Owais Abdelhfeez Scoops First Prize of My Project on its 5th Season
Owais Mohammed Abdelhfeez Hassan, a student at the University of Medical Science and Technology, won the first prize of “My Project for the Fifth Season” to receive a 300,000 Sudanese Pounds prize money and a training trip to Britain.
Owais is enrolled in the in the Global MBA Impact in Entrepreneurship provided by the Italian University Cattolica in partnership with the University of Medical Sciences and Technology.
Owais has previously worked for several years with a number of companies operating in the field of Communications Engineering. Currently, he owns a wooden products company and works on a irrigation system. His project “DOUASH” is aiming at solving the problem of irrigation in medium-sized agricultural farms to increase the material return of farmers.The project strives to provide irrigation water by employing well-planned irrigation devises, responding to the specific needs of each plant. In this sense “DOUASH” is project for producing high quality national product at a competitive price.Owais maintains that he “believes that each of us has a role to play in this life.
It is our duty to society to contribute our vision and vision to the development and reconstruction of our societies so that future generations can enjoy a dignified livelihood for future generations and ensure the continuity of life”. He reiterates his belief that change comes with production and pushing the wheel of development forward, and not through theorizing and contaminating ideas with talk about economic theories.
Owais is the third student at UMST to win the “My Project” award for creative initiatives and new non-traditional inventions.
Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the European Union on the situation in Sudan:
The EU is closely following the situation in Sudan. Measures being adopted under the newly declared state of emergency, the increased role of the military in governing the country, further curtail fundamental freedoms and undermine the recent offer of a new political dialogue.
They create a permissive climate for the security services to act with impunity against peaceful protesters. The latest attacks against unarmed students in the University of Medical Sciences and Technology and against peaceful protesters in Omdurman, are deeply disturbing.
Genuine political dialogue requires an environment in which the Sudanese people can exercise their legitimate right to express their views. This will be essential to create the national consensus needed to find sustainable responses to Sudan’s deep political and economic crisis.
The EU expects the Sudanese government to release all the journalists, members of the opposition, human rights defenders and other protesters in detention. Some of those with whom the dialogue is set to take place have been arbitrarily detained for over two months now. An independent investigation into the deaths and abuses should be undertaken with those responsible held to account.
The respect for these fundamental principles are at the core of the EU’s phased engagement with the government of Sudan. We will continue to monitor the situation and review the impact of the Government of Sudan’s actions on ites relations with the European Union.
* This statement was issued by Ms Frederica Mogherini, the EU High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission in agreement with the European Union’s member states.
The European Union consists of 28 European countries (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom).
A delegation of the National Commission of Nigerian Universities will visit on Tuesday the 15th the University to hold a meeting with the top management at the GCC (Global Conference Center).
The purpose of the visit is to be fully informed of the experiences of the Sudanese medical educational institutions and professional establishments working in the field. The delegation will also investigate areas of future cooperation between the University of Medical Sciences and technology and Nigerian Universities.
Dr Iman Tag Elsir Abdullah
• PhD in Chemistry of Natural Products.
• Assistant Professor at the University of Medical Sciences and Technology.
• Head of Chemistry Department, UMST.
• Scientific Consultant, Sudanese Union of Herbalists and Complementary Medicine.
• Member of the Committee of the Association of Complementary Medicine, Medical and Health Professions.
• Director of Taj Al Thuraya Center for Treatment of Asthma.
Dr Iman is a proud holder of :
International and national patent of international intellectual property WIPO (pct) Geneva
This entails the protection and registration of the product in Sudan, South America, South Africa, India UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
An international searching report emphasized that the product is a new invention and can be manufactured in accordance with the patent’s conditions and within the period circulation as specified by the global trading of WIPO;
- Missions and Representation:
Sudan representative of Intellectual Property at the Conference of Women Inventors and Innovators in the Middle East (International Intellectual Property Organization in association with the League of Arab States (Cairo).
- Scientific Inimitability Conference for Medical Sciences (Abu Dhabi).
- Interview in the program Good Morning Arabs, Arabiya Channel, Dubai.
- Numerous ppublications of scientific papers.
- National Symposium on Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) regarding worldwide Patent Awarding System (Ministry of Justice in Cooperation with the Africa International University).
- Launching of experiments in 2011 at the National Research Center and then depositing the patent papers (action plan) with the Intellectual Property of Sudan at the General Registrar of Intellectual Property. In 2013 Papers were later transferred to the National Council of Medicines and Toxins. Following sending all the relevant results a patent was issued testifying that the product is safe and can be used as a treatment and subsequently:
• The outcome was published globally in September 2016.
• Its use has proved to be beneficial for many of its users.
• The product is composed of herbal and natural products and honey. It does not have any additives or industrial components.
“Heart disease remains a major killer with the World Health Organization estimating it will be second to cancers by 2030. It’s clear we need new treatment options,” said Mazin Sirry of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Medical Sciences and Technology, Khartoum, Sudan. Sirry was presenting an overview of the research project he is conducting while at STIAS in which he will use computer modelling to investigate the mechanics of biomaterial injections in hearts damaged by heart attack.
Myocardial infarction, or a heart attack, is a major cause of death globally. The South African Heart and Stroke Foundation estimates that cardiovascular diseases as a whole (including heart disease and strokes) kill 17 million people annually globally and are responsible for almost 1 in 6 deaths in South Africa.
“In ischaemic heart disease there is usually a blockage in the coronary artery – the heart cells without access to blood die off causing irreversible damage,” said Sirry. “This causes loss of contraction in the muscles affecting the pumping action of the heart and causing a heart attack or myocardial infarction. Heart cells do not regenerate so the damaged cells are not replaced thus causing long-term heart failure.”
Current treatments include drug therapy which aims to prevent clotting and reduce heart stress; interventions like the placement of a balloon and stent which dilates the occluded artery and restores blood flow; bypass surgery to replace the damaged artery; the use of mechanical support devices including placing a mesh around the heart to assist in pumping the blood; or heart transplantation.
“Each case has its own needs,” said Sirry, “and you need to choose the best tools.”
“However, for transplantation there is generally a shortage of donors, high cost and risk of transplant failure,” he continued. “It also requires specialised clinics that are not necessarily available on a large scale in low-income settings.”
It’s therefore clear that newer therapies are needed and one option is therapies based on cell-delivery approaches.
“This means injecting immature cells into the affected region to replace the damaged cells. The injection usually includes biomaterials along with the cells and has shown good results in reducing the size of the area damaged by the infarction.”
But the research in this area was not without debate because it wasn’t clear if the results were due to the cells or if the biomaterials alone had an impact.
“A 2006 study demonstrated that cardiac function might potentially be improved just by increasing the thickness of the ventricle wall by the use of biomaterials,” said Sirry. “In 2009 a research group at the University of Cape Town developed a synthetic polyethylene glycol hydrogel which on its own showed good results in preventing the adverse ventricular remodelling.”
“These and other studies showed that cell and biomaterial injection therapy is a new and promising treatment for myocardial infarction. However, it has not yet been fully optimised.”
It became clear that an increased understanding of the mechanical aspects of the heart was needed including understanding the alterations induced by the biomaterial injection at a microscopic level. This is where computational modelling was found to be extremely useful.
Sirry’s research therefore uses computer models to help to understand the underlying mechanical mechanisms and to predict the changes that occur when the gel is injected.
“This gives us important information on the volume, the geometry and shape of the gel within the tissues, the underlying patterns formed and, hopefully also information on the optimal location and timing of the gel injection. We hope to attain a realistic configuration of what happens to the gel once it is injected and how this might optimise treatment.”
“The aim is to understand the micromechanics of a biomaterial injected into an infarcted heart using computer modelling.”
“All previous studies have been at the level of the organ now there is a need to go to the microscopic level to obtain a more detailed model of how the gel configures itself within the heart structure. An infarct leads to huge microscopic changes, you therefore can only understand the positive outcomes of the use of the gels by looking at the microscopic level. Then you translate that information back from the microscopic to the organ level,” continued Sirry.
He hopes the project will provide a platform for understanding and addressing the microscopic aspects of treatment and, also importantly, will give information on what happens if you go back to injecting cells not just biomaterials. The ultimate goal is to eventually regenerate the damaged heart cells.
But Sirry was quick to emphasise that all of these studies are at a preclinical level and that it will be a long time before they are translated into generally available treatments therefore in the interim the best is to avoid the occurrence of heart attack as much as possible through healthy lifestyle choices.
Expanding the field of biomechanical engineering
Sirry also spoke about his efforts to establish a biomechanics educational and research laboratory at his home institute in Sudan.
“To date, there has been low interest or understanding of biomechanics generally in the Sudan,” he said. “People educated and trained in this field often don’t return to the country.”
“There is more of an emphasis on training around medical electronics and imaging but no actual biomechanics,” he added.
Sirry therefore aims to promote the field by contributing to research, education and training, developing capacity and increasing awareness of biomechanical engineering in the country as a whole and particularly among the medical profession.
His efforts thus far have resulted in increased interest and enrolment in biomechanics research as well as a first attempt to establish a simple educational motion-tracking laboratory which can be used to characterise human movement.
Michelle Galloway: Part-time media officer at STIAS
Photograph: Christoff Pauw