The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland – Medical University of Bahrain (RCSI Bahrain) organised an online symposium titled ‘Collaborative Research on COVID-19 in the Kingdom of Bahrain’, held under the patronage of His Excellency Lieutenant General Dr Shaikh Mohammed bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, Chairman of the Supreme Council of Health, in collaboration with the National Taskforce for Combating the Corona Virus (Covid-19) and the National Health Regulatory Authority (NHRA).
The symposium commenced with welcome notes by the guest of honour, Major General Professor Shaikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa, Director of the Royal Medical Services and Chair of the Research Committee of the National Taskforce for Combating the Corona Virus (Covid-19). His excellency addressed the attendees and highlighted the importance of the research conducted in response to the pandemic.
The President of RCSI Bahrain, Professor Sameer Otoom said: “At RCSI Bahrain, we believe in the importance of collaborative and innovative research and we strongly felt it is our duty to dedicate our knowledge, experience and resources to contribute to the research projects in order to support the Kingdom of Bahrain’s tremendous efforts in combatting the Covid-19 pandemic.”
The welcome address was followed by a presentation by RCSI Bahrain’s Head of School of Postgraduate Studies and Research, Professor Stephen Atkin, on the Favipiravir Clinical Trial Study, which was undertaken in the hospitals by RCSI Bahrain medicine alumni, under the guidance of the School of Postgraduate Studies and Research, and in support of the Covid-19 Taskforce’s efforts. Professor Atkin also commented on the symposium: “Developing healthcare through research has always been a point of focus for the University and it has been an honour to take part in contributing to the Kingdom’s extensive research effort on Covid-19.”
The second presentation was titled ‘Overview of Covid-19 Research projects’ and was presented by Infectious Diseases Consultant and Microbiologist at the Bahrain Defence Force Hospital and member of the National Taskforce for Combating the Corona Virus (Covid-19) and Clinical Associate Professor, Lead in Microbiology at RCSI Bahrain, Professor Manaf Al Qahtani, who stated that during the period from March to December 2020, 17 Covid-19 related research projects have been completed and 13 are ongoing.
Professor Al Qahtani’s overview was followed by a presentation by Resident at Mohammed bin Khalifa Cardiac Centre and member of the National Corona Virus (Covid-19) Research Group, Dr Abdulkarim Abdulrahman on his research project titled, ‘The efficacy and safety of hydroxychloroquine in Covid-19 patients: a multicentre national retrospective’. The symposium concluded with a presentation by RCSI Bahrain’s third year medical student and student researcher, Saad Mallah, titled ‘Covid-19: Breaking Down a Global Health Crisis.’
The master of ceremonies for the symposium was Senior Clinical Lecturer at RCSI Bahrain, Dr Khawla Ali, who moderated the presentations and the Question-and-Answer session, during which academics from RCSI Bahrain, RCSI in Dublin and attendees raised their questions to the speakers.