Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Researcher Profile: Dr Abdullah Alsahafi

For our most recent Researcher Profile, we sat down with Dr Abdullah Alsahafi to talk about his work in the field of Public Health, his time with the Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia and his current research with SPHPM. Read about it below.

Dr Abdullah Alsahafi is a consultant family physician from Ministry of Health (MOH) in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He graduated from the School of Medicine at King Abdul-Aziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in 2002 with a bachelor degree of Medicine and General Surgery. He has three board certificates in the Family and Community Medicine, SBFM, ABFM, JBFM.

He has worked for 12 years managing patients and preventing diseases in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. For the past four years, he has worked as the Director General for the Primary Health Care Centres (PHCC's) & Preventive Medicine, the Deputy Director General of Health Affairs for Public Health, and advisor to the Director General of Health Hffairs in addition to his clinical work in Jeddah region that extends more than 350 kilometres and serves more than four million people.

He joined The International Public Health Fellowship Training Program in School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University in June this year to sharpen his skills, broaden his knowledge in public health, infectious diseases and research fields as well as to gain exposure to new developments and latest techniques used in monitoring and evaluation of public health programmes in a developed country.

Dr Alsahafi is also seeking to improve the competence in designing, conducting, analysing and publishing research findings through participation in an on-going research projects in the field of infectious diseases; and participation in learning opportunities arranged within the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, and clinical experiences on-site with clinical partners, including: Alfred Health, and other clinical and public health organisations in Victoria. He is supervised by Associate Professor Allen Cheng.

Dr Alsahafi has also spent time working in the field infectious diseases; specifically the Coronavirus Mers-CoV. Mers-CoV is a single stranded RNA virus stemming from the genus group beta coronavirus. Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) is a viral respiratory disease caused by a coronavirus (Mers-CoV) that was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). Most MERS patients developed severe acute respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath. About three to four out of every ten patients reported with MERS have died. There is limited knowledge surrounding the intricacies of Mers-CoV and to date, a vaccine has yet to be developed to protect against the virus.

We thank Dr Alsahafi for taking the time to speak with us and look forward to following his research at the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine.

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