UPGRADING the use of cytopathology techniques in Bahrain is part of a major plan announced by Health Minister Faeqa Al Saleh.
Ms Al Saleh said Bahrain needed to work on bringing its practices in line with modern advancements in the field of diagnostic pathology and cytology.
She was speaking yesterday at the opening of The Second Symposium for Challenges and Updates in Cytopathology at Crowne Plaza, which was attended by 100 specialists from around the world.
She also highlighted the importance of hosting such symposiums for the medical community to be made aware of new methods that would improve health care in Bahrain.
Cytopathology is a branch of pathology that studies and diagnoses diseases on a cellular level; the discipline of which was founded by George Nicolas Papanicolaou in 1928.
Cytopathology is generally used on samples of free cells or tissue fragments, in contrast to histopathology, which studies whole tissues.
The science is commonly used to investigate diseases involving a wide range of body sites often to aid in the diagnosis of cancer, but also in the diagnosis of some infectious diseases and other inflammatory conditions.
“The ministry has huge plans to improve its services and revamping cytopathology techniques in Bahrain is one of the top priorities we are working to achieve,” said Ms Al Saleh.
“It takes time for a revamp to reach its target but by being in line with international modern advancements we are stepping in the right direction by enabling our specialists to provide the best services to people here with what’s available.
“There is a need for regular symposiums and health conferences to help us identify obstacles and challenges and overcome them.
“The experts on hand are here to direct us in the right direction on how we should handle this science as a futuristic approach to diagnosing illnesses and treating them.”
It was also revealed during the symposium that Bahrain only has 10 consultants in the field of cytopathology distributed between major government, military and private hospitals.
Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC) laboratory department head Dr Eman Fareed said enhancing skills in cytology were necessary as Bahrain introduced new methods of diagnosis and examination.
“Cytology is an important field that we have to tap in to now more than ever as we identify the sources of illnesses to allow us to take a different approach that may be required if left undiagnosed precisely,” she said.
The International Academy of Cytology (IAC) exam will be held in Bahrain tomorrow in co-ordination with the Arabian Gulf University (AGU) under the supervision of visiting consultants taking part in the symposium.