diets, increasing physical activity to lower the risk of heart and lung-related conditions, and smoking-related diseases.
The second session, “Harm reduction as a mutual beneficiation for businesses and communities”, will explore how adopting harm reduction strategies can positively impact the private sector and businesses in terms of cost reduction, energy efficiency, and reducing their negative footprint on the environment. Simultaneously, the session will shed light on how these practices contribute to communities in terms of quality of life, personal health, and well-being. The session gathers a line-up of distinguished speakers representing a wide spectrum of fields including, Eng. Bassel Shoirah, Head of the Industrial Development Chamber at the Federation of Egyptian Industries and General Manager of Polaris Parks; Mr. Sherif Hamouda, Chairman, GV Investment Group Egypt; Mr. Ankush Arora, Group CEO, Mansour Automotive; Mr. Ayman Essam, External Affairs and Legal Director, Vodafone Egypt; and Eng. Ahmed Taleb, CEO of sales and marketing, Jazeera Paints.
Egypt’s First Harm Reduction Summit, sponsored by Vodafone Egypt, Jazeera Paints, Philip Morris, and Hyde Park Developments, will bring together a distinguished group of local and regional experts and specialists from both the government and the private sector. The summit will focus on enhancing harm reduction strategies and principles in alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Additionally, it will underscore the significance of partnerships between the government and the private sector in advancing green projects that contribute to economic development, environmental protection, and the promotion of harm reduction within society.