Current Issue


Regional & Global

Two important paediatric articles, both from worldclass centres, are published in this issue. One, from the Mayo Clinic, covers a new approach to shoulder reconstruction in children with obstetric brachial plexus injury. The other, from the London Clinic, is about hip surveillance for children with cerebral palsy, highlighting the crucial role that clinicians can play in the early identification of the potential for hip displacement in these unfortunate youngsters.

Also in this issue, we report on Lebanon and specifically the poor state of mental health of many of the people of that country, wracked by decades of war and civil strife, and still under threat from hostile and unstable neighbours. Some psychiatrists believe that over a quarter of the population meet the criteria for a mental health disorder – a huge proportion – but only a ‘lucky’ few are receiving treatment.

Jordan has seen a considerable fall in the number of foreign patients seeking treatment in the Kingdom, due in large part to the uprising in neighbouring Syria. We look at the situation in this small but significant country where revenue from ‘health tourism’ is an important component of GDP, and how Jordan’s health tourism marketing is realigning its focus on the region. It now focuses on attracting local and regional patients with a greater understanding of local conditions, rather than those from further afield who may be reluctant to travel to what they perceive as a potentially dangerous destination.

Plenty of interesting and far-reaching medical news is coming out of the region now, and is featured in these pages. For example, technology developed in Qatar has been bought by a British company for use in the National Health System there. This is significant, as it marks one of the first major commercial deals for technology developed in Qatar’s newly established Science and Technology Park. Also in the news, the first 1,500 patients have enrolled in the Gulf COAST study. This important research will, for the first time, develop a Middle East perspective on the incidence, risk factors and treatment of acute coronary syndrome in the region.

At the global level, we report on the resolutions adopted at the recent annual World Health Assembly. With increasing worldwide connectedness, the decisions taken by this meeting of the world’s health leaders impact literally everyone on earth, and include issues such as pandemic influenza preparedness, the Millennium Development Goals and the International Heath Regulations.

Good reading, good health – and do enjoy your well-earned summer breaks!

Brian Wilkie

(Jul-Aug 2012)



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