Toward the start of Omnia El Omrani’s emergency medicine internship, Hurricane Irma hit Miami. As a second-year medical student, she saw firsthand the devastating impact of climate crises on public health. El Omrani has since merged her career in medicine with one in climate change leadership, working with organizations such as the International Federation of Medical Students Association, the WHO, and UNICEF, in an effort to keep health at the core of climate change negotiations.
She emphasizes the need for structuring policy not merely in response to political or economic incentives, but in anticipation of an evolving health crisis affecting individuals and communities. This is of particular consequence for the unrepresented victims of climate change – children, adolescents, and women in poor countries – whose health and livelihood bear a disproportionate vulnerability to its consequences.
Last year El Omrani was appointed the first Youth Envoy to the President for COP27, acting as the conduit between youth-led organizations and the government to ensure that the voices of young activists and advocates are taken into account by institutions during the negotiation process.
In light of her expertise at the intersection of medicine and climate change, Cairo Review Assistant Editors Ana Davis and Andre Mikhail discussed with El Omrani youth involvement in COP27, mental health in the climate change era, effective climate policymaking, and the fossil fuel industry’s influence on the health sector.
Read the full interview below: