MERS Cases on the rise in Riyadh
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health has reported 14 new cases of Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in the Kingdom, with 12 of these cases being in Riyadh.
Two of the cases have resulted in fatalities, with a 65 year old expat male, and a 24 year old expat male both losing their life due to the condition. A 46 year old Saudi native is also said to be in a critical condition in hospital.
Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome is a viral respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus that was first identified as a major issue in Saudi Arabia over four years ago. It is believed to be transported by camels, however the exact science behind this factor still remains unknown. This also means that it is untreatable, with around 36% of patients suffering from the condition dying as a result.
Typically the symptoms can range from a simple fever like cough, to shortness of breath and diarrhoea, whilst in patients with long term health conditions such as Cancer and Diabetes the side effects can be far more debilitating.
In the past two years almost 500 cases of MERS have been reported, with the vast majority of these cases being in Saudi Arabia.
NMC to take advantage of Saudi market
Abu Dhabi based NMC Health is set to further expand into Saudi Arabia, following the Kingdom’s announcement that it is set to privatise areas of the economy, to help relieve the pressure placed on the oil industry.
Speaking on Bloomberg, Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty, NMC’s founder and non-executive chairman, expressed a clear interest in the healthcare arm of Saudia Airlines, which is currently for sale, stating: “I’m interested (in Saudia) whenever there’s a chance, I’ll go. We have surplus funding, it will be no problem.”
NMC, which has an estimated worth of over $6bn, ventured into the Saudi market last year, investing over $200m in facilities in Al Khobar and Jeddah. Now however it looks set to go further, in a bid to become the Kingdom’s market leader in private healthcare.
UAE Smoking related deaths figures published
27 people die as a result of tobacco smoking each week in the UAE, according to one of the Emirate’s top tobacco treatment specialists.
Speaking at an event in Abu Dhabi, aimed at reducing the smoking rates in the country, Dr Iyaad Hassan of Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, highlighted the need to lower the number of people with the addiction.
He said: “We know that smoking triples the risk of cardiovascular disease, and is often a direct risk factor for lung cancer. If this is not a motivation to give up the habit, we encourage people to quit so that they can protect their loved ones from the harmful effects of second-hand smoking.”
Every day six out of every ten people living in the UAE are exposed to secondhand smoke, potentially upping their risk of developing lung Cancer by as much as 30%.
Smoking rates in the UAE have remained fairly stagnant for a number of years now, with an estimated 24% of men in the country continuing with the habit. Dr Hassan is now leading the fightback however, with a special focus on quitting during the month of Ramadan.
He continued: “There are immediate benefits to quitting that can be felt within hours of stopping, like looking and feeling better. Just one year after quitting, the risk of a heart attack drops sharply. After two to five years, the risk of stroke drops to the same level as it is for non-smokers.”
There are plenty of jobs still available throughout the Middle East for medical professionals, despite the slowdown in the oil price. To start your Middle Eastern odyssey today, simply register on our website.