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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Middle Eastern & African Trailblazers Make Top Time Health List


Middle Eastern & African Trailblazers Make Top Time Health List. In a groundbreaking recognition of Middle Eastern & African talent and innovation, several individuals from the region have been featured in the prestigious Time Health List. This highlights their remarkable contributions to healthcare and medical advancements. From pioneering diagnostics to groundbreaking treatments. these individuals are shaping the future of healthcare on a global scale.


Hadiza Shehu Galadanci: A simple aid for maternal mortality

Dr. Hadiza Shehu Galadanci, a prominent figure in obstetrics and gynecology at Nigeria’s Bayero University. She is deeply familiar with the staggering statistics surrounding maternal mortality in her country.

With approximately 1,000 Nigerian women out of every 100,000 succumbing to childbirth complications. as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2020. Galadanci recognized the urgent need for effective interventions. Drawing from over two decades of clinical experience. She has witnessed the tragic loss of countless women to conditions that were not only treatable but also preventable.

Khaled Kabil: Tackling hepatitis C

A decade ago, Egypt grappled with one of the world’s highest rates of hepatitis C. It is a liver-damaging viral infection transmitted through infected blood. However, in 2023, Egypt achieved a groundbreaking milestone when the World Health Organization (WHO) hailed it as the first nation on track to fully eradicate the disease by 2030. —an achievement lauded as “nothing short of astounding” by the WHO’s director-general.

Central to this monumental effort is Dr. Khaled Kabil, who has spearheaded Egypt’s National Committee for Prevention and Control of Viral Hepatitis since its inception in 2006. Under his leadership, Egypt orchestrated a comprehensive nationwide campaign encompassing testing and treatment. It facilitated by cost-effective procurement of antiviral medications and local production of generic alternatives.

Ziyad Al-Aly: Advocating with research

Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, a clinical epidemiologist at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has emerged as a pivotal figure in the study of Long COVID since 2020. He is contributed significantly to over 20 studies that have reshaped our understanding of the virus’s enduring effects.

Through his research, Al-Aly has delved into the multifaceted manifestations of Long COVID across various organ systems, explored the risks associated with recurrent COVID-19 infections, and delineated its distinctions from chronic symptoms of other viral illnesses like the flu. Guided by the experiences of Long COVID patients, Al-Aly emphasizes a deep personal connection to his research, driven by a profound sense of responsibility towards those affected.

Bashar Murad: Care in war

Since the war between Israel and Hamas began in October 2023, Gaza’s healthcare system has suffered significant damage from Israeli airstrikes, leaving only a dozen out of 36 hospitals partially functional as of early March, according to the International Rescue Committee.

To address the urgent medical needs of the Palestinian people amidst this crisis, the Palestine Red Crescent Society. Under Murad’s guidance, the Palestine Red Crescent Society has delivered emergency first aid to nearly 18,000 injured individuals in the Gaza Strip from October 2023 to March 2024, alongside community healthcare for over 162,000 people and mental health support for almost 60,000. Despite challenges posed by destruction, the organization maintains a network of medical centers, relief camps offering essentials like food and water, and a fleet of ambulances, ensuring essential medical services remain available amidst adversity.

Mulikat Okanlawon and Fidel Strub: Noma heroes

Noma, a devastating disease causing facial gangrene, claims the lives of many, primarily affecting malnourished children aged 2 to 6. In 1998, 140,000 cases were reported, with a 90% mortality rate. Survivors face severe disfigurement, hindering basic functions and necessitating reconstructive surgeries.

Recently recognized as a neglected tropical disease by the WHO, advocacy efforts by survivors like Mulikat Okanlawon and Fidel Strub aim to raise awareness and access to treatment. Antibiotics can be effective, but lack of healthcare worker familiarity poses challenges. Strub and Okanlawon advocate for destigmatization to enable survivors to pursue education and employment, striving to integrate them fully into society.

Alaa Murabit: Closing the gender gap

For many, the struggle for women’s health is often synonymous with the fight for reproductive rights. However, Dr. Alaa Murabit is challenging this narrow perspective, advocating for a broader understanding of women’s healthcare. As the director of global health advocacy and communications at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Murabit’s actions align with her beliefs. she has already mobilized $300 million from philanthropists, with further commitments, for the Beginnings Fund. Murabit recognizes that solutions vary across contexts. From ensuring basic medical supplies in some countries to advancing research on menopause in others like the U.S. Ultimately, she sees women’s health empowerment as synonymous with empowerment in general. This enables individuals to contribute economically, socially, and politically to their communities.

Jaha Dukureh: Protecting women

Jaha Dukureh, renowned advocate against female genital mutilation (FGM), confronts Gambia’s recent legislative turn. Back in 2015, Gambia celebrated a historic ban on FGM. a triumph Dukureh spearheaded through her nonprofit, Safe Hands for Girls.

However, a recent bill to reverse this ban has rattled progress. Personally impacted by FGM and driven by her own ordeal, Dukureh fiercely opposes its resurgence.

Alongside her colleagues, she wages a determined campaign of protests and dialogues with community and religious leaders to counter misconceptions and uphold women’s rights. Despite encountering resistance, including from her own family and religious figures, Dukureh remains resolute, framing her advocacy as a global fight for women’s bodily autonomy.

Alua Arthur: Demystifying death

Alua Arthur, born to Rev. Dr. Appianda Arthur and Aba Arthur in Ghana, is on a mission to revolutionize the way we perceive death.

For Arthur, death isn’t a taboo subject to be avoided but rather an integral part of life to be embraced. “Being aware of our mortality and having a relationship with it allows us to look at our lives holistically,” she explains.

As one of the most prominent death doulas in the United States, Arthur has accompanied countless individuals on their journey through the end-of-life process. Her inspiration to pursue this path stemmed from personal tragedy, losing her brother-in-law to lymphoma. “There should be somebody to turn to for information and support during such challenging times,” she advocates.

As Middle Eastern & African individuals continue to make significant strides in healthcare and medical innovation. Their contributions underscore the region’s growing influence and impact on the global health landscape. From pioneering research to transformative treatments, these trailblazers are shaping a healthier and more equitable future for all.

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