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Oct 18-20 2014 Principles of Geriatric Medicine
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BACKGROUND AND ORIGIN

A serious disparity exists between the growing ageing population and the number of health care providers being trained to meet the unique health care needs of older adults. This problem is both in developed and developing world. The key to alleviating the shortage, according to researchers, is for medical schools to lead the change in giving geriatric medicine the attention it deserves, cultivating programs where there are none, improving existing ones. There is a major deficiency in the number of physicians trained in geriatrics, in addition to limited paramedical personal trained in the field.

The Middle East Academy for Medicine of Ageing was founded in 2002 to stimulate the development of health care services for older people in the region. It was established by a number of professors and teachers from the Middle East and Europe. The Model of MEAMA was taken from the European Academy for Medicine of Ageing (EAMA). The mission of MEAMA is to create a hub for education and training in the field of ageing in the Middle East.

Abyad Medical Center and Middle East Longevity Institute were instrumental in organizing the first course of the MEAMA. Over the previous years, several reputable official governmental, regional and international organisations helped in the development of the academy including The Health Ministers' Council for the Cooperation Council States, Ministry of Health in Bahrain, The European Academy for Medicine of Ageing, The European Union of Geriatric Medicine Society, the Geriatric Medicine Section of the European Union of Medical Specialists, the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics, medi+WORLD International, Multimedia Medical University, Al Jinan University, Azm & Saade Association, Hamad Medical Corporation, National Guard National Guard Health Affairs -King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences and others.


CHAIRMAN'S MESSAGE

The Eastern Mediterranean region will develop rapidly ageing populations within the next few decades. The traditional patterns of family responsibility will diminish with economic development. In our society, the eldest members are a source of spiritual blessing as well as models of, religious faith, wisdom and love. Accordingly, the family as a group assumes responsibility for their welfare and survival by helping them with daily chores, and giving them financial assistance and emotional support. While such customs and traditions persist today predominantly in rural areas, it is proving impossible for many people and groups to preserve this aspect of their culture in the face of inimical forces over which they have no control.

A rising geriatric population, with increasingly unmet health care needs, strongly suggests the necessity for a better educational preparation of those health professions actually or potentially serving them. The absence of sufficient numbers of trained geriatricians and gerontologists, among health professionals, seriously undermines the ability of the country's health care system to adequately assess, treat, and rehabilitate the growing ageing population. This shortage leads to inappropriate care, higher costs, and poorer patient outcomes. Education is key to more informed health care services, without which, fertile soil exists for the emergence of negative attitudes and stereotypes toward ageing and older people. This may lead to avoidance and neglect of the elderly and their problems. The Middle-East Academy for Medicine of Ageing may help in preparing health professional sensitivity to the issue of aging, thus help in improving the quality of life of the elderly in the region.

MISSION of the Middle East Academy for Medicine of Ageing (MEAMA)

The mission of MEAMA is to create a hub for education and training in the field of ageing in the Middle East

The MEAMA achieves its mission through four strategic tools.

Strategic tool 1: Education and training
Aim: To advance the scientific and scholarly study of ageing and to promote human welfare by the encouragement of gerontology and geriatrics in all their areas.
• To promote training of highly qualified personnel in the fields of aging.
• To improve knowledge and skills of professionals, physicians, health care professional and officers, in health related problems in older people.
• To expand education in aging; and to develop the qualifications of gerontologists by setting high standards of professional ethics, skills, education, and achievement.
• To stimulate scientific interest in the health related problems in older people.
• To promote and assist in the arrangements for holding the Middle-Eastern Congress of Gerontology every two years in addition to other conferences.

Strategic tool 2: Human resource development
Aim: To increase the numbers of trained geriatricians and gerontologists, among health professionals with the correct cultural background.

• To harmonise the attitudes and goals of future opinion leaders in approaching the health related problems of older people in the Middle-East region.
• To reduce the shortage that leads to inappropriate care, higher costs, and poorer patient outcomes.
• To reduce the emergence of negative attitudes and stereotypes toward aging.
• To help in preparing health professional sensitivity to the issue of aging, thus help in improving the quality of life of the elderly in the region.


Strategic tool 3: Network
Aim : To create a network of universities and educational organisation interested in training and education in the field.

• To build a network between the Middle East countries and the more developed countries.
• To establish a network among physicians, nurses and health care officers.
• To help in the exchange of ideas and methodologies in the area.
• To foster collaboration between individual physicians, centers and countries within the Region.
• To stimulate scientific interest in the health related problems in older people.
• To stimulate communications among scholarly disciplines, and among professionals including researchers, teachers, administrators, and others.


Strategic tool 4: Research and publication
Aim: To stimulate research in the field of Ageing in the area.

• To build the ageing research network to fulfil unmet research needs.
• To do collaborative research within the area, and with other networks.
• To lobby for financial support for research in the Ageing field from different organisations.
• To help in the development of research training programmes.
• To help in publishing research studies from the region in peer review journals.
• To promote research, knowledge, prevention and management in the field of dementia and specifically Alzheimer's disease.
• To foster translational research, e.g. the application of research into practice; and to advance the utilization of research in the development of public health policy.

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