Local and international experts gather in Abu Dhabi for elite Paediatric Gastroenterology conference
Experts are warning that the health challenges surrounding children are continuing to grow both locally and internationally, as topics around children’s nutrition and associated disorders and diseases take the spotlight this week.
International and local medical professionals in paediatric gastroenterology, nutrition and liver gathered in Abu Dhabi for the Elite Paediatric Gastroenterology taking place 14 to 16 May, organised by Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC) and inaugurated by SKMC Chief Executive Officer Mr. Benjamin Frank Jr.
“Parents are keen to provide the best healthcare and nutrition to their children, and our goal is to make this world healthier for them as the challenges around children’s health continue to grow – more than one third of our population is children, and the commitment to their health starts before birth and continues as we strive to establish their lifelong wellness,” said Dr. Mohammed Miqdady, Chief of Paediatric Gastroenterology at SKMC, adjunct staff at Cleveland Clinic, USA and conference chairman.
SKMC, managed by Cleveland Clinic, is part of the SEHA HealthSystem and owned and operated by Abu Dhabi Health Services Company PJSC (SEHA), which is responsible for the curative activities of all the public hospitals and clinics in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
25 expert speakers from the UAE, GCC and countries around the globe teamed up to provide state of the art lectures and workshops to attendees, discussing various paediatric health issues across nutrition, stomach, intestinal and liver disease, autism and its relation to diet, genetic disorders and much more.
The conference was organised in collaboration with the North American Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (NASPGHAN) and its Arab counterpart the Pan Arab Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology (PASPGHAN), as well as supported by speakers from the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology (ESPGHAN).
“This marks a new era of professional collaboration between UAE health institutes and international medical societies; this is of added value to our mounting healthcare system,” said Dr. Abdulmajeed Al Zubaidi, Chief Medical Officer and consultant interventional cardiologist at SKMC.
The scientific program included a keynote lecture from Dr. Athos Bousvaros, President of NASPGHAN and Associate Professor of Paediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital, which will address recent advances in the management of inflammatory bowel disease, an area of active research and advancement, and who treats some UAE patients in the US. With the topic of liver transplant on the agenda, as many as 25 paediatric liver transplant patients are being cared for at SKMC, a large number in comparison with other centres in the region according to Dr. Aref Al Shehhi, Deputy Chief Executive Officer at SKMC.
“The health and wellbeing of children is a top priority for healthcare leaders in the UAE, and I am confident that the UAE is continuing to become a meeting point for healthcare professionals from all over the region and the world. SKMC is proud to provide state of the art care for children at our tertiary care facility,” Dr. Al Shehhi added.
Dr. Jamal Al Jubeh, Chairman of the Paediatric Department at SKMC, said, “As medical professionals we know that on-going education and sharing of our knowledge is a top priority, and the advisory committee members have carefully selected the topics to meet the needs of practicing healthcare professionals in the region and beyond. Our goal is to manage and prevent the health problems facing our children on a daily basis.”
Also speaking at the conference is Dr. Yvan Vandenplas, professor of paediatric gastroenterology at University Hospital Brussels of the Free University of Brussels in Belgium, and head of the gastroenterology committee at ESPGHAN, who addressed infantile functional gastrointestinal disorders including colic, regurgitation and constipation.
“We recently published two articles addressing these issues in collaboration with Dr. Miqdady and other local experts, and this meeting further strengthens our cooperation,” said Dr. Vandenplas.
“SEHA continues to lead the revolutionary advances in paediatric medicine, for the well-being of our children around the world, and I thank them for their support and collaboration which has served to complement the strengths of this meeting,” concluded Dr. Miqdady.
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Dr. Maha Alnakkash