Arab problems – and initiatives

Genetic disorders, particularly those of the skeleton and blood, are common in the Arab world, largely as a result of the high rate of consanguinity caused by intermarriage in extended Arab families. The Centre for Arab Genomic Studies (CAGS) is developing an online database in Dubai – the Catalogue of Transmission Genetics in Arabs (CTGA) – to better understand the epidemiology of genetic diseases in the Arab world. Middle East Health spoke to CAGS about the database and what they have discovered so far – page 38.

Qatar, on the back of enormous revenue from its vast oil and gas reserves, is ploughing huge sums of money into developing education, healthcare and civil infrastructure, in fact all spheres of development including the arts and culture. We visited Doha recently and found an already robust healthcare system in a state of transition with the foundations of their plans in place to achieve what they want – healthcare that will rival the best in the world. Read ‘Qatar on the road to superhealthcare’ on page 26.

Developing countries came away from the 61st World Health Assembly in Geneva recently with an agreement that will give them greater access to medicines for common diseases. This meeting, so important in deciding the future direction of global public health, covered a wide range of issues from female genital mutilation to climate change and its impact on health. Key decisions are summarised on page 18.

Also in the issue you will find features on wound care, “World No Tobacco Day” and MRI, where we look at innovative software that is enabling radiologists to combine CT, PET and MRI images to provide a more sophisticated diagnostic tool.

As usual we have all the regular news and product news.

Good health - and enjoy your summer!

Brian Wilkie

(Jul-Aug 2008)



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