UAE 'needs advanced diagnostic
Abu Dhabi |By A Staff
Reporter | 24-04-01
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Now is the time to
introduce advanced diagnostic imaging systems in the UAE, said
Dr Saleh Ahmed Al Yafei, a UAE national who has just returned
from Japan after earning his Ph.D. in nuclear
Dr Saleh Ahmed Al
"Nuclear medicine is not new to the UAE, but
many physicians are still unaware about PET (Positron Emission
Tomography) and PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication
System and teleradiology)," he said.
"There are 30 PET
centres in Japan. PET is more advanced than MRI and CT scans
and provides hi-resolution pictures with excellent sensitivity
and specificity in diagnosis. It's time to introduce this
technology in the UAE."
This young national stayed at a
PET centre affiliated with Japan's Gunma University School of
Medicine, where he earned his Ph.D. Al Yafei went there in
1995 on a student exchange programme - the "Japanese Research
non-degree scholarship programme".
He was an employee
of Al Jazira Hospital in Abu Dhabi at that time and took a
leave of absence to go to Japan, accompanied by his family.
Now he has returned with a mission: to promote PET technology
in the UAE. "It would be better to undertake this through the
Ministry of Health rather than a government hospital."
Al Yafei was not a stranger to foreign lands, having
earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Louisville
in the U.S. in 1991. "But the U.S. was different from Japan.
They (the Japanese) are very sincere people and provided us
with a host family who were very kind to us. The Japanese
welcomed us by opening their research facilities for
"Their nuclear medicine department is well-known
around the world," he said. "They have a lot of publications
and pioneered many things in this field. They are as good or
even better than most countries in this field."
Yafei hopes to use his knowledge for practical purposes. But
his first love will continue to be research and he hopes to
get back to academics. "I've already done nine research papers
and I don't want to stop. My long-term plan will be to become
a professor - in Al Ain University, perhaps."