May 17, 2020

WHO to launch polio emergency plan to eradicate disease

World Health Organisation
2 min
A child receiving a polio vaccine. Copyright: WHO/P. Virot
Later this week, during the World Health Assembly in Geneva, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is expected to declare polio as a global health emerge...

Later this week, during the World Health Assembly in Geneva, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is expected to declare polio as a global health emergency.

It is anticipated that the WHO will launch an emergency plan to eradicate the disease once and for all, as outbreaks have occurred in countries that were previously free from polio.  

The WHO is also hoping to boost vaccination programmes in the three countries where polio remains as an endemic; Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.

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Although during the first half of 2012 cases of polio have dropped in the above locations, the WHO says it needs more funding if it is to eliminate the disease completely.

Commenting on the current situation, Bruce Aylward, the head of the WHO's polio eradication campaign told BBC News: “Over the last 24 months on three continents - in Europe, in Africa and in Asia - we have seen horrific explosive outbreaks of the disease that affected adults, and in some cases 50 percent of them died.

“What it reminded people is that, if eradication fails, we are going to see a huge and vicious upsurge of this disease with consequences that it is very difficult even to foresee right now.”

Meanwhile Sona Bari, also involved in the WHO’s campaign to eradicate polio, added: “We are really on a tipping point between success and failure.”

China is one of the countries were polio has reoccurred, recently experiencing some of its first cases in more than 10 years.

However, in what was a huge boost for the World Health Organisation, India – largely considered to be one of the most challenging countries with regards to polio - was officially declared as being polio-free.

The WHO has said if steps are not taken to wipe out the disease now, recent improvements will be lost and potentially 200,000 could be affected by polio in the coming decade.

According to Ban Ki-Moon, the WHO has estimated that it will need US$2 billion worth of funding to intensify its efforts over the next year.

It already has half of its target and is looking to source the remaining $1 billion.

WHO members are expected to vote on whether or not to declare polio as a global health emergency within the next few days. 

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Jun 21, 2021

Dubai's new smart neuro spinal hospital: need to know

2 min
The brand new Neuro Spinal Hospital and Radiosurgery Centre has opened in Dubai. We take a look at what this smart hospital offers. 

We take a look at Dubai's new smart hospital. 

What: The Neuro Spinal Hospital and Radiosurgery Centre is a new hospital featuring state-of-the-art technology for spinal, neurosurgical, neurological, orthopaedic, radiosurgery and cancer treatments. The 700 million AED hospital, (equivalent to £138 million), has 114 beds, smart patient rooms, and green spaces for patient rehabilitation, and is four times the capacity of its former premises in Jumeirah.   It is also the UAE’s first hospital to have surgical robots. 

Where: The hospital is located in the Dubai Science Park. Founded in 2005,  Dubai Science Park is home to more than 350 companies from multinational corporations in life sciences, biotechnology and research; over 4,000 people work here each day. 

Who: The UAE's Neuro Spinal Hospital and Radiosurgery Centre was first established in Jumeirah in 2002 by Dr. Abdul Karim Msaddi, as the first as the first "super-specialty" neuroscience hospital. 

Why: With advanced diagnosis and robotics, the hospital will provide care across neuroscience, spine, orthopaedics and oncology for people residing in the UAE, as well as international patients.  

Prof. Abdul Karim Msaddi, Chairman and Medical Director of the hospital, said: “We are proud to bring world-class healthcare services to Dubai and believe our  next-generation hospital will be a game-changer for the emirate’s and the region’s medical industry.

"It will not only significantly increase the availability of specialist neuroscience and radiosurgery treatments and provide better patient care but help attract and develop local and international talent. Investing in the new centre represents our continued faith in the resilience of the region’s economy, as well as a testament to our ongoing drive towards healthcare innovation in the UAE.”

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