Qatar has achieved a world
first in healthcare following the accreditation of all of the country’s
Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) hospitals by the Joint Commission
International. With this prestigious achievement HMC becomes the
first health system in the world to be fully accredited by the JCI.
Being accredited by JCI is no easy feat. It is a rigorous process
to ensure the highest standards of patient safety and healthcare
quality are provided by accredited facilities and is considered
the gold standard in healthcare accreditation.
Research on the Zika virus is
producing new findings on an almost daily basis. Some of the latest,
and quite troubling, findings show that the virus appears to cause
neurological disorders in some people infected by the mosquito-borne
disease. One such neurological disorder – acute disseminated encephalomyelitis,
an autoimmune disorder that attacks the brain’s myelin, similar
to multiple sclerosis – has been found in a number of infected people
covered in a small study. Zika has already been shown to be linked
to microcephaly in newborns from infected mothers. To date the disease
has not spread to the Middle East region, although the Aedes mosquito
that transmits the virus to humans is present in at least eight
countries in the region. The regional office of the WHO has issued
guidelines in an effort to keep the virus at bay.
While on the subject of viruses,
researchers at the University of North Carolina have discovered
a new SARS-like virus which they say is poised to infect humans.
They say the ability of WIV1-CoV (coronavirus), found in Chinese
horseshoe bats, “to jump into humans is greater than we originally
thought”. Their concern is that the virus does not need to adapt
in order to infect humans and could potentially lead to an outbreak
similar to that of SARS “with significant consequences for both
public health and the global economy”.
Also in this issue, we report
on a number of interesting developments in healthcare, including
a massive undertaking by the United Nations and partners to finally
stamp out polio. The initiative will replace the trivalent oral
polio vaccine (tOPV) with a bivalent OPV (bOPV) for routine immunisation
in 155 countries and territories. The vaccine replacement initiative,
due to have begun late April, will be the largest and fastest globally
coordinated rollout of a vaccine into routine immunization programmes
There is a lot more regional,
global and healthcare research news in this issue, read on.