Sep 09, 2018 10:22 Asia/Tehran

Bagher Larijani, the Head of Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Institute said that 90% of the medicines are produced in the country and I hope that we will not have problems providing medicines for our people.

Ahmed Al-Mandhari, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean meets Bagher Larijani, Director General of the Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Institute (EMRI) on Saturday 8 Sep. 2018 in Tehran.

On the sideline of this meeting, Iran Press interviewed Larijani and asked some questions about the meeting and EMRI future programs:  

Iran Press: What are the advantages of meeting Ahmed Al-Mandhari, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean?

Bagher Larijani: WHO has a rule for designing a network in the region for working on disease management. EMRI is a leading center in the region for working on diabetes, and Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD). As an advisor and collaboration center, we have an agreement with WHO Regional Office during five years, and we have many research about the situation of diabetes, and comprehensive care of diabetes and also NCD. Because of this, we presented some of the research and educational programs in this field. We presented some basic, population based clinical research. We also presented some professional and population based educational programs. I think Iran and EMRI can design some rule for the network of the region, for working on NCD, because it is one of the big problems for health in all countries. In Iran, over 90% of the mortalities are related to NCD, and 10% of population have diabetes. For changing this situation and designing some intervention, risk factors of diabetes and NCD is very important. Risk factors of the diabetes, and NCD are very similar to each other. For example, obesity, life style problems, low physical activities, nutrition, smoking and drug addiction are the risk factors of all NCD. Hopefully we can design some networks in the region for tackling of diabetes, and other diseases, and fortunately we have some strategies within the country for tackling different disease and maybe these are very attractive for head of WHO Regional office for the Eastern Mediterranean and other guests to expand these activities in the region and helping Iranian experts to support some of the interventions in the region. We can design a platform for sharing information and knowledge in the region to tackle NCD, because it is a big problem in all countries and on a global level, it is also a problem for economy.

Iran Press: US has imposed some sanctions on Iran, how did you passed these sanctions and go forward in your research?

Larijani: I think it is one of the problems for people and tacking of the disease, but some years ago we published a document and said that previous sanctions did not affect the diabetes management, because many drugs for diabetes can be produced in Iran. But it affected cancer tackling, because some drugs should be imported from other countries. Usually food and medicine are the exception, but some banking problems may affect the medicine import. I hope the new sanctions does include drugs and anything that affects people's health, because it is unfair. Overall, because 90% of the medicines are produced in the country and I hope that we will not have problems for providing medicine for people.

Iran Press: what's your plan for sharing knowledge and experience with other countries?

Larijani: WHO Regional Director and some of his advisors proposed our experts in NCD to design projects and their leadership and support the other projects in the region. I hope we can share our knowledge, experience and experts with other countries in the region and learn from each other to tackle diseases in the region and on a global scale.

The WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean is the regional office of the World Health Organization that serves 22 countries and territories in the Middle East, the North Africa, the Horn of Africa and Central Asia. It is one of the WHO's six regional offices around the world.