Current Issue


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 your interest.

Brian Wilkie

(Sep-Oct 2011)



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