Cancer patients increasing in Gulf countries: Report

Updated 18 October 2014

Cancer patients increasing in Gulf countries: Report

The Gulf countries marks an alarming rise in the number of cancer patients, according to a recent report.
The number of cancer patients in the GCC countries stood at 119,288 cases during 1998-2009 and the number is on the rise, said Executive Director of the Gulf Center for Cancer Prevention, Dr. Ali Al-Zahrani
In his statement released prior to the GCC’s upcoming conference on “Burden of Cancer in the Gulf Region” to be held on Tuesday, Dr. Al-Zahrani said the conference aims to highlight health complications related to cancer that have stricken both developed and underdeveloped countries.
According to him, cancer is the second biggest cause of death in the world.
The GCC Ministers of Health and the Gulf Center for Cancer at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center (KFSHRC) in Riyadh are organizing the International Medical Conference (IMC) under the aegis of the Acting Minister of Health Adel Fakeih to focus on the increasing numbers of cancer patients and their impact on the economy of the Gulf countries. The theme of the conference is “Bridging the Gaps” and will be held at the King Faisal Hall, Riyadh Intercontinental Hotel.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Tawfiq Khoujah, conference president, said one of the objectives of the event is to examine the impact of the growing incidence of cancer on the economy of GCC member countries and how early detection and screening of cancer patients for immediate treatment could be helpful in terms of saving the cost of treatment.
Dr. Koujah, who is also the Director-General of the Executive Office of the Council of Health Ministers in the GCC region, said that the high-profile event will review strategies for integrated treatment, and the role of those responsible for primary health care in the prevention and control of the non-communicable disease.
This will also enable public health awareness programs in the prevention and early detection of cancer through the development of research programs in the Gulf region and the establishment of a network for effective cooperation between oncologists, scientists and supporters of health care in the Gulf region.
According to Dr. Khouja, the biggest challenge in the treatment of cancer in the region is the need for a qualified and trained workforce to overcome the severe shortage of qualified medical personnel. They also need specialists in this field from the Gulf region as part of an integrated team (medical-nursing-diagnosis-therapeutic surgeons — radioactivity and rehabilitation).
He called for making optimal use of the resources not only to reduce costs, but also to facilitate the patient’s access to high quality health care on a continuing basis.
He added that the increased focus on health care has many benefits besides reducing the cost of treatment. Other advantages include better health care facilities for all members of the family.

The Six: Traditional natural remedies from the Middle East

A sprig of thyme. (Shutterstock)
Updated 15 October 2018

The Six: Traditional natural remedies from the Middle East

  • We take a look at natural remedies stemming from the Middle East
  • From turmeric to thyme, these home remedies are used across the Arab world and beyond

DUBAI: Natural remedies have long been used in the Arab world to treat a range of health issues, including these seeds and herbs that are thought to have various benefits.

Black cumin seed
According to Islamic tradition, the black cumin seed is a powerhouse of health benefits. It is thought to help with immune-related, digestive and respiratory issues and has antihistamine, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.

Cloves and clove oil have been used in dentistry since the 19th century due to the presence of the antiseptic and anti-inflammatory chemical eugenol.

Turmeric contains the chemical curcumin that is thought to decrease inflammation in the body.

Thyme has been used for centuries to treat such complaints as diarrhea, stomach ache, arthritis and sore throats due to the presence of thymol, an antiseptic agent.

Fennel seeds
A concentrated source of minerals like copper, potassium, calcium, zinc, manganese, vitamin c, iron, selenium and magnesium, fennel is thought to do everything from regulate blood pressure to ease water retention as it’s a known diuretic.

Anise oil contains thymol, terpineol and anethole, which are thought to help with cough and flu cases. Anise is also thought to help improve digestion, alleviate cramps and reduce nausea.