The CAGS Newsletter, published by the Centre for Arab Genomic Studies (Dubai, United Arab Emirates), is back again after a long break during which the Centre achieved several landmark steps. These include the successful organization of the 2nd Pan Arab Human Genetics Conference in November 2007. The program of the conference included a public one-day symposium on the Ethical Perspectives of Genetic Applications in the Arab World, which was broadcasted in full over the air at AlJazeera Mubasher TV. At the same time, CAGS continued enlarging its survey regarding genetic disorders in Arab populations and completed, few months ago, the collection of data from Sultanate of Oman. Oman proved to be heterogeneous at the clinical and the molecular levels. Soon, the complete analysis of these data will be published in a future issue of this newsletter. Few weeks ago, the Centre for Arab Genomic Studies enlarged its Arab Council to include new members from Palestine and Kuwait, thus, bringing representation at CAGS to a total of 13 Arab countries.
The Centre for Arab Genomic Studies is pleased to announce that Dubai will be the venue for the prestigious Human Genome Meeting in 2011, organized by the Human Genome Organisation. The selection of Dubai for hosting this prestigious conference follows the presentation of a competitive bid for the same by a team from Dubai, representing CAGS, Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), and the Dubai Convention Bureau (DCB). HGM is considered a major worldwide event for both renowned scientists and young investigators in the fields of genetics and genomics, and this will be the first time that the meet will be held in an Arab country.
H.E. Humaid Al Qutami, UAE Minister of Health, announcing Dubai as the host for the Human Genome Meeting 2011 (16.12.2008).
HUGO and CAGS already have a history of mutual co-operation and collaboration, as shown by the active participation of HUGO in both previous editions of the Pan Arab Human Genetics Conference, organized by CAGS. Both organisations share similar perspectives and are important brokers of ideas and strategies in the field of human genetics and genomics.
HGM 2011 will be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), which harbors the vision of making Dubai the world’s leading destination for all major exhibitions, conferences, and events.
In addition to the HGM, HUGO has further plans to collaborate with CAGS. These include the organization of the 3rd Pan Arab Human Genetics Conference in Dubai in late 2009. The conference will be concurrently held with a HUGO symposium on genomics and hereditable disorders.
Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency is the most common human enzyme deficiency that mainly affects the red blood cells (RBCs). A defect in G6PD enzyme leads to the destruction of premature RBCs causing hemolytic anemia. Crisis is most often triggered by bacterial or viral infections, oxidative drugs, or eating fava beans. Individuals with G6PD deficiency are at risk to have serious conditions that may lead to death, if they are not properly treated.
The condition is X-linked, and is therefore, more likely to affect males than females. G6PD deficiency is highly polymorphic, with more than 400 reported variants. Mutations differ between populations, but certain mutations are usually shared within one population. For example, there is only one type of allele, called the "Mediterranean" variant, among Egyptians.
The condition has very high prevalence rates in the Arab World. The "Catalogue for Transmission Genetics in Arabs" (CTGA) currently reports on the occurrence of G6PD Deficiency in Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Oman, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.
The Urology and Nephrology Center (UNC) at Mansoura University is a 120 bed hospital, opened in 1983 with an objective to provide comprehensive management of disorders of the urinary system: from the surgical and medical point of view. The Centre contains facilities for conventional and interventional radiology, ultrasonography and nuclear imaging, as well as routine services for histology, cytology, microbiology, hematology and biochemistry.
Almost all fields of urology are now covered at the Center. These include Urologic Oncology, Kidney transplantation, Endourology, Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL), Pediatric urology, Voiding dysfunction, and female urology.
Until 2002, over 75,000 cases had been surgically treated within the UNC. These included more than 1500 live-donor allotransplantation as well as more than 2800 radical cystectomies and urinary diversion. The outpatient department has been equally popular, having been visited by more than 1.7 million patients in both urologic and nephrologic clinics.
The Annals of Saudi Medicine is a bimonthly multidisciplinary medical journal published by the King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with an aim to be the best forum for discussing local, regional and international medical experiences and for reporting the latest developments in medical care and related research in the Middle East. The journal was first published in 1980 as the King Faisal Specialist Hospital Medical Journal and in 1985, changed its name to the Annals of Saudi Medicine. The journal is indexed in MEDLINE.
The Annals of Saudi Medicine publishes original articles, case reports, letters to the editor, editorials, special communications, commentaries, and review articles, dealing with aspects of clinical, academic or investigative medicine or research. Prominence is given to medical matters relating to the Middle East in general and Saudi Arabia in particular, although articles from anywhere in the world are considered for publication. Full texts of the articles from the journal, subsequent to volume 18, are available online in PDF format.
BMJ. 2006 Oct 21;333(7573):831-4.
Author: Al-Gazali L, Hamamy H, Al-Arrayad S.
Address: Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University, Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates.
Available evidence suggests that congenital and genetic disorders are responsible for a major proportion of infant mortality, morbidity, and handicap in Arab countries. The population of the region is characterized by large family size, high maternal and paternal age, and a high level of inbreeding with consanguinity rates in the range of 25-60%. Certain disorders are common throughout the Arab world, including hemoglobinopathies, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, different congenital malformations caused by recessive genes, and several metabolic disorders. Other recessive disorders cluster in certain groups and subpopulations. Genetic services vary in extent and coverage in different Arab countries, but mostly they remain patchy, selective, and inadequate.
Al-Gazali et al. present the magnitude of the problem and the currently available genetic services in Arab countries, together with recommendations for developing strategies for prevention. In view of the good coverage of primary healthcare systems in most Arab countries, they conclude that community genetic services that include screening programs could be strengthened by the efficient training of primary healthcare personnel.
ArabMedicare.com is a leading web portal for Arab healthcare professionals, with more than 160,000 visitors per month. It aims at being the main point of reference providing credible and trusted medical information and resources. At ArabMedicare.com, healthcare professionals can access medical news, health information resources, educational and practice learning tools. The site also provides a range of medical information; transaction and technology solutions that help healthcare professionals and consumers navigate the complexity of Arab healthcare markets. Products and services are designed to promote more informed and evidenced-based decision-making, increased efficiency and, ultimately, the delivery of higher standards and quality of care to Arab populations.
The ArabMedicare.com range of services includes providing online health information for healthcare professionals from government, business, and academia; serving as the leading consumer health channel partners/content providers to major web sites like, Aljazeera.net - Aljazeera TV Channel, MSN Arabia, and Times of Oman “Healthy Times”; access to accredited online CME courses in such fields as: dermatology, endocrinology and metabolism, multiple sclerosis, and reproductive health; and practice management software services to the healthcare industry.
ArabMedicare.com plans to introduce two new services, ArabMedicare.com Practice (for physicians), and ArabMedicare.com Patient Care (for consumers/patients) to further strengthen their position in the market. The web portal is also undergoing a redesign during the next several months. In various phases, a new look will be introduced, English, Arabic & French channels, enhanced database features, a series of online journals and magazines that are regional and diseases specific for each of their specialty centers, expanded News services, links, in-depth market reports, and Technology Education Center for the industry.