Improving health care in the Middle East and North Africa

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  • Correspondence

    126 www.thelancet.com Vol 383 January 11, 2014

    also generate population growth and fuel the demand for more regionally relevant research, education, and evidence-based clinical practice.

    At the recent Association of Academic Health Centers International (AAHCI) conference held in Doha, Quatar, in March 2013, the key challenges identi ed were: educating a skilled and exible workforce able to adapt to the rapidly changing health-care environment; building capacity and capability through recruitment, retention, education, and partnership; locally relevant research supported by international partnerships; and driving improved clinical performance through a focus on quality and safety.

    A potential unifying solution is to align academic and clinical missions by creating academic health centres and systems. This is the approach taken by Qatarwhere academic health partnership is the vehicle that underpins the delivery of the National Health Strategy.

    There is support for these nascent developments by established medical centres along with AAHCI and other leading international health-care institutions. Health-care development in the region has not kept pace with the economic growth and the international health-care community has a great opportunity to engage in the region for the bene t of patients and communities. SW is president and EH is consulting director of AAHCI.

    *Edward Hillhouse, Steven Wartmanehillhouse@hotmail.com

    Department of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York 1021, USA (EH); Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar (EH); and Association of Academic Health Centers, Washington DC, USA (SW)

    1 Wartman SA. Towards a virtuous cycle: the changing face of academic health centers. Guest Editorial. Acad Med 2008; 83: 79799.

    2 World Bank. Achieving better health equity and e ciency in the Middle East and North Africa. http://go.worldbank.org/NI4HTZRAL0 (accessed Sept 14, 2013).

    3 World Bank. Infrastructure and employment creation in the Middle East and North Africa. http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTMENA/Resources/QN54-infrastructure-and-employment-creation-in-MENA.pdf (accessed Sept 14, 2013).

    representation (with few speakers from developing countries).

    A statement was issued at the end of the summit in which neither concrete actions nor recommendations are mentioned, and no critical analysis of the summit was made.

    We, the future generation of professionals, continue, strongly committed, to contribute to global health worldwide, and we hope to have contributed towards a more e cient summit.We declare that we have no con icts of interest.

    *So a Ribeiro, Christopher Schrmann, Christian Kraef, Philipp Munzertso a gribeiro@gmail.com

    European Medical Students Association, Brussels 1040, Belgium (SR); German Medical Students Association and Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany (CS); German Medical Students Association and University of Mnster, Mnster, Germany (CK); and International Federation of Medical Students Associations and Charit University Medicine Berlin, Berlin, Germany (PM)

    2 WHO Regional O ce for Europe. Regional Committee 2013 (RC63); eme Izmir, Turkey, Sept 1619, 2013. http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLL4_zLP7J_mhHB4-mR9Rmh6TLaIpgFj-t (accessed Nov 4, 2013).

    3 WHO. 64th World Health Assembly (time lapse). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bUkk1Z4b1Y (accessed Sept 11, 2013).

    4 WHO. Sixty-Sixth World Health Assembly. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/events/2013/wha66/en/ (accessed Sept 11, 2013).

    5 WHO. Principles Governing Relations Between the World Health Organization and Nongovernmental Organizations (Resolution WHA40.25), 1987. http://apps.who.int/gb/bd/PDF/bd47/EN/principles-governing-rela-en.pdf (accessed Sept 11, 2013).

    Students re ections on the World Health Summit

    The World Health Summit (WHS) was held in Berlin, Germany, on Oct 2022, 2013, allegedly gathering 1200 delegates from academia, civil society, and the private sector to discuss global health topics.

    After the success of previous years event, four student organisations organised a student-led satellite workshop Towards health in all policiesbuilding future leaders and daily briefings during the summit. About 40 students interested in global health from different backgrounds, representing 20 different countries, attended this informal setting to discuss the most relevant topics of the summit.

    As members of the organising committee of the above-mentioned workshop, we would like to draw attention to some essential shortcomings of the WHS. Despite the steps taken in the past years to ensure youth participationnamely the integration of students in panels and our workshopthere is still a large generation gap, with young professionals partly absent from discussions. There were also severe issues in sex representation (with panels where women were notably absent) and geographical

    For the World Health Summit statement see http://www.

    worldhealthsummit.org/ leadmin/downloads/2013/

    WHS_2013/Publications/M8_Statement%20Berlin.pdf

    Improving health care in the Middle East and North Africa

    Health-care delivery, education of health professionals, and health research are rapidly changing. Trendssuch as an ageing population, an increasing burden of chronic diseases, and economic shiftsare generating new needs, and academic health centres are at the nexus of these important changes. It is now generally recognised that the best education, research, and care models result when these three areas are inter-related in what has been described as a virtuous cycle.1

    Health equity and efficiency are a prerequisite for driving regional social justice and economic development.2

    Health inequality has to be balanced against current investments (an estimated US$1 trillion programme in the region in the next decade). Although these investments will undoubtedly bring economic and social bene ts to the region, they will

    For more on the Association of Academic Health Centers

    International see http://www.aahci.org/

    For more on the Qatar National Health Strategy see http://

    www.nhsq.info

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    Improving health care in the Middle East and North AfricaReferences

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