DAMMAM: SIRAJ WAHAB
Published — Thursday 17 January 2013
Last update 17 January 2013 3:32 pm
Cardiovascular diseases and their deadly impact in the Kingdom and the rest of the Middle East were the major topics discussed at the recently concluded 1st Tabuk Pharmaceuticals Cardiovascular Convention in Casablanca, Morocco.
Cardiovascular diseases remain the No. 1 cause of death worldwide. It is estimated that by 2030, 25 million people will die from cardiovascular diseases, with 80 percent of deaths taking place in low-to-middle income countries like those in the Middle East and North Africa region.
Up to 45 percent of all deaths in the MENA region are attributed to cardiovascular diseases and the number has been increasing over the past 20 years, leading to a public health crisis.
Dr. Ghormallah Al-Zahrani, consultant cardiologist and head of adult cardiology at Prince Sultan Cardiac Center in Riyadh, said: “What we observe is not encouraging, as risk factors that increase the incidence of cardiovascular diseases, such as sedentary lifestyles, smoking and diabetes are increasingly widespread in the community and the end result is unfortunately more advanced cases of cardiac diseases than in the past.”
In the MENA region, diabetes alone, which is often associated with heart disease, will claim the lives of 290,000 people. In Saudi Arabia, one in four citizens has diabetes and often does not even know about it.
Dr. Rachid Ezzike, MD, corporate marketing officer of Tabuk Pharmaceuticals, one of the Kingdom’s major manufacturers and distributors of pharmaceutical products, said: “Tabuk Pharmaceuticals’ approach is to focus on both prevention and treatment of entire disease entities, rather than specific conditions.
“While providing medicines that can slow the progress of disease and prevent complications is one of our core activities, we also feel strongly about the significance of our educational role, to help prevent diseases from appearing in the first place.
“As a leading manufacturer and distributor of heart medicines in the region, we feel that one of our responsibilities is to help address the current health crisis, as it represents a heavy burden on our countries. This annual cardiology convention is an opportunity for experts from the entire MENA region to share the latest advances and research in their fight against cardiovascular diseases.”
Aspiring to build bridges of knowledge and sharing of expertise among cardiologists across 13 MENA countries, and to keep track of advances in the field of cardiology, the convention attracted more than 100 preeminent cardiology experts on various heart-related topics of crucial interest to practitioners all over the world.