The annual World Health Assembly was held
in Geneva in May. This important meeting of
all the WHO regions of the world passed a
range of resolutions that are set to impact us
all – on issues such as counterfeit drugs, the
health-related Millennium Development
Goals and a code of practice for the international
recruitment of health personnel, to
name a few. We report on the key resolutions
adopted at the meeting (see page 24).
Importantly for this region, the World
Assembly adopted a resolution calling on
Israel to end their siege of the Gaza Strip to let in urgently needed drugs
and medical equipment. On page 28 there’s an excellent summary of
several reports about the health conditions in the Occupied Palestinian
Territories that were presented to the Assembly. Since the writing of
that article there have been a number of developments regarding the
Israeli siege of Gaza, particularly the Israel military attack, and resulting
loss of many lives, on an aid flotilla attempting to dock in Gaza. This
in turn prompted Egypt to open its border with Gaza, allowing thousands
of Gaza citizens to seek urgently required medical treatment in
Egypt (news report on page 8).
The prevalence of autism is on the increase all around the world.
However, with fast improving technology for genetic testing, a range of
tests have been developed to help diagnose autism. Sara Hamida Javaid
interviewed experts in the field to find out whether these tests are effective
and to what degree they can be relied upon for an accurate diagnosis
(see page 32).
Later in this issue we speak to Philips to find out more about their
new IntelliVue clinical information software suite, a new software platform
that has enormous potential to significantly improve clinical decision-
making in the hospital (page 46). Also under the topic of healthcare
IT we talked to another industry giant, Siemens, about their new
Soarian Medsuite – an industry-leading enterprise-wide hospital information
system (see page 50).
Jordan has for many years been at the forefront of medicine in the
Middle East. As if to confirm this prestigious position, the Jordan
Hospital in Amman has been selected as a base to conduct a clinical
trial for a ground-breaking heart stem-cell product with the potential to
repair damaged heart tissue. Read more about this fascinating development
on page 42.
And as usual there is a lot more in this issue of Middle East Health
which we trust you will find interesting and relevant.
Enjoy the summer – and good health.