News & Updates

Al Jalila children’s speciality hospital to examine IC genome sequencing workflow

Al Jalila Children’s Specialty Hospital (AJCSH), the UAE’s first and only hospital dedicated to treating children and adolescents, is to formulate a steering group to study the workflow of genome sequencing in the intensive care setting. The move follows an agreement between the hospital and Illumina Netherlands BV at Arab Health 2021, the Middle East’s leading medical equipment exhibition, which runs in Dubai until 24 June.

The group will look to develop practical knowledge of healthcare providers in genome sequencing in neonatal and pediatric intensive care settings. It will also seek to improve the use of testing, fostering greater understanding of best-use cases, clinical indicators, and the health economics of genome sequencing in the specialized setting.

Under the agreement, Illumina, the world’s leader in next-generation sequencing, is to provide technical expertise, reagents and analysis tools and training to the group.

“There is increasing evidence for rapid, efficient and cost-event genome sequencing in newborns and babies that will save lives,” said Dr. Mohamed Al Awadhi, COO, AJCH. “The application of next-generation sequencing has revolutionized the process of making complex diagnoses in paediatric medicine, significantly shortening the time for accurate diagnosis and optimal clinical management in critically ill children.

“Thanks to the support of our partners and stakeholders, this working group will once again push the boundaries in the quest to save young lives,” added Dr. Al Awadhi.

Illumina says its support for the working group is in line with its drive to promote the development of expert consensus on genome sequencing best practice within intensive care.

We are delighted to be working with Al Jalila Children’s Specialty Hospital to evaluate the use of rapid whole genome sequencing as a useful tool to introduce into their service. Al Jalila wants to offer its patients the most accurate, cutting edge applications available, and this is what we will evaluate together as part of our worldwide efforts to develop expert consensus on genome sequencing best practice within neonatal intensive care settings,” said Greg Gonzalez, Director, Illumina, Middle East.

Meanwhile, AJCSH, has signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the independent University of Balamand Dubai (UOBD) which will see the entities collaborate in mutually beneficial educational, training, research, and internship opportunities for the university’s students and its faculty.

Dr. Jihad S. Nader, UOBD’s Vice Chancellor and CEO, commented: “This agreement with Al Jalila Children’s Specialty Hospital is an opportunity for UOBD to reaffirm its strong commitment towards strengthening the collaboration with leading entities in the UAE. It is at the heart of UOBD’s mission for excellence in teaching, rigorous research, and concern for the public good. As such, this collaboration would allow our students and faculty members to engage in mutually beneficial educational, training, research and internship opportunities at Al Jalila Children’s Genomics Centre, covering areas related to cutting-edge biotechnology and genetics testing. This will support our objective to serve the UAE society and contribute to the advancement of the UAE in every sphere.”

Dr. Al Awadhi said, “This MOU is testament to both UOBD and our dedication to offering students hands-on experience across the various departments and activities at Al Jalila Children’s Specialty Hospital, including training, research, and internship opportunities. This partnership will help strengthen the UAE’s healthcare ecosystem, and in doing so give the young medical students of today the right tools and techniques to tackle the issues of tomorrow.”

AJCH is participating at Arab Health 2021 as part of the Dubai Healthcare City stand alongside partners Mohammed Bin Rashid University Of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBRU) and Al Jalila Foundation, which promotes medical education and research by investing in the UAE’s medical treatment capabilities.