Qatar University Biomedical Research Centre (QU-BRC) and the Supreme Council of Health (SCH) recently signed a technical services testing agreement to implement a comprehensive screening programme against various pathogenic micro-organisms that may affect maternal and child health in Qatar.
The screening programme places emphasis on viral diseases such as polyomaviruses, Epstein–Barr virus, Cytomegalovirus, Hepatitis B virus, Hepatitis C virus and parvoviruses. Screening will also be undertaken for some pathogenic bacteria such as helicobacter pylori, one of the leading causes of gastric ulcer and cancer.
The agreement was signed by QU-BRC director Dr Asmaa al-Thani and SCH assistant secretary for policy affairs Dr Faleh Mohamed Hussein in the presence of officials from both institutions.
Under the terms of the agreement, BRC will conduct the programme in its laboratories and provide precision screening and accurate diagnosis for the identified groups of pathogenic viral and bacterial diseases. The centre’s researchers will also establish collaborative activities with QU colleges and research centres, as well as various health institutions in Qatar.
SCH will implement a cohort study to examine the impact of genetic and environmental factors, and transitional and non-transitional diseases on the health of the mother during pregnancy, as well as on the foetus and newborn child. Commenting on the agreement, Dr al-Thani said: “For the council, Qatar’s national health authority, to have given us this project, shows the confidence it places in our competence and capability to execute it efficiently and effectively, and at the same time train local researchers to conduct the kind of research that is related to the Qatari community.” Dr Hussein noted: “The study will lead to the achievement of the national vision in the medical genetics field, and national and strategic health objectives. In the light of the output of this study, preventive strategies would be implemented to improve maternal and child health in the country.”
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