Bird Flu

Egypt has had a resurgence of Bird Flu in the past several months. What’s particularly worrying is that most of the cases have occurred in children under 6 years of age, marking a disturbing shift in the disease pattern. Last year at this time most of the H5N1 cases struck older children and adults. The Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population has called on the WHO to investigate as there is concern that adults may be contracting the disease but are not showing symptoms. Such sub-clinical cases could lead to what is most feared – the mutation of the virus into one which is transmissible from human to human. We report on the latest cases in Egypt (page 20).

Several hospitals in the region have asked well known international medical institutions to come in and reorganise and manage their facilities in a effort to make them more efficient, cost effective and, most importantly, able to provide the best healthcare possible. But change is not a simple process, particularly in a large organisation and many individuals resist it. Dr Abrar Khan, an expert in change management, discusses the processes and pitfalls of successful change management (page 28).

Professor Osman Ratib, one of the world’s leading authorities on PACS, is head of the EuroPACS scientific society and one of the key initiators of the ambitious and innovative open source PACS project – OsiriX. In a fascinating interview, the editor speaks to Prof Ratib about the future of PACS and the OsiriX initiative (page 34).

In this issue you will find several other interesting features about innovative wound care products and the WHO’s campaign to promote patient safety through their ‘clean hands save lives’ campaign. And, as usual, you will find comprehensive news coverage from the region, the world and academia.

Good health

Brian Wilkie

(May-Jun 2009)



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