The Excellence in Paediatrics Institute (EiP) will soon have a branch in the Middle East in an effort to improve child healthcare in the region and the world, EiP chairman Professor Dimitri A Christakis announced yesterday.
He made the announcement during a welcome address at the opening of the Fifth Excellence in Peadiatrics Qatar 2013 being hosted by Sidra Medical and Research Centre at the Qatar National Convention Centre.
“The aim of establishing a branch in this region is to improve child healthcare globally but with special emphasis on the Middle East region, so one of the reasons we’ll come here is to bring all of the infrastructure as well as the educational tools to areas in great needs, so that is the general idea,” he told journalists.
Prof Christakis explained that the mission of the branch will be same as the larger one but the focus will be on the region.
The Swiss-based EiP was founded to cater to the needs of leading paediatric academics and front line healthcare professionals who wanted a global community in order to collaborate and connect more effectively.
“Once established, we will tap all of the regional expertise we have here and many of international experts that are speaking in this conference have made us realise that there are special needs or expertise here and we will combine all that with our international expertise to really serve the children of the region very well,” he reiterated.
According to him, some of the needs here were the same as elsewhere, while citing vaccination as an example. Gulf Times
“All children should be vaccinated but some children in the Middle East and North Africa are not getting the vaccines the same way as other children are and even the vaccines might not be available,” he noted.
“For example, we have a ‘rare disease initiative’ and those diseases are much more common in the Middle East and even that is a global initiative, we realise this region has particular need for it. There are a lot of these diseases like homocystinuria and others that have genetic basis, Professor Christakis buttressed.
He maintained that close relationships that exist here in this region are causing higher incidence of rare diseases, adding that a lot can now be done compared to the situation some 20 years ago.
“That initiative is already starting here as we now have the Middle East as the focus for our rare disease initiative…this kicked off yesterday (Wednesday) with all the countries in the Middle East represented at a meeting held to inaugurate it,” he informed adding: “Once we have it, then we can call attention to the problems here.”
Operating as a not-for-profit association, EiP provides continuous medical education to a global network of paediatric health care providers while also bringing paediatricians and professionals who are caring for children from around the world into the EiP community allowing them to network with each other, share ideas and projects and ultimately improve child health.