Health and famine
In the September issue we traditionally focus on
Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and
although we have done so in this issue with a
timely article for physicians about “mindfulness”
when speaking to patients, place has also been
made for an urgent and important article on the
dire situation in famine-struck Somalia. We add a
plea to the medical community of this relatively
wealthy region to donate generously to aid agencies
that are trying desperately to feed and provide
healthcare services to the tens of thousands facing
death by starvation in the Horn of Africa. The planned ‘spa and wellness’
feature has therefore been held over to the next issue.
In a section on Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, Professor Dr Heinz
Roettinger, Medical and Managing Director of Bahrain’s German
Orthopaedic Hospital, writes about the unique challenges of total knee
replacement in the Middle East, with specific reference to the need for
replacements capable of hyperflexion.
Also in this issue we look at new x-ray systems from Philips, Siemens and Carestream that bring greater x-ray mobility to hospitals and clinics, aimed
at improving and speeding up treatment for immobile patients.
There is an excellent report on Lebanon, with a specific focus on expansion
at the American University of Beirut Medical Center and Clemenceau
Hospital as examples of a new wave of development in the healthcare sector
in this country. Ravaged by war just a few short years ago, and still with
plenty of problems around them, the Lebanese continue to exude a certain
optimism regarding their future, and the growth in their healthcare sector is
representative of this.
There are many interesting and topical stories this issue. One in particular
looks at a study indicating that gastric bypass surgery for obesity can alter
peoples’ food preferences so that they choose to eat less high-fat food. In
another study, researchers have made an important breakthrough showing
that patients treated with their own genetically modified T-cells have
sustained remissions of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. This research has
been 20 years in the making and is being hailed as potentially a major leap
forward in the treatment of CLL, as well as other similar diseases.
We trust you will enjoy this issue and find many parts of it that will spark