MOH News
Dr. Al-Rabeeah Chairs the 2nd Meeting of the International Center for Infectious Diseases Research in Jazan
06 May 2012
   Under the chairmanship of His Excellency the Minister of Health, Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabeeah, and with the presence of the British delegation representing Liverpool University, the Second Meeting of the Council of the International Center for Infectious Diseases Research was held last Saturday, May 6th, 2012, in Jazan. This center is acknowledged to be the sole center specialized in tropical diseases throughout the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the whole Middle East.
This announcement was made by His Excellency the Deputy Minister for Public Health, Dr. Zeyad Memish, who pointed out that the council discussed the significant achievements accomplished over the past year, most notably the initiation of the research projects that have to do with parasitic and communicable diseases (e.g., dengue fever and malaria). The meeting also discussed dispatching a number of Master's and doctoral students to study at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM), as part of the agreement signed with the University. To date, three doctoral students and three Master's students have been dispatched to this school, in pursuit of building the national capacities and capabilities, and forming a distinguished base of Saudi researchers specialized in this field.
Besides, the Council appreciated the eminent steps taken in the training field, within the framework comprehensive training plan embraced by LSTM inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In this spirit, the training course in the field of Epidemiology, currently held in Jazan, is reckoned the first course, to be followed by a series of courses organized by LSTM in the Kingdom's regions affected by parasitic and communicable diseases.
Dr. Memish was quoted as saying, “In cooperation with LSTM, the International Center for Infectious Diseases Research has been making every effort to harness all the necessary potentials and capacities; including experts in the fields of disease vectors and tropical diseases from Liverpool University and London University, as well as the University of Colorado and the University of California Davis, in addition to the Medical Research Council of South Africa (MRC). The attraction of all such experts is intended to give rise to the International Center's activities and realize its objectives.”
This center is considered the first of its kind throughout the Middle East. Right now, work is in full swing to support the center with the state-of-the-art medical equipment, under the supervision of experts from LSTM. It is meant to meet the Kingdom's requirements with regard to the elimination and eradication of various disease vectors, aside from improving the health situation in the Kingdom and the whole region, as well as the establishment of a national register of infectious diseases.
It should be noted that the Ministry of Health (MOH) signed a Cooperation Agreement with Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) last year, with the aim to develop the International Center for Infectious Diseases Research, especially parasitic, vector-transmitted diseases. It is hoped that the center will be an eminent scientific focal point and a referential center in the field of tropical diseases control. The Agreement was signed by Dr. Zeyad Memish, representing MOH, and Dr. Janet Hemingway, representing LSTM.

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