Al-Rabiah commends medicine pioneers for contributing to build a better world


RIYADH — The Pioneers in Medicine conference concluded with a closing ceremony during which King Faisal Prize and Alfaisal University, organizers of the conference, honored Saudi and international pioneers in medicine in appreciation of their contributions to advancing healthcare.

Addressing the ceremony, Minister of Health Tawfiq Bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah commended the scientists for their outstanding research works that have contributed to creating a better world for humanity.

Al-Rabiah also expressed his pleasure in meeting the pioneers in medicine and learning about their outstanding efforts in the advancement of medicine in Saudi Arabia.

The pioneers who were honored on the occasion included Professor Abdulaziz Al-Meshari, dean of the College of Medicine and supervisor of the University Hospital, King Saud University, Riyadh; Dr. Fahad Al Abduljabar, who was the Dean of College of Medicine, King Saud University; Professor Hussein Abdel-Razzak Al-Gezairy, who was the Saudi minister of health for seven years from 1975 and WHO’s regional director for the Eastern Mediterranean Region; Professor James Bruce Bussel, professor emeritus of pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medical College and the King Faisal Prize 2012 Medicine laureate; Professor Joris Andre Veltman, director of Institute of Genetic Medicine at Newcastle University and King Faisal Prize 2016 Medicine laureate; and Dr. Ketab Al-Otaibi, who was the director general of medical services in the Ministry of Defense during 1999-2012.

Also honored were Professor Mohamed Seraj, a leading anesthesiologist, who has held different leadership positions in various hospitals in Saudi Arabia; Professor Mohammed R. Al-Fagih, a leading cardiac surgeon and the Medical Superintendent of Dallah Heathcare Company; Dr. Mohammed S. Abomelha, a distinguished urologist who is consultant urologist at Advanced Medicine Center for Subspecialties, Riyadh; Dr. Nadia Sakati, senior consultant pediatrician at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center who is internationally recognized for her discoveries in genetic disorders; Professor Patrick C. Walsh, University Distinguished Service Professor of Urology at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions and King Faisal Prize 2017 Medicine laureate; Professor Siraj Zakzouk, a top ENT physician who has held different positions in the field of Medicine; and Professor Zohair Sebai, member of the Shoura Council and chairman of the Saudi Society for Family and Community Medicine.

Expressing appreciation at the event, Dr. Abdulaziz Alsebail, secretary-general of the King Faisal Prize, said: “The Pioneers in Medicine conference has emerged as a major scientific platform in Saudi Arabia, and marks a crucial step forward in the ongoing efforts of King Faisal Prize to enrich and localize knowledge. We congratulate everyone involved in this distinguished event that reflects a key milestone in King Faisal Prize’s remarkable journey during the last 40 years.”

Professor Mohammed Al-Hayaza, president of Alfaisal University, said: “The successful completion of the Pioneers in Medicine conference highlights the development of medicine in Saudi Arabia and the huge potential for scientific research in the Kingdom. The conference has helped create bridges between Saudi Arabia and the international institutes, and offered an opportunity for collaboration in education and research to enhance the positioning of the Kingdom among the countries with advanced healthcare.”

Held under the patronage of Makkah Emir Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, chairman of King Faisal Prize Board and chairman of the Board of Trustees of Alfaisal University, the “Pioneers in Medicine” event was organized by King Faisal Prize and Alfaisal University as part of the 40th anniversary celebrations of the Prize and its key role in enriching the medical field and localizing knowledge in Saudi Arabia.

The two-day conference witnessed six highly engaging sessions focused on the crucial fields of Oncology, Cardiology, Fetal Medicine & Surgery, ENT, Genetics, Family & Community Medicine. The event was addressed by renowned international and national medical pioneers, including a group of King Faisal Prize laureates, who enlivened the sessions with a series of lectures highlighting the advances achieved in the field of medicine and their significance in the Kingdom’s efforts to provide sustainable healthcare. — SG