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World Cup first

This issue is full of interesting reports. No doubt many of you have been glued to your TVs watching the drama of the World Cup football. Interestingly and probably missed by many, the opening ceremony featured a first for healthcare. Juliano Pinto, a 29-year-old Brazilian who is paralyzed from the waist down, kicked the first ball of the World Cup football championship using a mind-controlled robotic exoskeleton. The exoskeleton is the result of the international Walk Again Project and is the culmination of years of work by an international team of scientists. Read more about this incredible feat of technology on page 27.

This is the time of year when the annual World Health Assembly is held in Geneva. A large number of important public health issues were discussed that have a bearing not just on the Middle East region but the entire world. Several resolutions were passed dealing with TB, antimicrobial resistance, violence against women and girls and more. Read the report of highlights from the 5-day meeting on page 18.

In our focus on paediatrics we invited a number of leading paediatric institutions in the United States to contribute to the feature. They highlight their areas of expertise and show why they are regarded as world leaders in paediatric healthcare and research. Find the feature on page 34.

Also in this issue we travel to India, Lebanon and Jordan and speak to the administrators and doctors of some of the leading hospitals in those countries. These are advanced, high tech, highly skilled facilities that are playing a very important role protecting the health of not just the local populace but also the many people from abroad who seek their expertise.

In other news we bring you reports from the World Cardiology Congress held in Melbourne this year, a report on the newly released WHO World Health statistics, a disturbing report on climate change and health, a timely report on obesity in the MENA region and the regular MERS update.

And there is much more insightful news, interviews and product reviews in this issue. Read on.

Callan Emery

(Jul-Aug 2014)

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