Qatar- Sidra Medicine saves life of young Kuwaiti boy with intractable epilepsy

(MENAFN – Gulf Times) * QF entity performs complex epilepsy surgery for first time on an international patient

Sidra Medicine, a Qatar Foundation (QF) entity, has performed a complex epilepsy surgery for the first time on an international patient.

Salem is a 10-year-old boy from Kuwait who used to suffer from at least 15-30 seizures a day. Each seizure could last from a few seconds to up to four minutes, increasing the danger to his physical health.

Salem was transferred to Sidra Medicine in Qatar, after his family in Kuwait sought a second expert opinion with the hospital’s renowned specialist treatment programme for children with intractable epilepsy.

Salem’s father, Dr Abdulrahman Abdullah, said: ‘Due to the nature of Salem’s epilepsy, we had to have someone monitoring him all the time as he would have an uncontrollable seizure any minute, with the added risk of hurting himself. And while he was on a good therapy programme, including anti-epileptic medications, in Kuwait, we had reached a stage where he was no longer responding to conventional treatment or medication.

‘Our decision to bring my son Salem to Sidra Medicine was based on several recommendations within the international and regional pediatric medical faculty. The specialist and advanced therapies that Sidra Medicine offers competes with centres of excellence that are in the US or Europe. My family and I are extremely impressed with the care our son received here, Salem’s father continued.

Dr Husam Kayyali, acting division chief of Neurology at Sidra Medicine, said: ‘Salem’s case was brought to our attention when his father reached out to our international office about saving his son’s life. Intractable epilepsy can be a heavy burden, especially on children as they need constant monitoring and care. Studies have shown that only 3-4% of patients with intractable epilepsy would respond to treatment with antiepileptic medications. Cutting-edge advanced therapies such as epilepsy surgery might be the only answer in such cases. After a thorough evaluation of Salem’s case at Sidra Medicine, we decided to proceed with epilepsy surgery.

Salem was cared for at Sidra Medicine by a multidisciplinary team of experts from neurology, neurophysiology, radiology, nuclear medicine, neuro-psychology and neurosurgery. He was also extensively supported by a wider team from occupational health, physical therapy, rehabilitative medicine and ophthalmology to ensure a comprehensive pre- and post-operative care programme, a press statement noted.

Sidra Medicine is “one of very few children’s hospitals in the Middle East” to have dedicated paediatric experts overseeing the entire spectrum of care for children with complex diseases or health challenges, including epilepsy, the statement points out.

‘Salem’s treatment programme at Sidra Medicine started with a thorough assessment and investigations at the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit with Video-Electroencephalographic monitoring and advanced neuroimaging such as high-resolution Brain MRI imaging and (positron emission tomography) PET scans. It was determined that Salem had suffered a stroke when he was a fetus inside his mother. This explained how he started getting refractory epileptic seizures when he turned five, which had progressively damaged the left

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Sidra Medicine saves life of young Kuwaiti boy with intractable epilepsy

* QF entity performs complex epilepsy surgery for first time on an international patient

Sidra Medicine, a Qatar Foundation (QF) entity, has performed a complex epilepsy surgery for the first time on an international patient.

Salem is a 10-year-old boy from Kuwait who used to suffer from at least 15-30 seizures a day. Each seizure could last from a few seconds to up to four minutes, increasing the danger to his physical health.

Salem was transferred to Sidra Medicine in Qatar, after his family in Kuwait sought a second expert opinion with the hospital’s renowned specialist treatment programme for children with intractable epilepsy.

Salem’s father, Dr Abdulrahman Abdullah, said: “Due to the nature of Salem’s epilepsy, we had to have someone monitoring him all the time as he would have an uncontrollable seizure any minute, with the added risk of hurting himself. And while he was on a good therapy programme, including anti-epileptic medications, in Kuwait, we had reached a stage where he was no longer responding to conventional treatment or medication.”

“Our decision to bring my son Salem to Sidra Medicine was based on several recommendations within the international and regional pediatric medical faculty. The specialist and advanced therapies that Sidra Medicine offers competes with centres of excellence that are in the US or Europe. My family and I are extremely impressed with the care our son received here,” Salem’s father continued.

Dr Husam Kayyali, acting division chief of Neurology at Sidra Medicine, said: “Salem’s case was brought to our attention when his father reached out to our international office about saving his son’s life. Intractable epilepsy can be a heavy burden, especially on children as they need constant monitoring and care. Studies have shown that only 3-4% of patients with intractable epilepsy would respond to treatment with antiepileptic medications. Cutting-edge advanced therapies such as epilepsy surgery might be the only answer in such cases. After a thorough evaluation of Salem’s case at Sidra Medicine, we decided to proceed with epilepsy surgery.”

Salem was cared for at Sidra Medicine by a multidisciplinary team of experts from neurology, neurophysiology, radiology, nuclear medicine, neuro-psychology and neurosurgery. He was also extensively supported by a wider team from occupational health, physical therapy, rehabilitative medicine and ophthalmology to ensure a comprehensive pre- and post-operative care programme, a press statement noted.

Sidra Medicine is “one of very few children’s hospitals in the Middle East” to have dedicated paediatric experts overseeing the entire spectrum of care for children with complex diseases or health challenges, including epilepsy, the statement points out.

“Salem’s treatment programme at Sidra Medicine started with a thorough assessment and investigations at the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit with Video-Electroencephalographic monitoring and advanced neuroimaging such as high-resolution Brain MRI imaging and (positron emission tomography) PET scans. It was determined that Salem had suffered a stroke when he was a fetus inside his mother. This explained how he started getting refractory epileptic seizures when he turned five, which had progressively damaged the left side of his brain,”

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Sidra Medicine joins hands with MoPH in ‘Are you ok’ campaign

Sidra Medicine, a Qatar Foundation entity, has partnered with the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) in its national mental health and wellness campaign ‘Are you ok’ to highlight the support services available for women, children and young people in Qatar.

“The (coronavirus) pandemic has changed the landscape regarding the critical need for robust mental health support systems. It is very assuring and speaks of the calibre of the healthcare services in Qatar, to see how the Ministry of Public Health and Sidra Medicine have rapidly mobilised to keep mental health on top of the country’s service agenda,” Professor Muhammed Waqar Azeem, the chair of Psychiatry at Sidra Medicine said.

“At Sidra Medicine, we remain committed to supporting the people of Qatar, particularly children, young people and perinatal women in meeting their mental healthcare needs. In addition to world class mental health services, our Department of Psychiatry has started a number of educational and training programmes and is also involved in various leading-edge mental health-related research projects.”

Sidra Medicine offers Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Adolescent Medicine and Perinatal Mental Health services in Qatar. The services are either referral-based (in the case of children) or self-referral/ direct (perinatal mental health services).

Sidra Medicine’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) is available for children aged 5 to 18 years and includes outpatient, inpatient, consultation liaison and emergency care.

The service can be accessed via referral from Primary Health Care Centres, private clinics, schools and other sources.

“As part of our ongoing efforts to strengthen mental health support services, we have focused on patient care, education to build local human resources, research and building community models of care in Qatar. The success of our programme is based on the collaboration of patients, their relatives and our staff, who all work to help achieve patient goals to live their lives as fully possible. I am also proud of our team’s achieving accreditation for the world’s first Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education International (ACGMEI),” Dr Ahsan Nazeer, division chief of CAHMS at Sidra Medicine, said.

“Our advice to parents dealing with children with anxiety, especially during this time, is to encourage their children to share their concerns and have frank and open discussions about their fears and concerns. It is also important that children obtain accurate information from reliable sources. We also encourage parents to focus on instilling a sense of hope and optimism in their children by role modelling appropriate positive behaviuors,” Nazeer said.

Dr Alanoud al-Ansari, division chief of Adolescent Medicine whose clinic provides developmentally appropriate mental health and medical care for adolescents aged 12 to 18 years, has seen a rise in anxiety in teenagers.

“Teenagers are manifesting their anxiety around loss of control and unpredictability through eating disorders, depression and cutting themselves. Many of them have not been able to cope with being back at school. Despite families being in lockdown and opting to stay home during the pandemic, many families while

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Sidra Medicine highlights mental health services for children, young people and perinatal women

Sidra Medicine, has partnered with the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) in its national mental health and wellness campaign “Are you ok” to highlight the support services available for women, children and young people in Qatar.

Professor. Muhammed Waqar Azeem, the Chair of Psychiatry at Sidra Medicine said, “The pandemic has changed the landscape regarding the critical need for robust mental health support systems.  It is very assuring and speaks to the caliber of the healthcare services in Qatar, to see how the Ministry of Public Health and Sidra Medicine have rapidly mobilized to keep mental health on top of the country’s service agenda. At Sidra Medicine, we remain committed to supporting the people of Qatar, particularly children, young people and perinatal women in meeting their mental health care needs. In addition to world class mental health services, our Department of Psychiatry has started a number of educational and training programs and is also involved in various leading-edge mental health related research projects.”

Sidra Medicine, a QF entity, offers Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Adolescent Medicine and Perinatal Mental Health services in Qatar. The services are either referral based (in the case of children) or self-referral/ direct (perinatal mental health services).

Sidra Medicine’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) is available for children ages five to eighteen (5-18) years and includes outpatient, inpatient, consultation liaison and emergency care.  The service can be accessed via referral from Primary Health Care Centers, private clinics, schools and other sources.

Dr. Ahsan Nazeer, Division Chief of CAHMS at Sidra Medicine said: “As part of our ongoing efforts to strengthen mental health support services, we have focused on patient care, education to build local human resources, research and building community models of care in Qatar.  The success of our program is based on the collaboration of patients, their relatives and our staff, who all work to help achieve patient goals to live their lives as fully possible. I am also proud of our team’s achieving accreditation for the world’s first Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education International (ACGMEI).”

“Our advice to parents dealing with children with anxiety, especially during this time, is to encourage their children to share their concerns and have frank and open discussions about their fears and concerns.  It is also important that children obtain accurate information from reliable sources.

We also encourage parents to focus on instilling a sense of hope and optimism in their children by role modelling appropriate positive behaviours,” continued Dr. Nazeer.

Dr. Alanoud Al Ansari, Division Chief of Adolescent Medicine whose clinic provides developmentally appropriate mental health and medical care for adolescents aged 12 to 18 years old, has seen a rise in anxiety in teenagers.

“Teenagers are manifesting their anxiety around loss of control and unpredictability through eating disorders, depression and cutting. Many of them have not been able to cope being back at school. Despite families being in lock down and opting to stay home during the

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Ambassador of Brunei Darussalam visits Sidra Medicine

Sidra Medicine recently welcomed Mohamed Bahrin Abu Bakar, the Ambassador of Brunei Darussalam to the State of Qatar and Norfazerne Md Jaafar, the Second Secretary to its hospital.

The Ambassador and Md. Jaafar were welcomed by Mohammed Al Mana, managing director and member of the board of governors at Sidra Medicine;  Prof. Ziyad M. Hijazi, acting chief medical officer and executive chair of pediatric medicine and Hamza Al Kuwari, chief of administrative services.  They were taken on a tour of Sidra Medicine’s specialist pediatric and women’s services wards including the Heart Center. Both parties discussed Sidra Medicine’s role in welcoming patients from Brunei to Qatar and medical tourism. 

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