Annals of Thoracic Medicine Official publication of the Saudi Thoracic Society, affiliated to King Saud University
 
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EDITORIAL
Year : 2006  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 6-7
Why it is important to have a journal of respiratory medicine in the Gulf region?


James McGill, Professor and MUHC Strauss Chair in Respiratory Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Canada

Correspondence Address:
Qutayba Hamid
James McGill, Professor and MUHC Strauss Chair in Respiratory Medicine, McGill University, Montreal
Canada
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DOI: 10.4103/1817-1737.25862

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How to cite this article:
Hamid Q. Why it is important to have a journal of respiratory medicine in the Gulf region?. Ann Thorac Med 2006;1:6-7

How to cite this URL:
Hamid Q. Why it is important to have a journal of respiratory medicine in the Gulf region?. Ann Thorac Med [serial online] 2006 [cited 2019 Dec 16];1:6-7. Available from: http://www.thoracicmedicine.org/text.asp?2006/1/1/5/25862


During the last few months, I visited a number of countries in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia. I tried to have an idea about the prevalence and nature of chronic respiratory diseases in the region. I was surprised with the limited information available on PubMed. However, I met a large number of well-trained respiratory physicians who are very well-informed and are conducting reasonable research in respiratory diseases, with limited resources. I have also noticed that there are a number of active societies, including Saudi Thoracic Society, which are doing their best to update the knowledge of physicians and the public, in respiratory diseases. A number of academic physicians complained of the difficulty to publish local data in international journals. It is clear that there is a need for a medical journal, solely focused on respiratory medicine, to represent Saudi Arabia and the Arabian Gulf region. Moreover, the World Health Organization has recently started a program entitled the Global Alliance, against Chronic Respiratory Diseases (GARD), which groups a number of internationally recognized organizations, institutions and agencies, to work together for the common goal of fighting chronic respiratory diseases. A journal like the Annals in Thoracic Medicine, will allow for original research, experience and ideas to be communicated to the national and international scientific community and present and encourage local physicians to conduct and publish clinical and basic research, related to local diseases.

Chronic respiratory diseases are a problem throughout the world and the Middle-Eastern countries are no exceptions. The limited studies available, estimate the rate of asthma, for example in the Middle East, to be much higher than many countries in the world. There is also an important rise in tobacco consumption in the form of cigarettes and pipe smoking, with a concordant rise in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer. Air pollution is also increasing due to increasing amounts of automobiles and an uncontrolled consumption of fuel. This leads to a number of lung diseases. Tuberculosis has been and still represents a major challenge in rural areas in Saudi Arabia and the Arabian Gulf. Pediatric respiratory diseases such as viral pneumonia, are still a major cause of death. Statistical assessments of disease prevalence by epidemiologists and genetic studies on the population of the middle east, are sorely lacking. An increase in all major respiratory diseases, denotes further, the need for an internationally recognized medical journal in the region.

Certainly, having a respiratory journal for the Gulf region, will have numerous benefits. In my last two visits to Saudi Arabia, I was impressed by the amount of activity in respiratory research. That is, professional research, at par with many other research centers of international repute. There are numerous qualified researchers and clinical scientists, either educated locally or abroad in this area and they have much to bring to the scientific community, in both their experiences and research. Publications in annals will give the researchers, the much needed opportunity. The journal will also be a platform to invite national and international opinion leaders in respiratory research, to write state-of-the-art articles on the latest development in respiratory diseases. In addition, national and international meetings are likely to be announced in the annals and the proceedings of these meetings will be published as well. Also included will be advertisements from pharmacological and biomedical industries, to help educate and promote products, whose aims are to improve the standard of life of patients and maintain laboratories on the leading edge of technology. It is not expected that this journal will have a high impact factor to start with, however, all the international journals started like this and I have no doubt that with the hard work of the editorial board, the continuous contribution of basic and clinical researchers and the support of the universities, local authorities and scientific societies, the journal will find its way to the citation index in a short time. I hope that the pharmaceutical companies will be supportive of this new journal. I also hope that the local Universities will consider articles published in this journal, for promotion of academic staff. I strongly urge that the Annals should encourage participation of researchers from the arabic and non-arabic countries, to contribute review articles or original research, for this exciting new respiratory periodical.

I should give credit to the people who have worked hard to bring this idea to a conclusion, particularly the editors and the board members and I wish this Journal all the success in the future.



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