Thousands of cholera cases recorded worldwide

Geneva – Ma’an – The World Health Organization announced that thousands of cholera cases were recorded during the month of June, and that at least 160 people died due to the disease.

According to the organization’s statement, infections and deaths were recorded in 18 countries, and it turned out that the number of infections in June was 14 percent lower than in May. 32,467 new infections were recorded in the Eastern Mediterranean region, about 18,700 in Afghanistan, more than 6,600 in Yemen, and more than 5,200 in Pakistan. Overall, the number of infections recorded during the period from January 1 to June 30, 2024 in 25 countries amounted to 249,793 infections.

It is worth noting that in January 2023, the World Health Organization considered the cholera outbreak a ‘level 3 emergency,’ which corresponds to the highest level of complexity. The organization’s statement read: ‘Given the number and geographical distribution of outbreaks worldwide, and the shortage of vaccines and other resources, WHO continues
to assess (according to June’s findings) the global risk as very high.’

What is striking is that the world is facing a ‘critical shortage’ of oral cholera vaccine, as 17 countries have requested 102 million doses since January 2023, while only 51 million doses have been produced during this period. As of July 8, 2024, the global stockpile of cholera vaccines stood at just 7.5 million doses.

Cholera is a serious disease caused by the infectious bacterium Vibrio cholerae, which is transmitted through food or water.

Source: Maan News Agency

US declares deadly disease outbreak in 12 states

Washington – Ma’an – The US Centers for Disease Control announced the spread of listeriosis, or what is known as Listeria, in 12 states at the same time.

The center stated in its statement that two people died due to the disease, and 28 others were transferred to the hospital.

The statement indicated that the actual number of infections with the disease may be higher. According to it, most of those infected had eaten meat products, including mortadella and sausages, but so far there is no confirmation that this is actually the cause.

Earlier in Canada, two people died and nine others were hospitalized. It was noted that all of the infected people had consumed plant-based soft drinks.

The infection that causes this disease is usually transmitted to the human body by eating foods contaminated with the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria (vegetables and animal products), which causes severe intestinal disorders. It affects the nervous system and can cause meningitis, encephalitis and death.

At risk are people o
ver 60 years of age, pregnant women, newborns, and people with weak immunity.

Source: Maan News Agency

DoH welcomes over 500 applicants in the 2024 Medical Education Programmes

ABU DHABI: A total of 505 applicants have been accepted out of 1,711 applications across the Medical Education Programmes offered by the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), the regulator of the healthcare sector in Abu Dhabi, representing a 10 % increase in both applications and participants from 2023.

The Medical Education Programmes, which include internships, medical residencies, and fellowships across various healthcare specialties in medicine, dentistry and pharmacy, have seen unprecedented interest among nationals and non-nationals alike in recognition of Abu Dhabi’s leading position in the global healthcare landscape. In line with DoH’s commitment to national Emiratisation goals and the development of a robust, home-grown healthcare workforce, all 294 UAE national applications were accepted into the programmes, surpassing the number of non-nationals accepted across the programmes for the first time since the launch of the programmes in 2010. In medical residency programmes, Emirati graduates const
itute 75 percent of the participants and 62 percent across the fellowship programmes.

Dr. Rashid Obaid Al Suwaidi, Executive Director of the Healthcare Workforce Sector at DoH, commented on this achievement: “We are thrilled to see the growing interest in our Medical Education Programmes, which reflects the high standards and excellence that DoH strives to maintain. The increase in the number of UAE nationals among the accepted candidates highlights our dedication to nurturing national talent and contributing to the UAE’s vision of creating a sustainable, self-reliant healthcare workforce. This milestone also reflects the cutting-edge facilities across Abu Dhabi that serve as a catalyst to deliver world-class training opportunities and better prepare medical graduates to lead the future of healthcare. Through our programmes, we aim to showcase the capabilities of Abu Dhabi’s healthcare ecosystem and reinforce its leading position on a global level.”

There is a total of 44 specialties under the Medical Educa
tion Programmes, including the newly added fellowships in critical care and geriatric medicine, medical residency in urology, and three dental internships. Other specialties include general surgery, paediatric surgery, internal medicine, family medicine, emergency medicine, anaesthesiology, ophthalmology, otolaryngology, paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology, psychiatry, dermatology, urology and radiology, dentistry and pharmacy. Each of the programmes is led by industry experts across Abu Dhabi’s state-of-the-art facilities creating an ideal platform for knowledge and experience sharing.

Source: Emirates News Agency

Emirates Health Services signs partnership agreement with Texas Children’s Hospital

DUBAI: The Emirates Health Services (EHS) today signed an agreement with Texas Children’s Hospital in the United States of America to improve children’s health care services and strengthen medical cooperation between the two parties through the Visiting Consultants Program (VCP).

Dr. Essam Al Zarouni, Acting Executive Director of the Medical Services Sector at EHS, stressed that the signing of this agreement reflects the EHS’s commitment to upgrading the level of medical services provided in its hospitals and health facilities by drawing on outstanding international expertise.

This understanding will contribute to the promotion of research and innovation and the development of new treatment methods, ensuring the provision of comprehensive and high-quality health care for children, he added.

The agreement provides for bilateral cooperation in the medical specialisations through joint work in the clinical fields and support in the development of the universal health-care programme and the promotion of educat
ional programmes in various areas and in all medical disciplines through the exchange of expertise and experiences, in order to achieve benefits and gains in the field of health care of both sides and to provide access to highly qualified and skilled doctors and specialists in addition to providing a sustainable health-care system based on advanced technology, to support the UAE’s efforts to promote the health and wellness of all members of society.

Visiting Consultants Programme (VCP) was officially launched in 2015 as one of EHS objectives to provide comprehensive and integrated healthcare services in an innovative and sustainable manner.

Throughout the Visiting Consultants Programme, Emirates Health Services collaborates with selected distinguished international health institutions, universities, and medical centres of the highest international standards to deliver premium medical care to our community. The programme enables continuous training and learning opportunities for professional healthcare provi
ders to raise medical expertise and competence.

Source: Emirates News Agency

MoHAP highlights National Framework for Healthy Ageing in collaboration with WHO

DUBAI: The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has organised a four-day workshop on the National Framework for Healthy Ageing in Dubai, in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to promote the health of the elderly and develop an effective health response plan for dementia (Alzheimer’s disease).

The workshop, attended by Dr. Hussain Abdul Rahman Al Rand, Assistant Undersecretary for the Public Health Sector, brought together experts from various UAE health authorities and stakeholders. It explored avenues for enhancing collaboration and developing actionable strategies to support senior citizens and residents in the UAE.

The event also aimed to create comprehensive strategies for healthy ageing, prepare a national response plan for dementia, strengthen cooperation between health and non-health sectors, and share best practices and innovative solutions.

WHO’s Decade of Healthy Ageing

The workshop discussed essential metrics from the World Health Organisation’s Decade of Healthy Ageing
, focusing on enhancing older individuals’ access to healthcare, promoting healthy practices, fostering research and innovation in the field of ageing, ensuring social inclusion, and enhancing life quality through integrated policies and programs.

Age-friendly environment

Dr. Al Rand stressed that the workshop is particularly important, bringing together experts from various UAE health authorities and stakeholders. The key objective was to develop a comprehensive national framework for healthy ageing and devise an effective response strategy for dementia, in partnership with the World Health Organisation (WHO).

“Spanning from 2025 to 2030, this framework includes several initiatives aimed at fostering an age-friendly environment where older adults can lead healthy, active, and independent lives. It also ensures they can contribute meaningfully to society, uphold their rights, and live with dignity and respect, thereby establishing the UAE as a frontrunner in promoting active and healthy ageing.”

Policy for Senior Citizens

Dr. Al Rand noted that the UAE has long been a leader in this area, having implemented the National Policy for Senior Emiratis. This policy ensures that seniors receive all the necessary support to lead dignified lives that match their social and health status. It includes providing therapeutic, rehabilitation, and social services to the elderly, who deserve the highest level of care and respect from their families, relatives, and all national social entities. This policy does, in fact, reflect the deep-rooted values and culture of the Emirati people and aims to instill these noble values in future generations.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines healthy ageing as the process of developing and maintaining the functional abilities that enable well-being in older age. These abilities include physical fitness, mental health, and social engagement. According to WHO, approximately 50 million people globally are currently living with dementia, a figure that is projected to tripl
e by the year 2050.

The WHO Decade of Healthy Ageing Plan 2020-2030 is a comprehensive 10-year strategy focused on action-driven and sustainable collaboration. It places older adults at the forefront of its agenda, aiming to enhance their lives as well as those of their families and communities. The plan calls for the collaboration of governments, civil society, international agencies, professionals, academia, media, and the private sector. It is the second action plan under the WHO Strategy on Healthy Ageing and draws from the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing. Additionally, it is synchronised with the UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and its associated Sustainable Development Goals.

Source: Emirates News Agency

Childhood immunisation levels stalled in 2023: UN

GENEVA: Global childhood vaccination levels have stalled, leaving around 2.7 million children lacking the protection they need compared to the pre-COVID-19 levels of 2019, UN agencies said on Sunday, warning of dangerous coverage gaps enabling outbreaks of diseases like measles.

That is according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) snapshot of trends for vaccinations against 14 diseases-all of which underlines the need for ongoing catch-up, recovery, and system-strengthening efforts.

‘The latest trends demonstrate that many countries continue to miss far too many children,’ said UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell.

The data revealed that previous progress in reaching pre-pandemic immunisation levels has stalled. Worldwide diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP) immunisation coverage was 84% in 2023, the same as in 2022 but below 86% recorded in 2019.

This stagnation reflects ongoing challenges with disruptions in healthcare services, logistical challenges, vaccin
e hesitancy and inequities in access to services, the report added.

The new report also showed that the number of children who had not received a single dose of the DTP vaccine increased from 13.9 million in 2022 to 14.5 million in 2023.

Additionally, 6.5 million children did not complete their third dose of the DTP vaccine, which is necessary to achieve disease protection in infancy and early childhood.

The data further highlighted that vaccination rates against the deadly measles disease stalled, leaving nearly 35 million children lacking sufficient protection.

In 2023, only 83 percent of children worldwide received their first dose of the measles vaccine under-immunised health services, while the number of children receiving their second dose modestly increased from the previous year, reaching 74% of children.

These figures fall short of the 95 percent coverage needed to prevent outbreaks, avert unnecessary disease and deaths, and achieve measles elimination goals.

Source: Emirates News Agency