CNA News

Cyprus to host 1st regional Pan-Arab thalassemia summit

The International Thalassemia Federation and the Pan-Arab Thalassemia Associations Forum are organizing the 1st Regional Pan-Arab Summit on Thalassemia and other hemoglobin diseases, on Monday, April 29, in Nicosia.

A press release says that the summit is under the auspices of the Health Minister Michalis Damianos and the aim is to further strengthen the work carried out by the competent health authorities of each Arab country affected by genetic disorders and to help conduct a fruitful dialogue between medical experts and policy makers.

WHO Regional Director for Eastern Mediterranean, Dr. Hanan Balkhy and renowned Professors of Hematology, Ali Taher and John Porter, the Professor of Cardiology, Dr. Demetris Farmakis, as well as high-ranking government officials, representatives of state health services, and experts from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Jordan, Iraq, Tunisia, Morocco, and other countries in the region Middle East and North Africa will attend the summit.

The announcement says that hemoglobinopathies are particularly prevalent in the Arab world, with approximately 2-7%, and in some areas up to 15%, of the population being carriers of β-thalassemia and an even greater percentage of sickle cell disease carriers.