Mahmoud Fikri appointed Regional Director of WHO EMRO

The World Health Organization’s Executive Board, at its 140th session in Geneva, has appointed Dr Mahmoud Fikri, from United Arab Emirates, as WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMRO), following his nomination by the Regional Committee for EMRO in October last year. Dr Fikri took up his appointment for a five-year term on 1 February 2017.

Before the appointment, Dr Fikri was adviser to the Minister of Health of United Arab Emirates and was previously the Assistant-Undersecretary for Preventive Medicine and Health Policies Affairs in the Ministry (1995-2013). He served as a Member of the Board of Directors of the WHO Centre for Health Development, “WHO Kobe Centre”, Japan and a Member of the Advisory Board of the Gulf Health Council for Cooperation Council States (1996-2005). He was also a Member of the WHO Executive Board from 1997 to 2000.

For the last 19 years, Dr Fikri has been either a Member or the Head of UAE’s Ministry of Health (MoH) Delegation to WHO’s Health Assembly and the Regional Committee for EMRO.

Dr Fikri was a Member of the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (PIP) Advisory Group during the period 2008-2011 when the open–ended working group of Member States worked to finalize the PIP Framework for sharing Influenza Viruses and Access to Vaccines and other Benefits.

He was responsible for upgrading and adapting the National Immunization Programme of UAE in line with the Expanded Programme of Immunization (EPI) of WHO. Due to these efforts, the United Arab Emirates has achieved polio and malaria- free status.

Dr Fikri was a Member of the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs Standing Committee entrusted with the follow-up of the Universal Periodic Review of the Human Rights report (2009-2013) and a Member of the UAE National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking (2007-2013).

He was Head of UAE MoH delegation to the UN High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) (2011).

Dr Fikri graduated in medicine and surgery from Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt in 1979. He holds a Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene from Liverpool School. He is a Member of the faculty of Public Health Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians UK and holder of a PhD in Medicine from the University of Medicine and Pharmacy Carol Devila, Romania.

WHO EMRO comprises the following Member States: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

GE Healthcare selected to provide tech for Kuwait hospital program

A partnership between GE Healthcare and Advanced Technology Company (ATC) has been selected as the key medical technology provider for five new Ministry of Health hospitals in Kuwait as part of the Ministry’s strategic healthcare infrastructure modernization plan.

The new partnership, announced at Arab Health 2017, will provide a range of healthcare technologies, including healthcare IT systems, CT and MRI devices, tomodernize the current infrastructure at Al-Razi Hospital, Sabah Hospital, Kuwait Cancer Hospital, Farwaniya Hospital, and Jahra Hospital.

The new facilities will help Kuwait to address the increasing incidence cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. They will also be able to offer specialized treatments to the local and expatriate population of over four million, helping to reduce the national healthcare bill over time by reducing the number of outbound patients.

In total, the Government of Kuwait will invest several billion dollars over three years to construct nine hospitals, in an overhaul of the country’s healthcare sector as part of the over KD 31 billion (US$102.9 billion) Kuwait Development Plan (KDP). Over 3,334 hospital beds are expected to be added to the country with 15,000 jobs created during the program.

Sabah Hospital and Jahra Hospital are due to open in 2018, with the remaining three, served by the GE/ATC partnership, due to be completed by 2019. These five hospitals will initially create 3,000 extra patient beds in Kuwait.

The Sabah Hospital contract includes the supply of diagnostic imaging, ultrasound and healthcare IT as well as the first surgical MRI, GE’s SIGNA Architect, in the Middle East region. This device is a 3.0T MRI system, premium wide bore scanner that features the eXpress detachable table that delivers feet-first or headfirst imaging.

The contract for Jahra Hospital will equip the new facility with all these technologies and an integrated, simultaneous PET/MR system, GE’s SIGNA PET/MR.

Qatar’s first liver transplant from living donor performed at Hamad General Hospital

The Organ Transplant Team at Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Hamad General Hospital has successfully performed Qatar’s first ever liver transplant from a living donor, HMC announced in January.

According to HMC, each year, between 20 and 25 patients are added to the waiting list for organ transplantation in Qatar.

Dr Yousef Al Maslamani, Medical Director of Hamad General Hospital and Head of the Organ Transplant Committee at HMC, said: “The transplant was planned and performed by HMC’s highly qualified team of liver transplant surgeons, anesthetists, nurses and technicians. The procedure consisted of the partial resection of the donor’s liver, which took eight hours to complete, and the removal of the recipient’s liver. Implanting the donated portion of the liver in the recipient’s body who suffered from liver cirrhosis took 12 hours to complete. This successful transplant procedure also saw the participation of a team of visiting Korean organ transplant surgeons.”

“There are plans to increase liver transplants in Qatar from live and brain-dead donors. HMC’s Qatar Center for Organ Transplantation and the Qatar Organ Donation Center (Hiba) are relentless in their efforts to encourage new organ donors to enroll in the donor registry, with the ultimate goal of helping patients who are currently awaiting a lifesaving transplant,” added Dr Al Maslamani.

Dr Hatem Khalaf, Senior Consultant and Clinical Lead of HMC’s HPB and Liver Transplant Services, who led the local transplant team, said: “There are certain criteria that both a donor and recipient should meet before a procedure can be done. The criteria for the donor include motivation to donate the organ for altruistic reasons, verification of the relation of donor to the recipient, compatibility of blood type with the recipient and being between the ages of 18 and 45 and free from chronic diseases.”

“Following these criteria being verified, a series of preoperative tests are performed to determine if a donor is medically suitable for the procedure. These tests include x-rays and ultrasound imaging to assess the size of the liver, and a liver biopsy. A psychosocial and social evaluation of the donor are also conducted by a competent committee from Hiba,” said Dr Khalaf.

“In the case of this recent transplant, the right lobe of the donor’s liver, totaling 65 percent of the liver mass, was resected and implanted in the recipient’s body, following the removal of the cirrhosis-ridden liver. The donor recovered and was discharged from hospital one week after the procedure. The recipient remained under the care of HMC for two weeks and was then discharged,” explained Dr Khalaf.

Al Jalila Foundation funds osteoporosis study in UAE

Al Jalila Foundation, a philanthropic organisation dedicated to transforming lives through medical education and research has launched ‘Together Against Osteoporosis’ -- the first osteoporosis research study of its kind in the United Arab Emirates.

The study, to be conducted by Dubai Bone & Joint Center, will investigates the prevalence of osteoporosis and vitamin D deficiency in the UAE, as well as the correlation of vitamin D, diabetes mellitus and other risk factors with bone mineral density.

The study will be conducted over a 24-month period and aims to asses a total of 2,500 participants.

Gargash Enterprises has donated two fully equipped Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans to facilitate the research and enable Dubai Bone & Joint Center to screen people to promote early detection and prevention of the disease.

Dr Abdulkareem Sultan Al Olama, Chief Executive Officer, Al Jalila Foundation said: “Vitamin D deficiency has become a global health concern. Studies have shown that insufficient levels of Vitamin D can lead to a number of chronic illnesses and life-threatening diseases. As UAE’s ‘Year of Giving’ kicks off we are grateful to Gargash Enterprises for their support and look forward to working together on this important study to advance medical research, improve patients’ lives and contribute to a healthier and happier nation.”

Osteoporosis is preventable and treatable, however, many people are not diagnosed in time to receive effective therapy during the early phase of the disease.

HMC wins prestigious international nursing awards

Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) has won the 2016 NDNQI Award for Outstanding Nursing Quality by Press Ganey Associates. HMC won awards for both its Mental Health Service and Rumailah Hospital.

Selected from over 1,900 hospitals affiliated with the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI), HMC was the only award recipient located outside of the United States and is among an elite group of six hospitals that received the national award for 2016 during a ceremony held last month in Orlando, Florida.

The NDNQI Award for Outstanding Nursing Quality is bestowed annually to the best performing hospital in each of six categories: academic medical center, teaching hospital, community hospital, pediatric hospital, rehabilitation hospital and psychiatric hospital. In order to be eligible for the award, hospitals must have submitted data on a minimum number of measures in 2015.

Ghaya Al Tamimi, Director of Nursing at Rumailah Hospital, said: “I am extremely glad and proud that we have received this award. This award represents the high-quality care that patients at Rumailah Hospital receive from a group of dedicated nurses.”

Nurses have a real and significant impact on their patients’ healthcare experience and these awards are a celebration of HMC’s nursing staff and the work they doon a daily basis.

Hoda Salam Nakhla, Acting Director of Nursing with HMC’s Mental Health Service, said the award is an important achievement for HMC and its patients.

“It is an honor to receive this prestigious award and the momentum within the mental health nursing team is very high because of this international recognition,” said Nakhla.

40,000 health workers provide polio immunisation in Yemen

On 20 February, national health authorities with support from WHO and UNICEF launched a nationwide polio immunisation campaign in Yemen, aiming to immunise 5,019,648 children under the age of 5.

More than 40,000 health workers took part in the 3-day campaign. In addition, religious and local council’s officials, as well as health educators provided support for the campaign. High-risk groups, such as internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees, were also expected to be vaccinated.

“WHO is working closely with UNICEF and health authorities to keep Yemen polio-free. The threat of virus importation is serious and this campaign aims to curb any possible return of the virus to Yemen,” said Dr Nevio Zagaria, WHO Acting Representative in Yemen.

This is the first polio immunisation campaign since April 2016. The security situation in Yemen has limited accessibility of many parts of the country, leaving many children at risk of vaccine preventable diseases.

HMC’s new trauma centre to be one of largest in the region

The construction of a new trauma and emergency center at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) will enable a significant expansion of these services in Qatar. The trauma and emergency facility, scheduled to open in 2019, will more than quadruple the existing department’s space, making it one of the largest such facilities in the region. It will provide greater capacity to care for patients presenting with a range of illnesses and injuries, with a focus on life-threatening medical conditions, according to a statement by HMC.

“Qatar’s population has grown significantly in recent years, resulting in increasing numbers of patients relying on our trauma and emergency services,” said Hamad Al Khalifa, HMC’s Chief of Healthcare Facilities. “The new facility represents a substantial investment in the provision of leading edge, best practice emergency care and reinforces HMC’s commitment to providing the people of Qatar with high quality, world class facilities and healthcare.”

Located in front of the existing Emergency Department at Hamad General Hospital, the new trauma and emergency facility will be housed on four floors and will accommodate 226 patient stations. A full range of diagnostic and treatment facilities will be provided, with enhanced operational links to adjoining buildings for efficient transfer of patients, including a direct link to the new operating theater facility and the Trauma Intensive Care Unit at Hamad General Hospital.

Public drop-offs will be located on the ground floor level and ambulance drop-off facilities on the upper level. A dedicated ambulance ramp will separate public and emergency traffic movement and will ensure rapid transfer of patients.

The Emergency Department at Hamad General Hospital had over a million patient visits last year, according to HMC. In recent years, the Department has witnessed a steady increase in the number of patients treated, including pediatric emergency cases.


Date of upload: 14th Mar 2017

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