WHO and Oslo University Hospital Contribute to Effective Treatment of Poisoning in Iran
21 November 2023
This effort aims to contribute to global knowledge production and foster collaboration among academic institutes globally.
22 November 2023, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran – WHO has partnered with Oslo University Hospital to donate crucial sets of breathing machines and essential medicine to Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences (SBUMS). These will help improve the efficacy of treatment for cases of poisoning with methanol, carbon monoxide (CO) or anaesthetic gases. This groundbreaking effort aims to contribute to global knowledge production and foster collaboration among academic institutions globally.
The partnership between Oslo University Hospital and SBUMS signifies a crucial step towards improving health and humanitarian services in the Islamic Republic of Iran. By increasing the country’s capacity for clinical trials in treating patients with poisoning, especially that caused by methanol and CO, the collaboration addresses a critical health need in the Eastern Mediterranean Region.
This successful initiative involved coordination across multiple sectors, including the Ministry of Health and Medical Education (MOHME), academic institutions and all 3 levels of WHO – headquarters, Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean and country office. The collaboration was comprehensive, addressing legal, technical and logistical aspects.
The donated breathing machines and methanol antidotes were formally handed over at a ceremony held at SBUMS on 20 November 2023. The event was attended by esteemed figures, including the chancellor and authorities of SBUMS, the Ambassador of Norway in the Islamic Republic of Iran, and representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MOHME and WHO. Partners from Oslo University Hospital participated online.
During the ceremony, Dr Syed Jaffar Hussain, WHO Representative and Head of Mission to the Islamic Republic of Iran, stressed the vital role of international collaborations, especially in the face of sanctions. He emphasized the importance of joint research studies in strengthening capacities and knowledge transfer among countries and academic institutions. WHO pledged support through nationwide training courses on usage of the donated breathing machines and technical assistance for the implementation of research studies. “We are also planning to scale up this initiative to the regional level for future collaborations,” added Dr Hussain.
His Excellency Sigvald Tomin Hauge, Ambassador of Norway, highlighted the humanitarian aspect of the donation, expressing Norway’s commitment to support those in need in the Islamic Republic of Iran. He also mentioned that Norway supports future regional plans.
Dr Alireza Zali, Chancellor of SBUMS, extended gratitude to the Government of Norway and Oslo University Hospital for their support, emphasizing the positive impact on research and clinical institutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Dr Zali outlined the crucial role of poison centres in the country and the significance of having an ample stock of required antidotes. This donation not only enhances clinical studies on poisoned patients but also provides an opportunity for MOHME to strengthen national poison centres and networks.
Dr Knut Erik Hovda, representing Oslo University Hospital, commended the close collaboration with WHO at all levels. He acknowledged the commitment of technical and academic institutions in Iran, expressing hope that this donation will contribute to improved treatment for poisoning with methanol, CO and anaesthetic gases.
This collaborative effort speaks to the power of international cooperation in addressing critical health challenges, ultimately to strengthen health systems globally and save lives.