Doha: Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press recently published the proceedings of the first-ever allergy conference in Qatar on its open-access platform, QScience.com. The conference, held virtually in 2022, was sponsored by the Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) in partnership with the Qatar Allergy and Immunology Society.
Allergic diseases are common medical conditions that have seen an increase globally, afflicting individuals with symptoms that can contribute to a poorer overall quality of life. If not properly diagnosed and treated, allergies can prove fatal in the conditions of anaphylaxis, severe asthma, and hereditary angioedema. Therefore, it is crucial to respond to the rising trend and recognize how allergic diseases are impacting locally in Qatar and internationally worldwide. The conference was held with a particular focus on educating physicians and the wider community.
The scientific committees involved in the conference have selected topics related to three major areas of allergy practice: systemic, respiratory and allergic skin disorders. Submissions were received covering the topics of audits, case reports, service development, and clinical and basic research in the field of allergy.
Additionally, a timely and relevant discourse on the relationship between the COVID-19 pandemic and allergic conditions was also presented at the conference, supporting the existing association between the pandemic and existing allergic disorders and practices.
“The publication of the proceedings of the first Qatar Allergy Conference on QScience.com draws attention to how cutting-edge research in understanding allergic disease is being conducted in Qatar and around the world,” explained Dr. Rima Isaifan, Head of Academic and Journal Publishing at HBKU Press. “Hosting conference proceedings on QScience.com, like this one, has given HBKU Press a competitive edge in academic publishing. As we branch out to include conference proceedings from major summits in the region, we offer our users access to the most up-to-date research available in the world today.
In a paper presented at First Allergy Conference in Qatar: Let’s explore allergy with a new lens by authors Dr. Maryam Al Nesf and Dr. Tayseer Ibrahim, the authors delve into the importance of understanding allergy practice and the burden that she represents for people with this medical condition, while acknowledging the impact of COVID-19 on face-to-face interactions (including conferences like this, which was initially delayed and then hosted virtually) and the need crucial to quickly understand how the virus affects those with allergic diseases.
Papers and talks related to the conference address concerns and findings about allergic patients, and their potential reactions to the virus as well as the vaccines needed to help combat its potency. Using Qatar as a real-world example, the highlighted article Chronic Urticaria and COVID-19 Vaccination: Data from Qatar by Saleema Purayil et al., examines the Qatari case study to further inform the discourse on holistic understanding of the role of COVID-19 vaccines in the lives of allergy patients and doctors.
Dr. Mariam Al Nesf, director of the Allergy and Immunology Fellowship Program and Senior Consultant in Lung Diseases at Hamad Medical Corporation, said the COVID-19 pandemic presented itself as a respiratory infectious disease whose symptoms overlap with allergic diseases. Also, it affects patients with asthma and other allergic diseases to a higher degree. The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and COVID-19 vaccination on patients with allergic diseases is one of the main topics we focused on at the first allergy conference in Qatar. Thanks to HMC’s partnership with HBKU Press, we were able to publish the proceedings and make them accessible via Open Access.
The global nature of COVID-19, as well as allergic diseases, presents a critical need to discuss medical findings on the association between the two and to present these findings in an accessible platform. All proceedings are published in the Qatar Medical Journal, available at QScience.com. The journals on the site are often indexed on the main databases PubMed Central, Scopus and Google Scholar.