Population aging or the increase in the proportion of older persons is one of the challenges of the 21st century. This challenge will be affecting aspects like pension and health care systems, economic growth and prevalence of chronic diseases all over the world including Egypt, that lacks social, economic and health information on Egyptian elderly.
The idea of this high level meeting was triggered by Dr. Mohamed Salama, Associate Professor of Toxicology, Mansoura University and Senior Fellow at the Global Brain Health Institute. He shared with Prof. Axel Börsch-Supan his vison to introduce A Longitudinal Study of Egyptian Healthy Aging (AL-SEHA) in Egypt resulting in immediate interest and his willingness to travel to Egypt to share his knowledge with fellow scientists.
Due to the importance of the topic, Prof. Mahmoud Sakr, Head of the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology offered the opportunity to host this high-level meeting at the Academy. The events’ aim was not only to start a dialogue in aging studies between stakeholders and policy makers, but also to establish the Egyptian Study of Aging in the long-term.
While visiting Egypt, Prof. Axel Börsch-Supan met with potential partners for the envisaged study: Dr. Halal Sweed, Head of the Ain Shams Geriatrics Center and Prof. Hassan El-Fawal, Dean of the School for Sciences and Engineering at the American University in Cairo, who is also the Founding Director of the Institute for Global Health and Human Ecology. At Mansoura University, Prof. Börsch-Supan was welcomed by Prof. Ashraf Hafez, Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies, who discussed with him possible future collaboration in the frame of the AL-SEHA initiative.
After all these promising meetings, a follow-up trip to Egypt is definitely part of Prof. Börsch-Supan’s agenda for 2020.