Arab problems and initiatives

Hospital-acquired or nosocomial infections, such as MSRA and Clostridium difficile, have reached alarming levels around the world as resistance to antibiotics grows. Statistics for the number of deaths due to nosocomial infection in the Middle
East are not readily available, however in the US the Centres for Disease Control estimates that some 99,000 deaths were attributable to hospitalacquired infections in 2002 and in the UK it is estimated that around 8% of all inpatients develop some form of nosocomial infection. If ICUs are included in these stats these figures rise substantially. We report on a consortium that has been set up in the UK to fund research that will seek a solution to these infections.

Also in our focus on Infection Control we publish a guide issued by the WHO (which you can cut out) outlining key elements for healthcare workers to follow to avoid the spread of avian influenza in hospitals and clinics.

The battle against HIV-AIDS is being hampered by issues such as human rights violations, gender inequality and stigma issues which are particularly prevalent in the Middle East and which were highlighted at the recent XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City. Read the report on page 26.

Also in this issue you will find reports from Iraq, Yemen and Palestine as well as interviews, comprehensive medical research news coverage and several other news features of interest.

Stay healthy.

Ramadan Kareem

Brian Wilkie

(Sep-Oct 2008)



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