Expert highlights Saudi public health successes and stresses need for strong science and tech policies

Munir Eldesouki, president of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, was leading the Saudi delegation at a G20-Chief Science Advisers roundtable meeting in New Delhi, India. (SPA)
Munir Eldesouki, president of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, was leading the Saudi delegation at a G20-Chief Science Advisers roundtable meeting in New Delhi, India. (SPA)
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Updated 29 August 2023
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Expert highlights Saudi public health successes and stresses need for strong science and tech policies

Expert highlights Saudi public health successes and stresses need for strong science and tech policies
  • Munir Eldesouki, president of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, led the Kingdom’s delegation at a G20-Chief Science Advisers meeting in India
  • He said policy planners face a number of challenges, including the rapid influx of new information and data, and a lack of sufficient indicators to help assess effects of policies

RIYADH: A Saudi expert on Monday highlighted the Kingdom’s efforts to improve public health and disease prevention, including its work during the COVID-19 epidemic, and emphasized the urgent need for nations to develop a comprehensive policy agenda for science and technology.

Munir Eldesouki, president of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, was leading the Saudi delegation at a G20-Chief Science Advisers roundtable meeting in New Delhi, India.

During his speech at the event, he said that planners face a number of challenges, including the rapid influx of new information and data, and the lack of sufficient indicators to help assess policy effects, the Saudi Press Agency reported

In addition to discussing the work of authorities to enhance public health, he talked about the establishment of the first virtual hospital in the Kingdom based on an integrated, one-health approach that aims to sustainably balance the health of the population with that of the wider environment, and efforts to facilitate access to specialized health services.

The Saudi National Institute of Health was established to encourage research and development collaborations in the areas of disease prevention, epidemic preparedness, vaccine development, and tackling the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Eldesouki added.

Meanwhile, the leadership shown by the Kingdom in efforts to control dengue fever through environmentally friendly biological control techniques has positioned it as a global leader in combating vector-borne diseases, he said.

He also highlighted the country’s commitment to open access to data and the exchange of scientific knowledge. To this end, the Kingdom has developed open research platforms, an open data portal, and the Gulf database platform “Jisr,” developed and operated by the Saudi Research and Innovation Network, Maeen.

Saudi authorities have defined principles of data regulation ethics and artificial intelligence models to help mitigate data loss and address potential negative effects and threats posed by artificial intelligence, Eldesouki said.

He also reviewed his country’s contributions to scientific research, noting its leading position in the region, and 30th place globally, in the Nature 2022 Index of high-quality scientific research.

There are plans to further increase the number of researchers in the Kingdom, he added, with a particular focus on bridging the gender gap. Saudi women already have significant representation in the technology sector, surpassing the average among G20 countries and EU member states, he said.

Eldesouki noted the historic achievement of Rayana Bernawi, the first Saudi female astronaut, who in May became the first Arab woman in space. He also highlighted the significant number of Saudi women that have participated in the annual Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair in the US.


KSrelief, UN officials meet to discuss aid cooperation

KSrelief, UN officials meet to discuss aid cooperation
Updated 22 February 2024
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KSrelief, UN officials meet to discuss aid cooperation

KSrelief, UN officials meet to discuss aid cooperation

RIYADH: Officials from Saudi Arabia’s aid agency and the UN met in Riyadh on Wednesday to discuss ways to improve aid delivery across the world.

Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, royal court advisor and supervisor-general of KSrelief, met with Mohamed El-Zarkani, the UN’s resident coordinator in Saudi Arabia.

El-Zarkani praised Saudi Arabia for assisting the UN’s various humanitarian and aid agencies.


KSrelief distributes 950 food parcels to displaced people in Khartoum

KSrelief distributes 950 food parcels to displaced people in Khartoum
The assistance forms part of the humanitarian and relief projects it provides in Sudan. (SPA)
Updated 22 February 2024
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KSrelief distributes 950 food parcels to displaced people in Khartoum

KSrelief distributes 950 food parcels to displaced people in Khartoum

KHARTOUM STATE: Saudi Arabia’s KSrelief distributed 950 food parcels in Sudan’s Khartoum State, benefiting 7,566 displaced people as part of the project to support food security in the country.
The assistance forms part of the humanitarian and relief projects Saudi Arabia provides through its humanitarian arm in Sudan to alleviate the suffering of people displaced by the war.


KSrelief to provide equipment to Sudan children’s hospitals

KSrelief to provide equipment to Sudan children’s hospitals
The agreement aims to reduce mortality rates. (SPA)
Updated 22 February 2024
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KSrelief to provide equipment to Sudan children’s hospitals

KSrelief to provide equipment to Sudan children’s hospitals

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s aid agency KSrelief signed a cooperation agreement on Wednesday with the Patients Helping Fund Organization in Sudan to provide essential medical equipment to the country’s children’s hospitals.

Ahmed Al-Baiz, KSrelief’s assistant supervisor-general of operations and programs, and Kamal Yaqoub Mohamed, director-general of the fund, signed the agreement in Riyadh, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The aim is to reduce mortality rates in the Kassala and El-Obeid hospitals.

The new equipment will directly benefit 100,000 individuals and another 100,000 indirect beneficiaries.

The agreement is part of the Kingdom’s ongoing efforts, led by KSrelief, to support Sudan’s health sector.


Saudi and Egyptian foreign ministers discuss bilateral ties

Saudi and Egyptian foreign ministers discuss bilateral ties
Updated 22 February 2024
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Saudi and Egyptian foreign ministers discuss bilateral ties

Saudi and Egyptian foreign ministers discuss bilateral ties

RIYADH: Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan and his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry, held talks on Wednesday on the sidelines of a meeting of G20 foreign ministers in Rio de Janeiro.

They discussed the relationship between their countries and ways in which it might be enhanced in various fields, the Saudi Press Agency reported. They also reviewed the latest regional and international developments, particularly those relating to Israel’s war on Gaza.

The Saudi ambassador to Brazil, Faisal Ghulam, and the assistant director general of the foreign minister’s office, Walid Al-Smail, were also present at the meeting.


Saudi foreign minister, Blinken discuss Gaza situation 

Saudi foreign minister, Blinken discuss Gaza situation 
Updated 22 February 2024
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Saudi foreign minister, Blinken discuss Gaza situation 

Saudi foreign minister, Blinken discuss Gaza situation 

RIYADH: Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan met on Wednesday with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the sidelines of the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Rio de Janeiro.

The pair discussed developments in Gaza and efforts aimed at resolving the crisis.

Earlier, Prince Faisal said in his remarks during Foreign Ministers’ Meeting that the G20 countries bear the responsibility to act decisively to end the disaster in the Gaza Strip, which poses urgent threats to regional peace and prosperity as well as global economic stability.