Introduction: The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has witnessed increasing number of researchers over last decade; for example, in-between 2015 and 2016, the number of researchers (in full time equivalent) per 1 million inhabitants was 2.4K in UAE, 1.1K in Morocco, 680 in Egypt, 604 in Qatar and 242 in Oman. Research and Development investment among Arabic countries was the highest in Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, ranged from 0.6% to 1.0% as a proportion of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP)1. Collaborative strategies that pool resources and knowledge are thought to be vital especially when it comes to rare diseases2.
Aim: To identify the demand for collaborative work amongst paediatric endocrinologists who attended the ASPED-ISPAD Lilly Diabetes Academy between 11-13 April 2019.
Methods: An online survey was cascaded to all participants of the above-mentioned educational activity, excluding the faculty member and guests.
Results: 73 participants in the Academy received the survey questionnaire of whom 44 (60%) responded. 48% were consultants, 41% trainees, 9% specialty doctors and 2% psychologists. 75% of respondents were practicing paediatric endocrinology, 23% in general paediatrics and 2% in adult endocrinology. The respondents were from 15 different countries of MENA. All of them (100%) emphasised their interest and eagerness for collaborative work.
Conclusion: As medical research is advancing and researchers are increasing worldwide. This questionnaire study shows the eagerness of our clinicians and researchers to work collaboratively. Therefore, we would encourage the endocrine societies to take a lead in overviewing research projects and opportunities for collaborative work, adopting the hub-and-spoke model to give extra help and guidance to researchers, especially those who are still developing their careers. This approach may improve research engagement resulting in better participation and outcomes.
References: 1. R&D Data Release, Institute for statistics, UNESCO, Available at http://uis.unesco.org/en/news/rd-data-release (accessed online 15/04/2019).
2. Kym M Boycott, Lilian PL Lau, Christine M Cutillo, Christopher P Austin, International collaborative actions and transparency to understand, diagnose, and develop therapies for rare diseases. EMBO Molecular Medicine (2019). DOI 10.15252/emmm.201910486.
19 - 21 Sep 2019
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology