International discussion group on rheumatism fever [Archives:2005/839/Local News]

May 5 2005

Sana'a- May 5- The international workshop on prevention of rheumatism fever organized by the Middle East Office of the World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with the Yemeni Ministry of Public Health was concluded on Thursday May 5.

Some 20 senior experts from 21 countries, 10 of whom are from Yemen, partook in the event.

The workshop is expected to come out with agreed general instructions for the countries of the area to prevent this disease which affects many lives.

Dr. Ahmed al-Mutarrib, coordinator of heart and rheumatism diseases, chairman of the workshop told Yemen Times that lung fever in Yemen hits a large number of people.

“Most of the patients, if students, leave school and undergo open heart surgeries which devastates their lives. Prevention and solutions are easy to get, that is, sound treatment of throat diseases by specialists, and taking long-effect penicillin injections. With this, the disease can be eradicated.”

He further said: “About 77% of the cases which have their heart valves replaced at al-Thawra Hospital during 2003 were the victims of this disease. This shows the size of the problem which we suffer from, as a result of inefficient treatment of throat diseases and the ignorance of health sector staff. Many people don't know how serious this disease is as it moves to joints and then to the heart.”

He recommended a campaign at the national level run by the public, as well as training the health staff on how to effectively treat this disease early.

Dr. al-Mutarrib said that the major problem lies in the budget. “An integrated plan should be set up by the Ministry of Health and provide such a budget enough to encounter this disease and train medical staff to treat it.”