Current Issue


German expertise

Patients from the Middle East have been travelling to Germany for decades to receive treatment for complex medical problems. To find out why these patients travel to Germany for treatment, Middle East Health visited this powerhouse of Europe. We toured leading hospitals in Hamburg and Berlin, hospitals that cater to so-called ‘International Patients’, particularly those from the Arab world. We were shown advanced robotic exoskeletons used in ambulatory rehabilitation, cutting-edge cath labs, innovative hospital design and luxury patient rooms. We spoke to doctors and professors, all leaders in their fields of cardiology, oncology, endocrinology and obstetrics and gynaecology, among others. The world-leading reputation of German healthcare is undeniable, but meeting the doctors and seeing the advanced technology and ultra-modern facilities first-hand leaves a clear impression of why this country is so attractive to international patients. Read part one of our report in this issue.

Regional experts and policy makers met recently to set out priorities to tackle heart disease, one of biggest causes of mortality and morbidity. We report on the establishment of the MENA Heart Failure Alliance, which aims to raise public, patient and professional awareness and develop comprehensive national strategies to better understand, prevent and treat the disease in the region.

At the time of going to press, the evacuation of Aleppo was underway which will finally provide some relief for the many thousands of people and the few remaining doctors who have been trapped in the eastern part of city. The experiences of the survivors have been grim, to say the least. The doctors have been truly heroic. We publish a harrowing first-hand account from a doctor working in Aleppo during the bombing campaign.

In healthcare news, there have been several interesting developments. A new HIV vaccine has started efficacy trials and raises the promise of a potential preventive measure against this devastating disease. New research shows that the Zika virus replicates and persists in foetal brains and placentas, which can cause devastating birth defects, while the pregnant mother experiences only minor illness. In a world first that provides some hope for a viable treatment for paraplegia, scientists have used a neural prosthesis to enable a pair paralyzed rhesus monkeys to walk again.

From the team at Middle East Health – we wish you a prosperous and healthy 2017.


Callan Emery

(Jan-Feb 2017)

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