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Pandemic warning

In February, Bill Gates issued a dire warning about the threat of bioterrorism and pandemics in a speech to the 53rd Munich Security Conference. Over the past decade or so, the philanthropist has donated a large proportion of his enormous wealth to healthcare, specifically vaccine development. Having worked closely with stakeholders in this field for many years, he can speak with authority on the subject of disease and the danger of pandemics.

At the conference, he issued a wake-up call, warning that “we ignore the link between health security and international security at our peril”. He reckons the next pandemic could kill more than 30 million people in less than a year and points out there is a reasonable probability the world will experience such an outbreak in the next 10-15 years. Because this speech is so important – in which he offers a number of proposals to try mitigate such a deadly event – we publish it in full in this issue of Middle East Health.

Yemen’s health system has all but collapsed and there are now more than 10 million Yemenis in acute need. In February, the UN issued an international appeal for desperately needed assistance. We hope it does not fall on deaf ears, particularly when set against simultaneous humanitarian crises in Africa and the Middle East. Read the Yemen report in this issue – and donate if you can.

We attended the vast Arab Health exhibition in Dubai in January and spoke to many exhibitors. It is always fascinating to see the progress in medical technology year to year which is so apparent at this event. In our review, we publish some of the interviews we conducted. You will find more in the next as well.

In our focus on oncology, we look at select new research in this field that has been recently published. Of interest is the identification of a cervical cancer subset that has no link to the human papillomavirus.

As in every issue we publish a wide array of medical news, interviews and product reviews. Read on and be informed.


Callan Emery

(Mar-Apr 2017)

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