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First Middle East Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Conference opens today at Arab Health

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The UAE needs more Rehabilitation facilities and specialists to ensure quality of life and function for its injured and disabled population, experts from the nation’s medical community said at the 1st Middle East Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Conference in Dubai.

The two-day conference, part of the Arab Health 2007 congress being held at the Dubai International Convention Centre, highlights the importance of rehabilitation in the recovery process, and focuses on the rehabilitation of spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries, stroke and musculoskeletal disorders. More than 20 specialists from around the region and the world are scheduled to speak at the conference, which ends tomorrow (Thursday, February 1).

The World Health Organization estimates worldwide national Disability rates of 10 to 12 per cent, with about two to four per cent of the population having significant disabilities. With the UAE’s high rate of traffic accidents and congenital disorders such as cerebral palsy, its requirement for rehabilitation facilities and specialist physicians is estimated to be higher. Severe occupational injuries also require rehabilitation.

‘Rehabilitation is concerned with quality of life,’ said Dr. Mershen Pillay, speech-language pathologist at the Sheikh Khalifa Medical City in Abu Dhabi, and one of the conference speakers. ‘Unlike acute care management, it seeks to restore optimum functioning to individuals with disabilities and severe injuries and ensure their social integration.’

‘The United Nations has declared this the Arab Decade of Disabled Persons, and this conference is a good way to draw attention to their needs,’ Dr. Pillay added.

Representatives of IIR Middle East, organizers of Arab Health, said the conference was created in response to demand from physicians in the region and the rising tide of severe injuries in the UAE. The focus areas chosen reflect the priorities in the region, they added.

Recent statistics from Dubai list more than 25,000 people as injured in traffic accidents over the last 10 years; with nearly 7,000 listed as either serious or moderate injury. In Abu Dhabi, nearly 3,500 people were injured in traffic accidents between 1999 and 2006, of which 351 were listed as seriously injured and 1318 as receiving medium injuries.

The Middle East Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Conference is one of 16 scheduled for Arab Health 2007, and is accredited by the American Academy of Continuing Medical Education.

The Arab Health medical congress and exhibition is recognized as the largest and most important events in the global healthcare calendar, and is expected to draw 4,500 delegates, 30,000 visitors and 2,200 exhibiting companies.

Related Information:
About Arab Health
Arab Health 2007 will take place from 29th January to 1st February 2007 at the Dubai International Exhibition Centre, United Arab Emirates.

Physicians from across the region who attend the Arab Health Conference sessions will earn Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits as the sessions are recognized by the American Academy of Continuing Medical Education (AACME). IIR ME has passed a series of rigorous and internationally recognized standards for the provision of continuing medical education and quality health care, set by the AACME, and has subsequently been awarded status as an ‘Accredited Organization with Commendation’. Over 17,000 worldwide health care organisations are accredited by the AACME.

For more information, please contact:
Matt Pearman
ASDA’A – a public relations consultancy,
Tel: +9714-3344550,
Fax: +9714-3344556

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