|HIV/AIDS conference highlights need to educate
A conference was held in Lebanon to discuss the need to introduce an HIV/AIDS awareness
programme to the
The seminar in Broummana emphasised the fact that, although cases of HIV/AIDS were lower
in the Middle East than in other parts of the world, it was important not to get
UNESCO also fears that the HIV virus is now not only being imported into Arab countries,
but that it is also spreading from within.
About 400,000 people in the Middle East have HIV or AIDS and it is thought about a fifth
of these contacted the virus last year.
will be a first
Saudi Arabia is to get its first private medical college. Construction work should begin
shortly and the college, to be built in the Asir Region, should be operational by 2003.
The college will operate in tandem with a 400-bed hospital already existing next to the
proposed site. The Saudi German Hospitals Group (SGHG) hope the facility will provide the
best teaching facilities in the Middle East.
>> The SGHG recently held its popular Summer Training Programme for more than 130
medical students, a
record amount of trainees handled by a hospital in the kingdom.
Students, who gained 60 hours of top medical tuition, came from Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt
and the UAE.
Breast cancer awareness programme
Health experts are to visit secondary schools for girls in Qatar as part of a campaign to
warn of the dangers of breast cancer.
The campaign, organised by the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, aims to create an
awareness of cancer, particularly in the breast, among teenagers and young women.
The students will be told of the causes and effects of the disease.
They will also be encouraged to undergo regular medical check-ups.
Historic Kuwait-Bahrain kidney swap
proves to be a success
A health co-operation agreement involving Kuwait and Bahrain has resulted in a kidney
being transported between the two countries for the first time.
The kidney, obtained from a brain-dead patient with a very rare blood type, was flown from
Kuwait to be successfully transplanted to a Bahraini citizen.
The first organ exchange to take place in the Middle East was between Kuwait and Saudi
Arabia more than five years ago.
Kuwait and Bahrain recently agreed to co-operate with each other within the area of kidney
Kuwait orders drugs ban
The Ministry of Health in Kuwait has withdrawn 17 drugs used in the fight against flu and
The action was recommended by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), as it claimed all
17 contained phenyl propanolamine, which can trigger strokes.
Middle East hospital isolates
A hospital in Saudi Arabia has successfully isolated a dangerous virus that can cause
The Virology Lab at Dr Soliman Fakeeh Hospital in Jeddah used technologies such as
Polyclonal Polymerisation Chain Reaction (RTPCR) and Immunofluorescent Assay in order to
confirm the diagnosis of enterovirus 71.
It is thought to be the first time a hospital in the Kingdom has been able to isolate the
New evidence suggests healthy
lifestyle can prevent diabetes
Countries in the Middle East a region with a high rate of diabetes could
gain hope from a new study.
The four-year study carried out in the US concluded that the onset of diabetes can be
delayed and even prevented if people live a healthy lifestyle. The study involved using
more than 3,000 patients. Those that had healthy diets and regularly took exercise were
clearly at an advantage of keeping the disease at bay than those who did not.
Innovative brain surgery is used
for the first time
Brain surgery without opening the skull has been performed in Saudi Arabia for the first
A team of surgeons at the Saudi German Hospital in Jeddah were forced to use innovative
radiosurgery on a middle-aged woman, as traditional surgery would have been too dangerous.
The patient had meningeoma and the tumour was compressing her optic and occulomotor
nerves. It was close to the cavernous sinus, so the chances of damaging the optic and
occulomotor nerves were high.
Doctors believe it was the first time a patient in the Kingdom had been treated in this
way. The radiosurgery was a success and could now open the way for the further treatment
of brain tumours in this manner.
Health issues discussed at
A leading UAE hospital teamed up with a leading UAE newspaper to promote
health awareness in the country.
Doctors from the Al Zahra Hospital and elsewhere discussed a variety of subjects at a
public seminar in Dubai, organised by the Khaleej Times.
Talks at the Gift of Good Health Conference focused on subjects of particular concern in
the region, such as cardiac problems, obesity and diabetes.
Chief guest was Shaikh Faisal bin Khalid Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Al Zahra Hospital.
Weight of new-born baby shocks
doctors in Egypt
Doctors in Egypt were stunned when an overweight woman gave birth to a baby weighing
The baby was immediately placed in an incubator because of breathing difficulties caused
by its abnormal weight.
The mother was 118kg, but medical staff at the hospital said they had not witnessed such a
heavy new-born baby before.
The average baby usually takes seven months to reach this weight.
Medical experts predict new-born babies will become bigger in future due to the growing
number of cases of obesity throughout the Middle East. The region has one of the worst
obesity problems in the world.
New courses to prepare pharmacists
for work overseas
Pharmacists in the UAE could get the chance to fulfil their dream of working in the United
States thanks to a new agreement involving a top US university.
There are many trained pharmacists in the UAE who wish to work in the US, but they have to
pass the Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Equivalency Exam (FPGEE) before they can do so.
Now Dubai-based company Gateway Health Services LLC is working with the Purdue University
in Indianapolis to prepare pharmacists in the UAE for the compulsory FPGEE exam. The
company will be running five-month training programmes with this aim in mind, as well as
offering pharmacists the chance to study for their Doctor of Pharmacy degree in the UAE.
New hospitals will serve the
capitals increasing population
Jordans long-awaited King Abdullah Hospital which will take some of the
pressure off existing hospitals in Amman will be operational by the beginning of
next year. The final touches are being made to the much-needed specialised medical centre,
based in Irbid, which will serve the northern part of the Kingdom.
Patients from this area will no longer have to be sent to Amman and the hospital will also
receive patients from other countries in the near future. Staff will be recruited from
both the private sector and Royal Medical Services.
The newly-opened Jamil Totanji Public Hospital in Sahab which will serve some
500,000 people should also alleviate the pressure on Ammans largest public
hospital, Al Bashir. It will care for people in the eastern part of the capital. The
Princess Basma Teaching Hospital, located in Irbid, will also relieve some of the pressure
from established medical centres in Amman.
The Queen Rania Hospital in Wadi Musa should also be operational by the end of the year.
The need for more health services in the capital is obvious, as Ammans population
rose to 1.9 million last year, compared to 1.8 million in 1999.
New teleradiology equipment
The UAE Ministry of Health is moving ahead with plans to provide its hospitals with a
The project involves the radiology departments of hospitals being linked through a
computer network. The first four to benefit are the Al Jazerah and Beda Zayed in Abu Dhabi
and the Qasimi and Khor Fakkan in Sharjah. Other hospitals throughout the Emirates will
eventually join the network.
One of the advantages of the scheme is that it will help overcome the problem of shortage
of radiologists in the country, as radiology technicians will be able to transfer x-ray
photographs between hospitals.