Global experts discuss viral diseases in Doha
Doha, May 27, 2014
Medical and public health experts from all over the world are currently attending a major workshop in Doha on serious viral diseases affecting the Middle East and North Africa, such as Hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS and Mers.
The Endemic and Emerging Viral Diseases of Priority in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) workshop began on May 26. The event, which will run till May 29, is supported by the National Institutes of Health, Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMC-Q), Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) of Qatar Foundation, Qatar’s Supreme Council of Health, Hamad Medical Corporation, and Sidra Medical and Research Center.
The interdisciplinary workshop is part of a collaborative initiative between the US, Qatar, and the rest of the Mena region. It is led from the US by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health within the US Department of Health and Human Services (NIAID/NIH/HHS) in partnership with the National Institute of Health’s Office of Rare Diseases (NIH/ORD/HHS) and the US Department of State’s Bio-engagement Program (DOS/BEP).
Dr Saleh Al Marri, assistant secretary general for medical affairs at the Supreme Council of Health, said: "Bringing renowned experts in the field of viral diseases to Qatar from elite institutions all over the world is an extremely important step in the effort to control infectious diseases that affect people in the Middle East and North Africa.
“Our aim is that we in Qatar can provide a forum within which researchers from all over our region as well as from the United States, Europe and the Far East, can collaborate to develop initiatives that will help to eliminate these diseases, which cause terrible suffering to very large numbers of people all over the world.”
In a series of plenary sessions held over four days at the Four Seasons Hotel in Doha, researchers are discussing a variety of issues relating to viral diseases, including the status of the HIV epidemic, Hepatitis C treatment, the biology of the Middle East Respiratory Virus-Corona Virus (Mers-CoV), and vaccine development.
The aim is to promote international collaboration on research to combat viral diseases in the Mena region, an issue that has been highlighted recently by the fatalities caused by the Mers virus. The workshop is also discussing the risks to public health in the Mena region posed by Hepatitis C and E and Flaviviruses like the Alkhumra virus. -TradeArabia News Service