Doha, 23 March 2023: Qatar’s healthcare partners last week hosted the 1st Qatar Infectious Disease Conference at the Itqan Clinical Simulation and Innovation Center and Fairmont Doha Hotel to highlight the importance of infectious diseases and their impact on our health and lives.
Participants, including renowned international and local speakers, shared the latest and cutting-edge developments in infectious diseases and other key areas related to diseases caused by infectious agents. Different topics of interest to a wide range of health professionals were also discussed at the conference.
The conference chairman and HMC’s Infectious Disease Head, Dr. Abdullatif Al Khal together with the co-chair, Dr. Muna Al Maslamani, Communicable Disease Center’s Medical Director and Assistant Head of Infectious Disease, observed that the world has witnessed a gradual but steady decline in deaths from infectious diseases over the last 30 years thanks to improvements in sanitation, nutrition, standards of living, education, public health and preventive measures, immunizations, diagnostics, and advances in medical treatment.
“It is estimated that the global death rates from infectious agents had declined from 232 deaths per 100,000 population in 1990 to 105 in 2019. Despite these reassuring figures, infectious diseases remain a major source of morbidity and mortality and are among the top 10 killer diseases of mankind,” he said.
According to him, the success achieved over the last three decades has somewhat been disrupted by the recent emergence of the highly deadly Covid-19 pandemic which has contributed to the demise of more than 15 million lives around the world, whether directly or indirectly, not mentioning the interruption it caused to childhood immunization, TB and HIV control programs.
“In addition to emerging and reemerging infectious diseases in different parts of the world, there are other manmade problems that are hampering the fight against infectious agents. This includes, but not limited to, the increasing and widespread antimicrobial resistance among pathogens and the ever-increasing emissions of greenhouse gases that is leading to rapid climate change,” he noted.
However, Dr. Al Khal urged for optimism and the need to fight back infectious agents and build on the success achieved over the last few decades. “We, as clinicians specializing in preventing and treating infectious diseases, play a key role in leading this fight. We should be proud of our success in fighting major public health threats such as HIV, TB, Malaria to name a few, and most recently our success in fighting Covid-19,” he added.
Communicable Disease Center’s Medical Director and Assistant Head of Infectious Disease, Dr. Muna Al Maslamani added that the conference aimed to transform the way the healthcare practitioners clinically operate to continuously improve their ability to be part of the scientific evidence, share and exchange experiences with colleague experts, and strengthen the clinical outcomes for better patient care. “Our colleagues that specialize in infectious diseases have continued to meet the challenges in the field and they have excelled despite setbacks and hard times the whole world has been through in the past few years. We should all be very proud of where we are today and excited about where we are heading to in the future,” she added.