Under the auspices of the Ministry of Environment, Egypt’s First Harm Reduction Summit is scheduled to take place in Cairo in November. Under the theme of “Empowering Effective Change”, the summit aims to shed light on the concept of harm reduction and reduce the negative effects of harmful practices on the environment, health, and society. The Summit aims to create a platform to showcase successful case studies that have had a positive impact on both businesses and communities to achieve national development goals in line with Egypt’s Vision 2030.
The Summit expects attendance from various government entities, unions, and business organizations, with support from several major local and international institutions and companies. Egypt’s First Harm Reduction Summit will bring together a distinguished group of local and regional experts and specialists from the government and the private sector, representing a wide spectrum of fields. The Summit’s focus will be on enhancing harm reduction strategies and principles aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Additionally, it will emphasize the importance of partnership between the government and the private sector in expanding green projects that contribute to economic development, environmental protection, and promoting harm reduction within society.
The opening session of the summit will discuss government efforts to change perceptions and approaches toward unfavorable behaviors and habits and empower harm reduction in areas that directly impact society, including initiatives such as the National Initiative for Smart Green Projects, the NWFE program, and the outcomes of the COP27 conference hosted in Sharm El Sheikh last year, which aimed at mitigating the effects of climate change worldwide and the initiative to reduce single-use plastics.
The first session entitled, “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, and increasing physical activity to lower the risk of heart and lung-related conditions.
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.