Middle East

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While I was out in Abu Dhabi speaking at the World Health Care Congress I spoke to a journalist from the region’s leading daily, Gulf News, about the dangers of sleep apnoea for drivers.

Levels of awareness about the prevalence and fatal consequences of sleeping disorders are worryingly low, and judging by the comments of Dr Yousuf Al Tigani, a psychiatry specialist at Al Noor Hospital – that he had only seen one case in seven years – suggest that people do not know they are suffering from the condition. Given that around 5% of the population in the Gulf have sleep apnoea, this situation requires urgent action.

During my visit to Abu Dhabi I was presented with a Middle East Hospital magazine award recognising my efforts to raise awareness about sleep apnoea in the region by Riz Khan of Al Jazeera. Hopefully this award will help towards increasing knowledge about sleep apnoea and is dangers, and result in more people seeking treatment.

 

 

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Lord Darzi presents Michael Oko with MEH award

Snoring Disorders Centre founder, Consultant ENT surgeon Michael Oko, will address senior healthcare executives from across the Middle East in Abu Dhabi next week.

At the World Health Care Congress Middle East (11-13 December 2011) Mr Oko will be speaking about the benefits of preventative treatment in delivering cost savings, using the example of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) testing and treatment in Lincolnshire UK.

It is suspected that about 20% of car accidents are sleep related and research has shown that sleepiness can impair driving more than drink! Indeed, patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnoea have a 7-12 fold chance of a road traffic accident (RTA) compared to those who do not, and results in Lincolnshire have shown that treating the condition can reduce the accident rate dramatically.

In an interview to be published in Middle East Hospital magazine this month Mr Oko said,

“Fatal road accidents in Lincolnshire used to average about 79 per year. By December 2010, the number of fatal road traffic accidents had fallen from 79 to 45. A significant contributory factor in this success is that since 2006 the Snoring Disorders Centre has treated over 1,200 patients with sleep apnoea and these people are now able to drive more safely, rather than being in fear of falling asleep at the wheel. As well as the lives that have been saved by this initiative, this reduction in accidents also represents a saving of over £55 million to the economy, including the NHS.”

Mr Oko is bringing this message to the Middle East in a bid to raise awareness of the dangers of not addressing the rising incidence of OSA across the region,

“With the low level of awareness of sleep apnoea in the Middle East it’s no surprise that road accident rates in the Gulf region are dreadful. In fact road traffic accidents are the second major cause of death in the UAE and there are 3500 fatalities per year from RTAs in Saudi Arabia alone. I believe that the success I have had in Lincolnshire can be replicated in the Middle East by raising awareness of the condition, and forming long-term partnerships with local hospitals, doctors, and government departments.”

Mr Oko has already been very active in bringing this message to the healthcare community in the Middle East throughout 2011. For his work in this area Mr Oko was awarded the Middle East Hospital magazine award for excellence in respiratory care.

In January 2012 Mr Oko is opening a new private clinic at 150 Harley Street in London, to increase treatment capacity in the London area, and to cater for overseas patients. He also plans to open further satellite clinics throughout the UK.

 

Notes to editors:

Media contact: Guy Rowland, PR Consultant | +44 (0)7909 088369 | guyrowland@gmail.com

Launched in 2010, the World Health Care Congress Middle East (11-13 December 2011, Abu Dhabi), is the premier conference to feature global health care innovation. It attracts more than 600 senior health care thought leaders from all industry sectors, including hospitals, health systems, employers, government agencies, pharma, biotech and industry suppliers. WHCC Middle East is organized with sovereign partners the Health Authority-Abu Dhabi (HAAD) and the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA). Additional sponsorship is currently provided by The Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) www.seha.ae and Children’s National Medical Center www.childrensnational.org

www.worldcongress.com/me

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I am pleased to announce I have been awarded the Middle East Hospital magazine award for excellence in respiratory care, and making an outstanding contribution to healthcare in the Middle East. The Snoring Disorders Centre took a stand at the Arab Health exhibition in Dubai this year to raise awareness of the negative impact that OSA is having in the UAE and wider Middle East, and I met with healthcare professionals interested in treating this issue in the Arab region. I also be attended Saudi Medicare in Riyadh in April to spread the message further around the region.

Levels of obesity, hypertension and heart disease are rocketing in the wealthy Middle East, mainly due to the life-style out there. People are working long hours, eating rich calorie-laden food, driving everywhere and not exercising enough. I believe that the success I have had in Lincolnshire can be replicated in the Middle East by raising awareness of the condition, and forming long-term partnerships with local hospitals, doctors, and government departments.

With the low level of awareness of sleep apnoea in the Middle East it’s no surprise that road accident rates out in Dubai and the UAE are dreadful. In fact road traffic accidents are the second major cause of deaths in the UAE. There are 3500 fatalities per year from RTAs in Saudi Arabia alone, and OSA could well be a factor in many of them.

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Philips Enhanced System One

At the 8th Otolaryngology Exhibition and Conference, Philips is demonstrating, for the second year in a row, its most recent innovative range of Sleep Diagnostics and Therapy Solutions. The event will take place in Dubai from the 8th – 10th of May.

Otolaryngology is a branch of medicine that deals with diagnosis and treatment of diseases related to the ear, larynx, and upper respiratory tract. Philips’ participation comes in line with its goal to increase awareness around sleep disorders caused by breathing difficulties.

“There are a number of potential causes for a disturbed night’s sleep. These include sleep disorders such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), which affects approximately 4 percent of the adult population”, says Diederik Zeven, General Manager of Philips Healthcare Middle East. “It’s a disorder characterized by airway collapse behind the tongue during sleep, which obstructs breathing. If untreated, it can contribute to the development of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attacks, and strokes”, he adds.

As a global leader in the management of sleep disorders, Philips Healthcare has developed a wide range of products and solutions, from diagnostic tools through patient-centered sleep therapy devices, to help enhance the quality of sleep and thereby improve the health and well-being of people around the world.

Philips will be hosting a workshop, during the event, on Sleep Therapy Solutions, taking place on the 10th of May, demonstrating sleep apnea therapy devices and masks to the clinicians and offering them a practical hands-on training.

The Philips Healthcare solutions on display at the 8th Otolaryngology Exhibition and Conference are:

  • Alice 5™ Polysomnography System: a sleep laboratory system that is suitable for hospital or institutional applications. This system represents the state-of-art technology in sleep diagnostics and combines a total of 55 channels to diagnose sleep disorders in the lab setting.
  •  Alice PDx™ Portable Sleep Diagnostic System: a portable sleep recording device for Obstructive Sleep Apnea screening, follow up and diagnostic assessment of Cardio-Pulmonary Sleep Disorders. The Alice PDx™ enables clinicians to test their patients outside the lab, at home or clinic, without compromising the study’s results.
  •  RU Sleeping™: a basic screening device that provides real-time apnea score
  •  System One Sleep Therapy Platform of CPAP & BiPAP: is the latest generation from Philips Respironics Sleep Therapy Devices for the treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. The new CPAP and BiPAP devices comes with intelligent technology that simplifies patient management by monitoring patients and recognizing when therapy needs are changing, while offering sophisticated comfort enhancements.
  •  Comfort Gel Nasal & Face Masks: Philips Respironics provides a wide range of patient masks for the treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Besides it’s unique and comfortable Gel Nasal and Face Masks, it offers minimal contact masks that aims to provide more patient comfort during therapy.

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Michael Oko and Lord Darzi

The Snore Centre had an stand at the Arab Health exhibition in Dubai this year to raise awareness of the negative impact that Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) may be having in the UAE and wider Middle East, and meet with healthcare professionals interested in treating this issue in the Arab region.

Levels of  excessive weight gain associated with wealth, hypertension and heart disease are rocketing in the wealthy Middle East, mainly due to the modern life-style. Being overweight can be a major contributory factor in OSA in 2/3rd of cases, when a person temporarily stops breathing many times during the night. This deprives people of deep REM sleep and results in drowsiness and fatigue the next day. It’s when we’re tired that we make mistakes – especially whilst driving. It may well be a significant contributory factor to the road traffic accidents that are the second major cause of deaths in the UAE.

At the event I was nominated for the prestigious Middle East Hospital magazine’s “Excellence in Respiratory Health” award, presented by UK Business Ambassador, Lord Darzi.