Leaders, experts gather in Riyadh to push limits of human healthspan

Leaders, experts gather in Riyadh to push limits of human healthspan
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The summit aims to foster meaningful discussion and encourage advancement, investment, and international cooperation. (Supplied)
Leaders, experts gather in Riyadh to push limits of human healthspan
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The panel explored the Kingdom’s role in extending a healthy human lifespan, in line with Vision 2030. (Supplied)
Leaders, experts gather in Riyadh to push limits of human healthspan
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“The foundation has a very simple, clear, and impactful message, that is extending healthy lifespan for the benefit of all humanity," said Princess Haya. (Supplied)
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Updated 29 November 2023
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Leaders, experts gather in Riyadh to push limits of human healthspan

Leaders, experts gather in Riyadh to push limits of human healthspan
  • ‘Health of humans comes first under Vision 2030,’ says ministry official

RIYADH: Leaders and industry experts have gathered at the Global Healthspan Summit this week to turn a spotlight on promises to revolutionize views on aging, life expectancy, and healthspan science.  

Issues related to chronic diseases and socioeconomic disparities because of inequalities and other factors will be among topics discussed at the event, organized by the Hevolution Foundation and being held in Riyadh until Thursday.  

Princess Haya bint Khaled, the foundation’s vice president of strategy and development, was part of a first-day session titled “Making the Case for the Healthspanned Society — What Now, What Next.” 

She was joined by Tareef Alaama, deputy minister of health for curative services, Peter Fedichev, co-founder of Gero, Henk Heidekamp, managing director of the European Research Institute for the Biology of Aging, and Jerry McLaughlin, CEO of Life Biosciences. 

The talk was one of several aimed at fostering meaningful discussion and encouraging advancement, investment, and international cooperation.  

Princess Haya said: “The foundation has a very simple, clear, and impactful message — (we are working to) extend healthy lifespan for the benefit of all humanity and develop breakthroughs or innovative tools to address diseases that we see increasing.”  

On Saudi Arabia’s role in extending a healthy human lifespan, in line with Vision 2030, Alaama said: “The health of humans comes first under Vision 2030. Among the promises is to increase the life expectancy of individuals from what it used to be in 2016, which is (from) 74 to 80 years of age by 2030. 

“To achieve that, we have developed a strategy that looks at scientific methods and data-driven methods … we utilize data, we collect statistics, we go to the nitty-gritty details, looking at variability aging among sectors and regions.” 

Ultimately, this would mean interventions could be designed and implemented in ways most effective for increasing human life expectancy, he added. 

Examples of those by the Ministry of Health included looking at modifiable risk factors and treating hypertension, both of which could add two years to life expectancy. 

The panel also examined challenges faced by the health sector as it moved forward to expand lifespan. One such issue was the lack of funding for the biology of aging. 

Heidekamp said: “In the Netherlands, we have the foundations for cancer research and Alzheimer’s research, but there’s no funding for aging.”  

The Hevolution Foundation has committed to advancing age sciences by investing up to $1 billion annually in aging research and healthspan science. 

It recently announced the selection of 11 Saudi researchers in the field of aging sciences to receive two-year grants worth SR10 million ($2.6 million), making the program one of the most impactful initiatives in the field of aging in the Kingdom.  

The development of diagnostics and therapeutics together was identified as another challenge.  

Mehmood Khan, the foundation’s CEO, said: “As a patient, as a consumer, to have your aging biology tested determines not just how old the body is but also how old the different organ systems in your body are.” 

But he noted that aging was not so straightforward. 

“Not everybody ages the same way. So, to go to a doctor and say, ‘just tell me how old I am,’ is way too simplistic. 

“We all know people who, for example, have very young bodies but their minds are aged. We know others whose bodies are aged, but their minds are still very young. 

“We are now evaluating the best technologies in the world, bringing them all under one roof to see what that looks like,” Khan added.


Saudi FM receives Montenegrin counterpart in Riyadh

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan meets with his Montenegrin counterpart Filip Ivanovic in Riyadh on Thursday. SPA
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan meets with his Montenegrin counterpart Filip Ivanovic in Riyadh on Thursday. SPA
Updated 7 sec ago
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Saudi FM receives Montenegrin counterpart in Riyadh

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan meets with his Montenegrin counterpart Filip Ivanovic in Riyadh on Thursday. SPA
  • During the meeting, the two officials reviewed cooperation between their countries and ways to enhance and develop it in various fields

RIYADH: Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan received his Montenegrin counterpart Filip Ivanovic in Riyadh on Thursday.

During the meeting, the two officials reviewed cooperation between their countries and ways to enhance and develop it in various fields.

They also discussed regional and international developments and efforts made in this regard.


Governor of Taif meets with Saudi cultural director

Governor of Taif meets with Saudi cultural director
Updated 55 min 53 sec ago
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Governor of Taif meets with Saudi cultural director

Governor of Taif meets with Saudi cultural director
  • Prince Saud bin Nahar was briefed on SASCA’s strategy and initiatives aimed at fostering and empowering talent in the cultural and artistic fields
  • A cooperation agreement was signed between SASCA and Taif University

RIYADH: Governor of Taif Prince Saud bin Nahar bin Saud met Princess Haifa bint Abdulmohsen, the director of development and partnerships at the Saudi Arabian Society for Culture and Arts, at the governorate’s headquarters on Thursday.

The governor was briefed on SASCA’s strategy and initiatives aimed at fostering and empowering talent in the cultural and artistic fields, in line with the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

The parties were also present at the signing of a cooperation agreement between SASCA in Taif and Taif University.


Saudi FM receives phone call from Belgian counterpart

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan received a phone call from his Belgian counterpart Hadja Lahbib on Thursday.
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan received a phone call from his Belgian counterpart Hadja Lahbib on Thursday.
Updated 18 April 2024
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Saudi FM receives phone call from Belgian counterpart

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan received a phone call from his Belgian counterpart Hadja Lahbib on Thursday.

RIYADH: Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan received a phone call from his Belgian counterpart Hadja Lahbib on Thursday.

During the phone call, the two officials discussed  developments in the region, particularly developments in the Gaza Strip and efforts made in this regard.


ilmi, PNU launch museum studies program

ilmi, PNU launch museum studies program
Updated 18 April 2024
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ilmi, PNU launch museum studies program

ilmi, PNU launch museum studies program
  • New micro-credential courses open to all high-school graduates, undergraduates
  • Program includes Arabic, English, in-person, remote, long and short-term courses

RIYADH: A new museum studies program in Saudi Arabia has opened for registration, offering micro-credential and long-term courses.

It is the result of a partnership between ilmi, a center for science, technology, reading, engineering, arts and mathematics learning, and Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University.

ilmi — meaning “my knowledge” in Arabic — is a science and innovation center that aims to empower young people in Saudi Arabia.

A philanthropic NGO initiative created by Princess Sara bint Mashour bin Abdulaziz, wife of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, ilmi is incubated, supported and funded by the Mohammed bin Salman Foundation, Misk, as a subsidiary, and operates in partnership with Mohammed bin Salman Nonprofit City.

The museum studies program includes micro-credential, diploma, minor and elective courses.

It is open to recent high-school graduates and university undergraduates keen to secure entry-level positions in museums, as well as professionals seeking new skill sets and career paths.

Created by ilmi and PNU experts from Saudi Arabia and around the world, the program offers a blend of online and in-person learning, alongside Arabic and English tuition options.

Micro-credential courses will blend online and in-person learning, and are available to applicants over the age of 18.

Courses include museum impact studies, museum education and awareness, an introduction to museum technologies, fundamentals of museum management and integrating digital technology.

Courses on offer for PNU students include an introduction to museums elective and specialist minors in museums and digital technology, exhibit design and content development.

A two-year diploma in museum management will also be available for both PNU students and recent high-school graduates.

Registration has opened for the first online micro-credential course starting this month: Fundamentals of museum management.

All further micro-credential courses will take place in May and June, with the diploma, minor and elective programs starting in September at the beginning of the academic year 2024/25.

Program graduates can also apply to work alongside ilmi experts as they design and launch unique, informal learning programs across the Kingdom.

For more information and registration, click here.


KSrelief, WFP to support malnutrition treatment in Yemen

KSrelief, WFP to support malnutrition treatment in Yemen
Updated 18 April 2024
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KSrelief, WFP to support malnutrition treatment in Yemen

KSrelief, WFP to support malnutrition treatment in Yemen
  • Allocation of $4.85 million to treat malnutrition in children aged under five as well as pregnant and lactating women in Yemen
  • Agreement was signed by Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, adviser at the Royal Court and KSrelief’s supervisor general, and WFP Executive Director Cindy McCain

PARIS: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center signed a joint cooperation agreement with the World Food Programme allocating $4.85 million to treat malnutrition in children aged under five as well as pregnant and lactating women in Yemen.

The signing took place on the sidelines of the International Conference for Sudan and Neighboring Countries, which was organized by France and the EU in Paris.

The agreement was signed by Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, adviser at the Royal Court and KSrelief’s supervisor general, and WFP Executive Director Cindy McCain.

It aims to improve the nutritional situation for Yemen’s most impoverished people by providing supplements in targeted areas, benefiting 86,985 people.