Under the patronage of President of Beirut Arab University Professor Amr Galal El Adawi and in collaboration with Haykel Hospital, the Faculty of Health Sciences held its First Scientific conference entitled “Infectious Diseases; Epidemiology and Clinical Insights” in Tripoli Campus. 

The opening ceremony was attended by the president of order of physicians in North Lebanon, Dr. Omar Ayyash, General Director of water resources in North Region, Mr. Khaled Obeid, Vice President for Tripoli Branch Affairs Professor Khaled Baghdady, Medical Director of Haykel Hospital Dr. Lize Abi Rafie, Deputy Director of WHO Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office, Dr. Rana Hajjeh, Dean of the Faculty of Public Health at Al-Jinan University Dr. Ghazi Tadmori, Chairman of the Scientific Committee at the order of physicians in North Lebanon, Dr. Rashad Alameddin, Faculty directors, university professors and students.

After the Lebanese and BAU Anthems, the opening ceremony started with Colleague Miss Nala Makkouk who said, “Beirut Arab University has declared the responsibility for serving the northern community to reinforce the effective partnership with different sectors of the society. Infectious diseases, which is announced as one of the most important causes of morbidity and mortality, especially in developing countries, have urged BAU to furtherly address the major challenges and discuss the recent studies on the subject”. 

Director of the Faculty of Health Sciences in Tripoli Branch, Dr. Nisrine Bissar Tadmouri, claimed, "The Faculty of Health Sciences in Tripoli, at Beirut Arab University, has been celebrating World Health Day on April 7, in the previous years, by organizing awareness activities. The aim of these activities was to highlight health problems in the community, and focus on prevention methods, through various projects undertaken". She continued by saying, “whereby Today, we are organizing the first scientific conference as a joint collaboration between the faculty and Albert Haykel Hospital. The conference will shed light on the subject of infectious diseases, which is constantly evolving, from infections that have disappeared to new infections that attarct the attention of researchers and the health sector".

"In 2019, we are witnessing multiple problems, including the spread of fungal infections resistant to antiviral drugs, and the spread of previously controlled diseases due to parents' reluctance to vaccinate their children, and the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which has become a crisis requiring rapid intervention. Thus, Researchers, doctors and workers in the health sector, should collaborate periodically to find out the infectious diseases prevalent in our society and discuss ways to diagnose and reduce their effects.

The Medical Director at Albert Haykel Hospital, Dr. Lise Abi Rafea said: "When the topic of the conference was initiated, we were very excited about it, because of its importance, especially in the field of acquired infections. This falls within our objectives to constantly be committed to international standards for patient safety, and our continuous emphasis on reducing infections and the spread of infectious agents resistant to a large number of Antibiotics".

"There is no doubt that we are all aware of the seriousness of the current situation of antibiotic resistance, especially in a number of neighboring countries. Knowing that the hospital bears a great responsibility In terms of setting procedures for infection control, in accordance with international regulations for the use of antibiotics, and the need to stop using when it is not necessary.

Professor Khaled Baghdady, spoke about the importance of this conference, which provides a good opportunity for specialists to meet, exchange expertise, and discuss latest researches. Integrating the scientific, health entities, and medical sectors, to organize joint researches, which address the risks on the health of citizens, to avoid any counteractions before its occurrence.

In his speech, Dr. Omar Ayash shed light on the importance of health related activities, held in Tripoli and the North region, to raise a culture of awareness on one hand, and to address health issues, In target of developing solutions to problems, and to reinforce building a society free of microbes and diseases, on the other hand ".

He stressed on the importance of "conferences and research seminars organized by hospitals and health organizations". By saying, "Hospitals are undoubtedly able to benefit from the academic research, as an active partner with the universities, the order of Physicians, and the Scientific Committee in various subjects related to health and awareness matters. Noting that we cherish and value our partnership with Beirut Arab University which will develop in more bilateral agreements that we will hold in the near future ".

keynote speaker Dr. Rana Al-Hajjeh, Deputy Director for WHO Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office and Director of the Department of Communicable Diseases, presented a lecture entitled "The Return of Infectious Diseases to the Region: The Unfinished Agenda".

Three sessions afterwards took place, throughout the day as follows:

The first session, entitled "Hot Topics in Epidemiology," included lectures on 

Fungal agents from research to application, Incidence of common viral etiologies among children hospitalized for gastroenteritis and Parasitic Hypereosinophilia.

The session was moderated by: microbiologist Dr. Wafaa Jreige, pharmacist and director of laboratories at Haykel Hospital Dr. Gilbert Karaykoupoglo, and pediatrician at Haykel Hospital Dr. Siba Saade. 

Speakers for the session: Dr. Sarah Mina, and Dr. Sara Khalifeh Assistant Professors at Faculty of Health Sciences at Beirut Arab University, Dr. Hassan Zaraket, Assistant Professor at AUB Faculty of Medicine, and pharmacist and director of the Blood Bank at Haykel Hospital Dr. Malak Naboulsi.

The second session was entitled "Infection Control", and included lectures on antibiotic-resistant bacteria, a general overview of infection prevention campaigns and recent recommendations on vaccination of health workers.

The session was moderated by: Dr. Hisham Abdo, Dr. Aouni Alameddine, and Dr. Hani Khoury.

Speakers for the session were: Dr. Iman Ghazzawi, Professor at the Faculty of Health Sciences at Beirut Arab University, Dr. Mona Youssef, Head of Department of Infection Control at Haykel Hospital and Dr. Mayssa Khalil Family Medicine Specialist and Lecturer at the Faculty of Medicine at Beirut Arab University, 

The third session was entitled "Specifications for Infections in the Pregnant Women and the Pediatric Population", which included an overview of infectious diseases affecting children and pregnant women and recommendations for vaccination.

The session was moderated by: Pediatrician Dr. Abdullah Bissar, head of the pediatric department at Haykel Hospital, Pediatrician Dr. Michel Khoury, and obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. Anthony Sabbagh. 

The speakers for the last session were: Dr. Ghaith Makhoul, Dr. Rouba Shaker, and pharmacist Dr. Gilbert Karaykoupoglo.