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MEHA – The Middle East Health Association (2011) succeeds The Middle East Association for Managing Hearing Loss (1998 – 2010)
The objectives of MEHA are to:
The Middle East Association for Managing Hearing Loss (MEHA) initially became the signature lead program of CISEPO. In May 1998, CISEPO brokered the formation of MEHA, an organization comprising senior representatives of Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian medical and academic establishments, along with community-based audiologists, educators, therapists and support personnel.
The objectives of MEHA as the Middle East Association for Managing Hearing Loss were to:
- promote and support cooperation in the region by advancing medical knowledge, public health and health services related to hearing loss;
- contribute to stability and peacebuilding in the region by sponsoring medical, scientific and educational interactions among regional colleagues for cooperative cross-border international development purposes and thereby strengthening health systems.
From 1999 until 2010 eight steering committee meetings were held in the region. His Royal Highness, Prince Firas bin Raad of Jordan, is the Patron of MEHA. Following the second MEHA steering committee meeting held in Tel Aviv in May, 2001, a regional MEHA Centre was established in Amman in memory of the late King Hussein.
MEHA operated continuously and effectively since its formation and through its programs impacted on national hearing health policy in Jordan (2007) and Israel (2010) through the implementation of universal newborn hearing screening, habilitation and family support programs. Over 800,000 babies have been screened in Jordan and over 320,000 babies have been screened in Israel. The intent is to bring universal newborn hearing screening to the West Bank as well. MEHA as the Middle East Association for Managing Hearing Loss focused on public health, medical and rehabilitative services and scientific and peacebuilding programs in the region related to hearing loss. As CISEPO's lead program, CISEPO received for MEHA projects Government of Canada grants through CIDA in 2001 in 2004 for the implementation of MEHA projects of on-the-ground programming for the early detection and management of hearing loss.
MEHA’s program activities on the ground included:
- Training and Capacity Development Programs
- International Research on Hearing (genetics, services, screening, etc.)
- Early Detection of Hearing Loss in Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian Infants (Project 1)
- Project 1 Accomplishments (PDF)
- Hearing Loss Habilitation Program for Infants Identified in Project 1 (Project 2)
- Research Program in Central Auditory Disorders (CAPD) (Project 3)
- Neonatal Hearing Screening and Habilitation in Jordan (Project 4)
- Scientific Conferences
- Annual meeting of the Steering Committee
As of 2011, under the leadership of HRH Prince Firas, MEHA officially became the Middle East Health Association to pursue objectives more broadly and in multiple disciplines in the field of health, with an emphasis on public health. The Middle East Association for Managing Hearing Loss through its annual meetings had been a vehicle to bring multiple disciplines together as well as regional Deans and medical students. The intent now is to expand that successful format by operating virtually across borders with the benefit of a decade of communication capacity through a rich and ongoing CISEPO video-teleconference experience on the Middle East and global scene and to now be in a position to implement projects driven by needs based public health issues in the region.
The objectives for MEHA as the Middle East Health Association are now:
- To promote and support cooperation in the region by advancing medical knowledge, public health and health services related to a variety of needs in the health sector;
- To contribute to stability and peacebuilding in the region by sponsoring medical, scientific and educational interactions among regional colleagues for cooperative cross-border international development purposes and thereby strengthening health systems;
- To implement projects, both on-the-ground and by teleHealth, addressing critical public health and clinical service issues under a Canadian umbrella, including medical education, training, health innovation, research and policy development