Current Issue


Innovative technology

You are holding in your hands a great issue of Middle East Health, with a range of interesting articles, news, product reviews and new developments in the healthcare industry.

Again diabetes features in our lead story, as it is a major issue in the region with prevalence rates in many countries here within the top 10 in the world. However, it is not the disease itself that we are looking at this time, but rather a new device being trialled by researchers at Mayo Clinic that looks set to change forever the lives of people with Type 1 diabetes. If the device – a combined blood glucose monitor and insulin pump referred to as an ‘artificial pancreas’ – proves successful, then sufferers will no longer have to prick their fingers on a daily basis to check their blood glucose levels, nor will they have to manually inject insulin. It’s not really so much the device itself, but the unique mathematical algorithm that calibrates the insulin dose according to individual needs, that is the key. Read this story on page 40.

Her Highness Princess Dina of Jordan, the Director General of the King Hussein Cancer Foundation, made an impassioned speech at the recent World Cancer Congress calling on world health leaders to quickly translate the ‘25 by 25’ goal on non-communicable diseases set by the United Nations earlier this year into a ‘meaningful global action plan’. Get the facts on the Congress and her call to action on page 32.

An interesting, if worrying, development that made world headlines recently, had its origins in the GCC. Two men, one from Saudi and the other from Qatar, fell ill from what was subsequently discovered to be a novel coronavirus – the same family of virus that caused the SARS scare a few years back. Sadly the Saudi died from the virus and the Qatari is still fighting for his life in a London hospital (at the time of going to press). Lab researchers studying the virus believe that it may have originated in bats. Fortunately these two cases are the only known infections, but they have highlighted the need for continued careful disease monitoring and surveillance to prevent the spread of such viruses in the future. This and other topical news reports are featured in the Middle East Monitor.

Middle East Health visited cities in Southeast Asia recently to gauge the state of health tourism to that region, particularly in respect to Arab patients – and we were surprised to find that tens of thousands of Arabs visit SE Asia each year for medical treatment. We’re not just talking about cosmetic surgery here, but more serious medical conditions including cardiology, paediatric healthcare and even oncology among others. Is this a threat to the aim of some local regional healthcare authorities to become a focus of medical tourism? Read the story on page 50 and make up your own minds.

Of course, and as usual, you will find a wealth of interesting healthcare news, reviews and interviews in this issue. Heading towards what promises to be another fascinating Arab Health expo in Dubai, the regional healthcare industry is an exciting place to be – and we hope to keep your finger on the pulse of it.

Read and enjoy.

Brian Wilkie

(Nov-Dec 2012)


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