80 healthcare professionals attend Metabolic Dieticians Workshop

Out of nearly 160000 babies screened at Hamad Medical Corporation HMC for metabolic disorders in the last nine years about 270 babies have tested positive a leading neonatal expert said
Professor George Hoffmann chairman of paediatrics at Heidelberg University Hospital Germany was speaking at the Second Middle East Metabolic Dieticians Workshop hosted by HMC
Heidelberg University Hospital has partnered with HMC since 2003 to offer metabolic screening for newborn babies The tests are now conducted inhouse at HMC Compared to most countries outside of the Gulf region there are three times as many babies affected with metabolic disorders in Qatar due to high consanguinity rates in the region Prof Hoffmann said
The expert stated Qatar has shown wonderfully how well the newborn screening works and it should also be transported to other countries
Prof Hoffmann who also gave an overview and update on epileptic encephalopathies was one of the moderators during the workshop which drew about 80 participants mostly metabolic doctors or dieticians and 12 speakers from Qatar the Middle East Europe and the Hospital for Sick Children in Canada
It was pointed out that most people suffering from metabolic disorders require special dietary therapy in order to avoid accumulation of toxic metabolites due to harmful substances in food
Management of metabolic disorders should start at an early stage after a newborn baby is screened and diagnosed in order to avoid any defects in the babys development explained Reem alSaadi acting assistant director for the dietetics and nutrition department at Hamad General Hospital
We are planning to conduct the workshop every two years to be rotated in other Gulf countries as well as Qatar said Dr Tawfeg Ben Omran head of clinical and metabolic genetics at HMCs department of paediatrics and chairman of the workshop
The idea was to have a round table discussion so as to explore collaboration with other Gulf countries in this field as we share the same basics in regard to population and diseases in the region he explained We see mostly the same cases and sometimes a new disorder is found that is not known in the rest of the world or some countries develop new approaches to metabolic treatments Through this discussion we might be able to come up with recommendations on how we can collaborate to deliver the best care for our patients Dr Ben Omran observed
A metabolic disease or disorder is characterised by problems with converting food to energy on a cellular level and is typically hereditary Most persons affected may appear healthy for years or may have symptoms that are also shared by other conditions making specialised metabolic screening necessary for early detection of the disorder
Topics such as basic principles in ketogenic diet update on fatty acid oxidation disorders establishing innovative services for metabolic dietary management in the region and emergency management of inborn errors of metabolism IEM were also discussed
Practical sessions were conducted for emergency dietary protocols for common IEM and lowprotein recipes for traditional dishes

Date : 15 May, 2012
Reference : www.gulf-times.com/site/topics/article.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=505544&version=1&template_id=36&pa

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