Current Issue


Scientific endeavour

Qatar’s quest to play an active role in the global scientific research community is starting to gain traction as recognition of this Gulf State’s contribution to science and medicine grows. The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, has pumped a lot of money into establishing the infrastructure for this scientific endeavour as well as making large sums available to researchers. In this issue’s Qatar Report, we look specifically at the medical research environment in the emirate and how it is taking a leading role in this field in the region.

Also in this issue we look at an inspiring initiative recently kick-started by US President Barack Obama. Called BRAIN – or Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies – the initiative aims to revolutionise our understanding of the workings of the brain by creating new technologies to do this as well as developing new ways for treating neurological disorders.

An interesting report from the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh outlines a study they did that shows how telemedicine can help paediatric cardiac patients in resource-scarce regions receive the critical care they need to survive. The study looks at a collaboration between Fundación Valle del Lili in Cali, Colombia and the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and notes a significant decline in paediatric mortality during the course of the study.

We have a variety of interesting news stories in this issue. An important one reports on a call by the Grand Imam of Al Azhar in Cairo in which he states his support for polio vaccination. He points out that every child has the right to be protected against this terrible disease. His support of the polio vaccination initiative is important and will hopefully go some way to changing the attitudes of some parents – largely in rural areas of the Arab world – who refuse to allow their children to be vaccinated against the disease. Their reasons are based on misinformation and fear and hopefully this call will correct this and, like smallpox, lead finally to the total eradication of polio in the world.

Good health

Brian Wilkie

(May-Jun 2013)

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