DHCC Dr Ayesha
Abdullah receives L’Officiel Arab Woman of the
Abdullah, Managing Director of TECOM Investments’ Sciences Cluster which
overseas Dubai Healthcare City has been honoured with the L’Officiel
Arab Woman of the Year Award 2010 in the ‘Medicine’ category.
The L’Officiel Arab Woman of the Year award recognises the achievements of
inspirational women operating in different domains including medicine,
business, arts, fashion, media and charity.
Commenting on the award, Dr
Abdullah said, “I feel honoured to be presented with this award. I am
grateful to the jury panel and all the members who voted for me.
award is a result of the collective efforts of many wonderful people
that include my family, colleagues and team members. The award will
definitely motivate me further in my endeavour to take Dubai Healthcare
City to greater heights and position it as one of the top destinations
Within the past eight years, DHCC has grown into a
cluster of over 90 outpatient medical centres and diagnostic
laboratories, two JCI-accredited hospitals, as well as more than 100
commercial healthcare and retail services that follow stringent
standards in healthcare delivery. The Center for Healthcare Planning and
Quality (CPQ) is the regulatory body for DHCC responsible for monitoring
and upholding international best practice in healthcare quality and
patient care within the free zone.
Children the latest victims of Avian
flu in Egypt
The three latest cases of human infection with avian
influenza A(H5N1) virus were announced by The Egyptian Ministry of
Health last month. A one-year-old male from Alexandria Governorate
developed symptoms on 12 Jan 2010 and was hospitalised on 13 Jan 2011; a
10-year-old boy from Giza Governorate developed symptoms on 5 Jan 2011
and was hospitalised on 8 Jan 2011 and a 7-year-old male from Gharbia
Governorate, developed symptoms on 20 Jan 2011 and was hospitalised the
same day. All three boys are currently stable and investigations into
the source of infection in each case indicated that all the patients had
exposure to sick poultry. Of the 122 cases confirmed to date in Egypt
since the onset of the disease in 2006, 40 have been fatal.
cancer bank account
H.E. Engineer Zaid Al Siksek, CEO of The Health
Authority – Abu Dhabi (HAAD) and H.E Mohammad Khalifa Al Qamzi, General
Secretary for UAE Red Crescent have signed a collaboration agreement
establishing a bank account to facilitate donations to combat breast
The account is dedicated to receiving donations from organisations and the public to combat breast cancer and came as a
response to calls from the community to directly contribute to those
affected by breast cancer. Money donations to the account will go
towards supporting women with breast cancer during diagnosis and
treatment. Further to this, it will be used to assist community needs
with regards to breast cancer services, research and funding breast
cancer support groups.
H.E. Engineer Zaid Al Siksek says: “Charged with
the mandate to encourage, enable and enforce women, communities and
healthcare providers to take action, HAAD set up a breast cancer
programme to increase screening and reduce breast cancer mortality in
2007. The signing of today’s collaboration agreement serves as a strong
indicator of the campaigns growth and success across the Emirate.”
Donations can be made into the following Dubai Islamic Bank account: Red
Crescent UAE: 003520572169501.
‘Care on Wheels’ to screen 1,500 UAE
More than 1,500 diabetes patients across the UAE are to
benefit from a new ‘Care on Wheels’ scheme which will see specialist
doctors and nurses travelling to all seven Emirates to provide much
needed screening for complications of the disease and education for
local doctors on best practice in diabetes care.
‘Care on Wheels’, is
being run by the Emirates Diabetes Society (EDS) in partnership with the
pharmaceutical company Novartis. It will make 20 tours from March to
December 2011, reaching the far corners of the UAE and stopping at as
many primary care centres as possible.
The state-of-the-art bus will be
equipped with the latest technology to screen already diagnosed diabetic
patients for abnormal blood glucose levels, high blood pressure and
damage to the eyes, kidneys and nervous system – all of which are
complications of diabetes that increase patients’ risk of developing
heart disease, stroke, renal disease, loss of vision and foot ulcers.
well as screening diabetic patients, the endocrinologists on board will
give educational seminars to general practitioners in a bid to improve
on-going management and care of diabetes, which affects one fifth of the UAE’s population.
President of the EDS Dr Abdulrazzaq Ali Al Madani, CEO
and Consultant Physician and Endocrinologist at Dubai Hospital, says:
“Our aim is to boost the overall care of diabetes across the country by
screening patients for complications of the disease and revising current
management plans to offer better treatment and prevention of these
life-threatening complications. Our doctors will also educate local GPs
on the most up-to-date methods of diagnosing, treating and managing
diabetes so that once the bus leaves the knowledge is in place for best
care to be continued.”
‘Care on Wheels’ will be staffed by members of
the EDS and associated nurses. A tour map and timetable for the scheme
will be developed and disseminated to local primary care centres in the
Dubai Declaration on Diabetes adopted by healthcare
leaders of MENA region
The ‘Dubai Declaration on Diabetes and Chronic
Non-Communicable Diseases in the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA)
Region’ was adopted on 12 December 2010 as part of the MENA Diabetes
Leadership Forum. The two-day forum united a multi-disciplinary group of
over 500 regional and international experts and decision-makers from 22
countries and territories in the MENA region (Afghanistan, Algeria,
Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania,
Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Palestinian National Authority, Qatar, Saudi
Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, UAE and Yemen).
Convened to find
solutions to the overwhelming burden of diabetes for individuals and
families, for healthcare and social systems, the Forum culminated in the
adoption of the Dubai Declaration on Diabetes and Chronic Non-
Communicable Diseases in the MENA Region. The “Dubai Declaration” lists
concrete measures aimed at reversing the trend in diabetes.
agreement, drafted by the UAE Ministry of Health, the Executive Board of
the Health Ministers’ Council for the Gulf Cooperation Council States
and the World Bank, commits each country to establishing a national
strategy encompassing prevention, awareness, early detection and better
quality of care.
Deploring the lack of such strategies in the region,
Professor Dr Tawfik Khoja, director-general of the Executive Board of
the Health Ministers’ Council for the GCC States, urged all of the
signatories to implement the resolutions in the Dubai Declaration.
Dr Hanif Hassan Ali Al Qassim, Minister of Health of the UAE, stressed that
“addressing this pandemic is urgent and important. Non-communicable
diseases like diabetes will be a burden on the region’s economies.” He
also called upon the establishment of a special committee at GCC level
to monitor the implementation of the Declaration.
After this important
first step, the challenge of implementation begins. Professor Khoja
committed to taking the Dubai Declaration to the Arab League and
reconvening in December 2011 to monitor the implementation of the
Diabetes is sweeping the MENA region, affecting an
estimated 26.6 million people, imposing overwhelming demands on the
region’s healthcare institutions and excessive financial burdens on its
governments. As alarming as this picture is, the number of people with
diabetes is expected to double to 51.7 million people by 2030.
Diabetes Society to start course for healthcare professionals
Diabetes Society (EDS) has initiated an educational programme for
diabetes healthcare professionals who are not physicians. The course
will begin in May. The aim of the course is to enable healthcare
professionals to provide better assistance to physicians in counseling
and guidance around diabetes. The lecture and workshop-based course will
provide training on topics such as patient counseling, nutrition and
living with diabetes. This course will provide education for 75
participants and is scheduled to begin in the UAE. Participants must be
employed by local health institutions treating diabetes and will be
selected from different diabetes centres in the UAE and the Gulf
countries, according to an EDS statement. The course is free for
participants. This programme is run in partnership with the
pharmaceutical company Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD).
40 % of children with GERD are misdiagnosed in UAE
A medical symposium warned that if
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is not correctly treated, it
could lead to serious complications, such as inflammation in the
esophagus, narrowing of the esophagus, ulcers and bleeding.
Dr Suleiman Nayyal, a Dubai based Consultant Gastroenterologist, has stated that in
the pediatric group of between 7 and 12 years in the UAE, as high as 40%
of the cases are misdiagnosed, he says: “GERD, if mistreated, may cause
Asthma. Moreover, Asthma could be combated by treating paediatric groups
for GERD. We are happy to start using Esomeprazole (chemical name)
developed by AstraZeneca for the treatment of GERD in children ages 1-11
years. We are also prescribing this medicine to old people who cannot
Dr Nayyal reveals that many paediatric groups in the UAE
were misdiagnosed as Asthma, allergy and other diseases, when it is
actually GERD. Symptoms of this disease include coughing, chest pain,
flatulence and bloating.
Dr Dore SP, Consultant, Gastroenterologist, Al
Zahra Medical Center says: “Recognition of GERD disease in the
paediatric group (from 7 to 12 years old) is increasing. Earlier, GERD
symptoms used to go undetected. There has been a dramatic increase in
children who are carrying the disease, compared to ten years ago.”
first step to treating children with GERD is to change their lifestyle,
for example, sleeping position, diet and clothing. This should help to
reduce the troublesome symptoms. Modifying diet such as restricting a
child’s intake of carbonated beverages including fizzy drinks, caffeine,
chocolate and spicy foods may reduce symptoms. High acid food such as
citrus fruit (oranges) and tomatoes can aggravate GERD. Avoiding tight
clothing that puts pressure on the stomach will also help to manage
reflux disease in children.
Common clinical manifestations of
persistent, recurring GERD symptoms in younger children includes
vomiting, constant or sudden crying, poor weight gain, recurrent ‘wet
burp, hiccup’ sounds, dysphagia, abdominal pain, heart pain and
respiratory disorder. As children get older, the symptom pattern changes
to become more similar to that of adults, including heartburn, acid
belches, regurgitation, chronic sore throat, stomach pain and
gastrointestinal discomfort. Extra esophageal symptoms such as chronic
cough and asthma can also be associated by reflux disease.
HAAD to start
screening for critical cyanotic congenital heart disease
Authority – Abu Dhabi (HAAD), the regulative body of the healthcare
sector in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, UAE, and the Children’s National
Medical Center will rollout of a newborn screening program in Abu Dhabi
for critical cyanotic congenital heart disease (CCCHD), the most serious
form of congenital heart disease (CHD). Made possible by a long-standing
relationship between HAAD and Children’s Sheikh Zayed Institute for
Pediatric Surgical Innovation, the programme aims to increase knowledge
and skills in pulse oximetry, a non-invasive and cost-effective
screening procedure that detects CCCHD in newborns. By using pulse
oximetry, HAAD estimates that 10 Abu Dhabi children each year will be
diagnosed with CCCHD and will receive treatment early enough to more
effectively manage the condition.
New 3-in-1 antihypertensive drug
available in UAE
Novartis has introduced a new three-inone multi pill –
Exforge HCT – for hypertension in an attempt to improve patient
compliance. Of the people taking medication to control hypertension only
38% have managed to lower their blood pressure to below target – 140/90
mmHg – according to data from the The Prospective Urban Rural
Epidemiology (PURE) study. Exforge HCT has been cleared for marketing in
the UAE and is under review in other GCC countries.
According to the
PURE study 41% of the UAE population between the ages of 35 and 70
suffer from hypertension. The world average is 30%, in itself a
“Hypertension, including pre-hypertension, is a huge
problem in the UAE,” said Dr Azan Binbrek, consultant cardiology, Rashid
Hospital, Dubai. It will have major repercussions in the future if not
treated properly and lead to rapidly increasing cardiovascular, kidney
and cerebrovascular disease rates, which are expensive to treat, he
added. He explained that the PURE study showed only around half of the
number of people who have hypertension in the UAE have been diagnosed.
Only half of this group is being treated and only half of those treated
are managing to control their hypertension through medication. The
recommended target for blood pressure control is less than 140/90 mmHg.
The PURE study is a large-scale epidemiological study of approximately
140,000 individuals in more than 600 communities in 17 low-, middle-,
and high-income countries around the world. The on-going study aims to
address major questions on causation and development of the underlying
determinants of cardiovascular disease in populations at varying stages
of epidemiologic transition.
Dr Binbrek noted that hypertension is a
major risk factor for cardiovascular, kidney and cerebrovascular
diseases. It is a silent disease as there are generally no noticeable
He pointed out three main reasons why there is poor control of
hypertension in the UAE. First, there is insufficient blood pressure
screening and education about the issue. Second, there is poor patient
compliance with medication regimes, and third, the side-effects from
medication in some cases make people quit taking the drugs.
about the new pill, Exforge HCT, he said not only should it promote
better patient compliance, but was also expected to be better tolerated.
The new drug combines the antihypertensive medications: amlodipine,
valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide.
● Ref: Teo K. et al. The Prospective
Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study. AHJ. April 2009.
New CEO of GE Healthcare MENA and Russia
GE Healthcare, the healthcare business unit of the global technology,
media and financial services company General Electric Company (GE), has
appointed Karim Karti as President and CEO of its GE Healthcare regional
operations in the Middle East, Africa, Turkey, Central Asia, and Russia
& CIS. The strategic management move in creating an independent region
reaffirms GE Healthcare’s commitment to strengthening its presence and
investments across these fast-growing markets.
From his base at the
regional operations headquarters in Istanbul, Turkey, Karim Karti will
play a leading role in strengthening GE Healthcare in these key emerging
markets. He is responsible for developing and expanding customer
relationships, as well as executing strategies to strengthen long-term
public and private sector partnerships that will help transform
“Our goal is to reinforce GE’s continued commitment
to provide world-class healthcare solutions and services to the region,
and proactively identify new areas where we can make a difference.
Supporting emerging markets is central to GE Healthcare’s global growth,
and we are committed to significantly advance GE’s localisation efforts
via infrastructure buildup and leveraging our strength in service
capabilities across this dynamic region,” says Karti.
He adds, “Emerging
markets are in need of innovative products adapted to its needs. It’s
important to increase people’s access to healthcare technology – but
healthcare benefits will only follow if that technology is relevant to
solving local issues. Our focus is to locally tailor our innovative
solutions and services and use them in a way that they become
significant drivers of change. In this region, it’s about driving
increased access, part of GE’s healthymagination initiative. Another key
area will be to foster more collaborations with local universities and
healthcare providers to design and develop innovative solutions that
benefit the communities.”
Khalifa Foundation gives $150m to Texas cancer
The UAE’s Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation is to donate
$150m to a Texasbased cancer hospital in the biggest single donation of
its kind. The Abu Dhabibased foundation, which is backed by the
President of the UAE, will fund a cancer therapy and research centre at
Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, the hospital president told the Houston
“The generosity of this family will help our efforts to realise the long-standing dream of treating a patient’s tumour based on
its specific genetic abnormality rather than the experience of other
patients,” hospital president Dr John Mendelsohn told the paper.
our hope that five years from now, thanks to research sponsored by this
gift, we will be able to offer such personalised therapy as standard
treatment for our patients.” The gift was in response to Anderson’s
treatment of many UAE cancer patients over the years, Dr Mendelsohn
About $100m of the donation will fund the construction of a
600,000 sq ft facility on five acres of Anderson’s main campus. The
remaining $50m will be split between the funding of pancreatic cancer
research, institute equipment and clinical trials. The institute’s
building will be named after HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the
late president of UAE, who died in 2004. The institute itself will be
named after HH Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the president of the
Kidney disease evident in 40% of UAE diabetes patients
40% of diabetes patients show signs of diabetes-related kidney disease
that can lead to end-stage renal failure and cardiovascular disease,
according to medical experts attending the Emirates Endocrine Congress
held in Dubai in December 2010. The comments follow research carried out
in 2,455 Al Ain residents that looked at the prevalence of diabetes and
its complications on a random sample of Emirati citizens. Results show
that 41% of diagnosed diabetics suffered from microalbuminuria – protein
in the urine caused by damage to the kidneys as a result of diabetes.
concerning, say local doctors, is the study’s finding that 18% of the
sample group who had undiagnosed diabetes were also found to have microalbuminuria. If left untreated the condition may progress to
end-stage kidney disease that often requires treatment with dialysis,
and increases the risk of cardiovascular disease that can result in
heart attack and stroke.
Patients with microalbuminuria need to be
placed on intensive treatment regimens to control their blood glucose
and blood pressure within normal levels. This requires optimal use of
anti-hypertensive drugs that lower blood pressure to the recommended
level of <130/80 mmHg.The anti-hypertensive drugs of choice are
angiotensinconverting enzyme inhibitors (ACE-I) and angiotensin receptor
blockers (ARBs) which act in different ways on the body’s blood pressure
controlling system to reduce the burden on the kidneys and improve their
function. The drugs improve the heart’s function in the same way.
management of microalbunimuria is to treat aggressively with
anti-hypertensive medications using different types of blood pressure
drugs such as ACE inhibitors and ARBs to reduce the patient’s blood
pressure to recommended levels,” explains Dr Ghaida Kaddaha, Head of the
Diabetes Unit, Rashid Hospital, Dubai.
“These drugs also have a renal
protective effect which means that we also use them in diabetic patients
who do not have high blood pressure but are suffering from microalbuminuria. In some cases, and used in appropriate doses, this
treatment can reverse microalbuminuria and in other cases it prevents
the damage to the kidneys from worsening. The key to successful
management is early detection and treatment,” adds Dr. Kaddaha.
best practice guidelines stipulate that all diabetes patients should be
regularly screened for microalbuminuria as part of an annual health
check. If patients are found to have the condition then they should have
their urine checked every few months to monitor levels of protein.
Moorfields London director suggests increase in mobile diabetic
Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai has had to adapt its techniques
for treating diabetic eye disease, to allow for the greater level of
complexity presented by diabetes patients in the UAE, compared to the
UK, according to Declan Flanagan FRCS FRCOphth, Medical Director at
Moorfields Eye Hospital London. He made these comments at a teaching
session on diabetes related eye disease for Dubaibased medical
Moorfields London treats 20,000 Diabetic Retinopathy (DR)
patients every year, and has taken steps to move screening and treatment
closer to the patients and communities it serves, by opening centres in
non-traditional locations, such as pharmacies.
“Forty per cent of our
work is now done in 15 clinics in and around London,” said Flanagan,
whose specialties include diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular
degeneration. “Our message concerning diabetes is all about screening
and this means greater mobility of screening which in turn leads to
greater affordability for the health authorities. Our experience
suggests that the diabetes effort needs to be joined up and led by
individuals to create a multidisciplinary network within the community.
Effective control of diabetes is the key to success and this begins with
Flanagan added, “There is a parallel between the health
impact of diabetes and that of smoking. In the UK, it took a generation
to make an impact on smoking and this was achieved through a focus on
public information and awareness. The same applies to diabetes and we
are just starting on the same path of creating awareness through strong
public information campaigns. The UAE is well placed to quickly change
awareness and attitudes within society, with its young and well educated
Talking about the control of diabetes, Flanagan added,
“Young diabetes patients can be a problem especially during the teen
years, when the condition can be neglected and can ultimately contribute
to premature death some 20 years later. Control of blood pressure in
middle age makes a huge difference and can make eyes, kidney, and nerves
last another 20 years. Once Diabetic Retinopathy is diagnosed, there is
a 50% greater chance each year thereafter of a major health problem
arising. Cataracts and glaucoma can be more of a problem in diabetics
and Diabetic Retinopathy can also worsen dramatically during pregnancy.”
Mubadala Healthcare to open Capital Health Screening Centre
Healthcare has announced plans to open a new medical facility in the
first quarter of 2011. Capital Health Screening Centre, will provide
standard infectious disease screenings for expatriates applying for and
renewing their Abu Dhabi residency visas. This new facility will play a
vital role in ensuring that Abu Dhabi remains a healthy city in which to
live and work by providing these mandatory medical checks for the
Emirate’s migrant workforce.
Capital Health Screening Centre will be
located at Al Jazira Sports Stadium on Muroor Road – less than five
minutes’ drive from the Department of Immigration on Al Saada (19th)
Street. When operational, it will have the capacity to manage up to 300
visa applicants per day as well as providing the option of a premium
service with a 24 hour turnaround on results.
The Centre will be
operated by Singapore’s AsiaMedic Limited, specialists in disease
prevention and early illness detection. AsiaMedic is already working
closely in partnership with Mubadala to establish a wellness and
diagnostic centre in Abu Dhabi, which is scheduled to open in 2012. New
once-daily diabetes drug Novo Nordisk announced in January 2011 that
Victoza (liraglutide), a revolutionary new treatment for type 2
diabetes, is now available in four GCC countries – the UAE, Kuwait,
Qatar and Bahrain. Victoza is used once daily, irrespective of meals.
important advance in diabetes treatment, Victoza presents four distinct
benefits: It helps effectively control blood sugar; it reduces weight
significantly; it reduces blood pressure and it improves the functioning
of insulin-producing beta cells.
Victoza works with the body to lower
blood sugar levels by boosting the release of insulin only when needed.
These unique benefits result in good blood sugar control combined with a
reduced risk of blood sugar levels dropping too low.
patients with an important new agent to control their blood sugar, Victoza also helps them lose weight significantly. Gaining weight is a
side effect of some common treatments for type 2 diabetes, and
additional weight increases the risk of obesity-related illnesses.
Victoza marks a decisive step forward for people with type 2 diabetes,
many of whom are overweight.
Studies have also shown that Victoza
reduces systolic blood pressure (maximum blood pressure when heart
contracts) and improves beta cell function, allowing for increased
insulin secretion. These findings have been consistently demonstrated
throughout the phase 3 LEAD (Liraglutide Effect and Action in Diabetes)
trials. The LEAD studies were an extensive clinical development
programme for Vicotza, involving 2,500 patients with type 2 diabetes in
New study confirms effectiveness of Leukaemia drug Tasigna
The UAE’s top specialists in the management of blood cancer have hailed
the findings of a new study on the drug nilotinib (Tasigna) a leap
forward in the treatment of adults who have been newly diagnosed with
the blood cancer Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML).
The results of the
study of 846 patients in the early stages of a specific type of CML
called Philadelphia chromosomepositive (Ph+ CML) were presented for the
first time in the region at four medical symposiums in the UAE, Oman,
Qatar and Kuwait which were held between January 14 and 18, 2011 just a
month after the results of “Evaluating Nilotinib Efficacy and Safety in
Clinical Trials of Newly Diagnosed Ph+ CML Patients” were first
presented at the annual American Society of Haematology Congress in the
US in December 2010.
Findings show that after 24 months patients who had
been taking 300 mg of Nilotinib twice a day as a first line treatment
for Ph+ CML were less likely to see their disease progress to more
advanced stages, compared with patients on imatinib (Glivec) 400 mg once
a day which is the standard treatment for the condition. Both
medications are oral drugs made by Novartis Oncology.
who attended the scientific symposiums said the results heralded a new
era of treatment for blood cancers – giving hope to the 1,500 patients
diagnosed with Ph+ CML in the UAE and across the Gulf. Globally, CML has
an incidence of one to two new cases per 100,000 people every year and
the median age of diagnosis is 55 years (CA Cancer Journal Clinical
56:106-130,2006.) “This new data is taking us closer than ever to
reaching our goal of providing more comprehensive and effective
treatment options for patients with Ph+ CML. It extends the evidence of
the clinical benefit achievable with this second generation of drugs,”
said Dr Jorgan Kristensen, Consultant Haematologist, Sheikh Khalifa
Medical City, Abu Dhabi.
World expert in blood cancers, Professor
Michael Copeman, Professor of Haematooncology at Northern Beaches Cancer
Service, Sydney, Australia, presented the findings at the Novartis
Oncology sponsored symposiums.
“We now have results on leukaemia
patients treated for over two years with either Glivec or the new
Tasigna. These results confirm that Tasigna is more effective in keeping
leukaemia patients alive and does so with fewer side effects in more
patients than Glivec. Most importantly, in 20% of patients treated with
Tasigna for two years the leukemic cells were reduced to undetectable
levels. It is too early to be sure, but we suspect that some of these
patients will turn out to be cured, and this proportion is increasing
each year,” he says.
“The creation and introduction of Glivec
revolutionised the treatment of Ph+ CML and we are now even more
encouraged by the new data for Tasigna showing that at 24 months it
continues to surpass Glivec in slowing disease progression in patients
with newly diagnosed chronic phase Ph+ CML,” concluded Dr Mohamed Abdel
Raouf, Novartis Oncology Medical Advisor for the Gulf.
urges more aggressive cholesterol treatment
Patients across the Gulf who
are at high risk of developing cardiovascular disease need more
aggressive treatment for high cholesterol, according to medical experts
presenting at the region’s first-ever Physicians Academy for
Cardiovascular Disease Education (PACE) event held in Dubai from January
Up to 180 doctors from across the Gulf attended the PACE
Master Class which is run by three of the world’s most prominent
cardiovascular experts; Professor John E. Deanfield and Professor D.
John Betteridge from University College London, UK, and Professor John
J.P. Kastelein from the Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The
As part of the two day event, delegates heard from local
and international experts how the majority of patients in the region
with high cholesterol are being successfully treated with statin drugs
but that a small and important group of patients at high risk of
suffering heart attack and stroke are not being treated aggressively
“We are doing very well across the Gulf at treating patients
with raised cholesterol levels who are at low and medium risk of
developing cardiovascular disease but we are not doing such a good job
with the high risk patients,” says Dr Wael Al Mahmeed, Past President of
the Emirates Cardiology Society.
“There’s increasing evidence that using
higher doses of statins has consistently resulted in not only lower
cholesterol levels but also better cardiovascular outcomes in these
patients. Doctors in the Gulf need to adjust their patients’ medications
to take account of this,” adds Dr Al Mahmeed.
The overall goal of the
PACE Master Class is to help physicians assimilate the proven findings
of scientific research into the day-to-day practice of clinical medicine
to help improve patient outcomes.
Qatar Robotic Surgery Centre
Science & Technology Park, Hamad Medical Corporation and Weill Cornell
Medical College in Qatar have collaborated with academics and surgeons
from Imperial College London to form the Qatar Robotic Surgery Centre (QRSC).
Qatar Robotic Surgery Centre will provide a platform for technological
development of medical robotics and promote clinical application of the
technology in the Middle East, acting as a demonstration platform for
advanced surgical technologies with state-of-the-art equipment,
laparoscopic simulators and 3D tele-cast capabilities. QRSC will also
offer a broad range of robotic training programmes for surgeons,
healthcare professionals and scientists, and stimulate technology
development in medical robotics.
The Centre will incorporate live
demonstrations as well as live-link training sessions, promoting the
transfer of expertise between Imperial College in the UK and Qatar.
Tasked with delivering this Virtual Reality environment were Technomight
Qatar WLL, and to deliver the broadcast-quality projection required in
the two principle immersive environments they turned to Christie’s
Mirage HD6 stereoscopic projectors as part of a 3D visualization
Essentially the facility consists of two active 3D theatres
and a Tele-Mentoring room. The main active 3D theatre contains a
Christie Mirage HD6 6000 ANSI lumens HD 3D projector, with active stereo
capability, firing onto a 2815mm x 1454mm curved screen via HD
projection zoom lens 1.4-1.8:1 HD (SXGA+ 1/5-2:1) and Twist module. The
screens are painted with high gain acrylic emulsion to achieve the
optimum brightness. The second Robotics Theatre has a similar
specification, although the screen measures a smaller 2393mm x 1454mm.
Operating in active 3D, the Mirages themselves are mounted in specially
built enclosures in the ceiling (not visible from the outside). Up to 20
trainees can be immersed in either of the two environments. A special Lightspeed Design passive to active converter includes DepthQ®Capture
and DepthQ®Player for high definition stereoscopic media.
occupants wear active LCD shutter glasses from Real D CrystalEyes
eyewear and; the eye glass shutters are synced in high speed by a long
range wide angle IR emitter in the ceiling, which in turn is synced by
the Christie projectors.
The theatres are to be used primarily for
training purposes, each connected via a high bandwidth video
conferencing system, operable in three different modes. Jan Nuyens, head
of the QRSC explains, “The theatres can be used as immersive 3D sessions
where students/trainees are present, while live surgery from anywhere in
the world can be screened live into the QRSC facility. Alternatively a
surgeon can perform simulated surgery, which students can witness in 3D.
And finally students can perform in the Doha theatres on a plastic dummy
while expert surgeons can guide them from a remote location.”
HealthSystem facilities merge to offer foetal neuro clinic
for parental counselling and medical intervention in pregnancies has
been formed by Corniche Hospital, which is managed by Johns Hopkins
Medicine International; and by Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC), which
is managed by Cleveland Clinic. The monthly clinic, located at Corniche,
is the first of its kind in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to offer
multidisciplinary services of experts in prenatal medicine. Corniche
Hospital and SKMC are part of the SEHA HealthSystem and are owned and
operated by Abu Dhabi Health Services Company PJSC (SEHA), which is
responsible for the curative activities of all the public hospitals and
clinics in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
At the Foetal Neuro Clinic,
mothersand fathers-to-be will have the opportunity to discuss pregnancy,
labour management and postnatal care with Dr Gowri Ramanathan,
obstetrician and foetal medicine specialist at Corniche Hospital; Dr
Andrew Meeks, head of neonatology at Corniche Hospital, and Dr Dominic
Venne, head of neurosurgery at SKMC.
Clyde Eder, Chief Operating Officer
for SEHA states, “Based on the population demographics of the United
Arab Emirates, around 60 babies are estimated to be born annually with
spina bifida, of which most of them will require an urgent surgery to
save and improve their lives. SKMC‘s and Corniche Hospital’s new Fetal
Neuro Clinic will help us meet the needs of a large number of these
children affected in the UAE.”
Dr Tej Maini, CEO of SKMC says,
“Currently, a large number of babies born with congenital spinal defects
in the UAE who are in need of surgery are operated in SKMC by Dr Dominic
Venne and the neurosurgery team. With this multidisciplinary clinic, we
aim to centralise the care of babies with spina bifida which leads to an
improvement in the outcome and quality of life of these children. They
will also enter a larger “Spina Bifida Program” which has been in place
since 2002 at SKMC.”
Dr Dominic Venne adds, “Babies requiring
neurosurgery will be scheduled for urgent procedures at SKMC even before
birth. This recent concept is extremely important since surgeries
performed early after birth can improve the prognosis or can even save
the life of these babies. These procedures include insertion of shunts
(for hydrocephalus), cerebral endoscopy, and closure of the spinal
SEHA implements Health Maintenance system
Abu Dhabi Health
Services Company (SEHA) has implemented a new module in its electronic
medical system (Health Maintenance system) which focuses on chronic
disease management besides healthy individual screening within the
population of emirate of Abu Dhabi.
The Health Maintenance System alerts
medical staff on the status of preventative care expectations for any
specific patient beside treatment standards required to maintain the
chronic disease conditions of the patient. The system is able to track
care given to patient in all over SEHA facilities and update the
providing doctor with their current status of prevention test which is
require for early detection of diseases in a healthy individual .
also builds on their disease management status across all SEHA
facilities in the case of chronic diseases as diabetes, hypertension,
asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary and coronary artery disease. The
system then provides patient-centric reminders for medical staff on the
disease status and its management for a more holistic healthcare
“The Health Maintenance System upgrade is yet another step
towards this goal. It allows medical staff to stay constantly aware of
possible conditions a patient may be suffering from, or may be at risk
for developing abnormalities in their sugar, cholesterol, weight status
in order to provide primary prevention from disease likes diabetes, hyperlipidemia, morbid obesity, osteoporosis and various cancer
diseases. The module gives our Ambulatory Health Services (AHS)
physicians the tools to proactively alert, monitor and document disease
management and health screening programs for adults,” says Donna
McCormick, Enterprise HIS Program Manager, SEHA.
Dr Abdulhadi Amer Al
Ahbabi, Chief Operations Officer, Health Operation Department -
Ambulatory Healthcare Services states: “At SEHA and SEHA HealthSystem
Facilities, our goal is to provide all our patients with the best
healthcare available. We are continually reviewing opportunities to
develop ways to improve the patient experience. The implementation
Health Maintenance System is a great success at Ambulatory Healthcare
Service clinics and it is already showing results, facilitating disease
management for physicians and as a result improving the quality of
Best Practice for Vaccine Facilities Workshop held in
The Executive Board of the GCC Health Minister’s Council hosted
a workshop on ‘Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) Regulations for Vaccine
Units’ in Manama, Bahrain on January 11, 2011. The programme, being held
under the patronage of His Excellency Dr Faisal AL Hamar, Minister of
Health, Kingdom of Bahrain, ran for two days.
The workshop, organised by
Stratgurus Management and Marketing Consultancies in collaboration with
The Center for Professional Advancement, and supported by an
unrestricted educational grant provided by Pfizer Inc., reviewed current
GMP regulations for Vaccine Units and discussed compliance with CGMPs
during aseptic processing of vaccines, special concerns and strategies.
It enabled regional regulatory authorities to update their knowledge of
the GMP regulations for vaccine units, establishing and upgrading a
larger pool of inspections in their countries.
The advances made in
vaccination in recent years have delivered remarkable contributions to
public health. Induction of immunity was brought up years back as a
means of intervention and prevention of infection. Successful progress
achieved over the years has helped in eliminating a range of serious
diseases. Immunisation, routinely used to protect infants and children
from infectious diseases, is also used to protect adolescents or adults.
Considered to be one of the most costeffective health investments,
immunisation can relieve health-care systems of considerable financial
Yet, the involvement of live organisms and their specific handling
requirements necessitates the establishment of vaccine facilities that
conform to global good manufacture practice standards. Compliance with
Good Manufacturing Practice is crucial in minimising the risks involved
in vaccine production. All stages of vaccine manufacture are detailed
and controlled through written procedures and systems to support the
execution of GMPs. Principally, GMPs are not static and continuous
improvement of processes is assured.
Healthcare authorities ensure
compliance with GMP regulations through inspections that are conducted
to analyse the status of a vaccine unit including operations,
production, quality control and quality assurance. Needs for improvement
are determined and reported to ensure compliance with regulations. These
regulations impact all manufacturers of vaccines who sell products in