A healthy environment is a critical component of sustainable development. The World Health Organization estimates that one-fourth of the disease burden in the developing world is due to environmental factors with air pollution alone killing 7 million people, mostly children and women, each year. Non-communicable diseases, such as neurodegenerative, cardiopulmonary and metabolic disorders, have been linked to exposure to environmental agents. Additionally, practices and technologies designed to promote sustainability and economic development may have unintended adverse environmental health effects. It is important in the context of health, that environment be broadly defined to include the cultural, social, behavioral and ethical determinants of well-being, which can serve to modify outcomes. Therefore, it is essential that a holistic “global” multidisciplinary approach be taken towards sustainable solutions. Furthermore, it becomes incumbent on researchers and practitioners to inform policy, which should be evidence-based, promote equity, and engage communities in these solutions. This is the underlying foundation for sustainability, a global health paradigm in the context of the human ecology which promotes knowledgeable stewardship of the planet.
This panel will discuss the following interrelated themes:
- Covid-19: A lesson for the future in meeting the challenges of sustainable development.
- Diagnostics, mitigation and prevention: The gift and challenges of technology.
- Climate change, the exposome and precision health.
- Impact of social equity, environmental protection and responsible sustainability.
- The opportunities and challenges offered by the paradigm shifts on the social front, and the engagement of the Arab region with such paradigms.