How the Coronavirus Has Pushed Medical Innovation in the MENA Region

Published May 13th, 2020 - 01:30 GMT
How the Coronavirus Has Pushed Medical Innovation in the MENA Region
Medical engineers and supply manufacturers have been putting tremendous effort into providing the most creative solutions. (Shutterstock: HAKINMHAN)

As expected, the most creative innovations emerge at the most stressful times.

Translation: "Algeria has started to produce testing kits, the first among Maghreb countries."

Several countries in the Middle East and North Africa have seen a surge in medical innovations, as the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread around the world.

Due to, relatively, low numbers of infections in the MENA region, medical engineers and supply manufacturers have been putting tremendous efforts into providing the most creative solutions and largest possible amounts of prevention tools and equipment, with the aim of helping in their countries' efforts to contain the pandemic.


Algeria, for example, has announced that its labs have partnered with Canadian and Jordanian firms to produce 200k of 15-minute COVID-19 testing kits.

The North African country, with a population surpassing 40 million, has reported near 6k coronavirus cases so far, including more than 500 deaths.


Being a regional hub for the pharmaceutical industry for the past decades, Jordan has been producing a million face masks a day.

Last March, Jordan was the first Middle Eastern country to launch an uncontrolled clinical trial to test locally-manufactured chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine on patients of COVID-19.

In the 10 million population country, less than 600 people have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus so far, including 9 documented deaths.

The United Arab Emirates

Doctors at the UAE's Sheikh Khalifa Medical City have announced promising results following a new stem-cell drug trial that can potentially be effective in treating COVID-19 symptoms.

If the trial continues to deliver safe and effective results, the UAE drug will be ready for global use in the span of three months. Currently, the UAE of less than 10 million residents, has less than 20k confirmed cases and about 200 deaths.


Last month, Morocco’s Industry Ministry announced that aeronautics and electronics suppliers are working together to produce hundreds of ventilators using locally supplied material, so the Moroccan health system remains well-equipped during the crisis.

Additionally, 24 different factories are working hard across the country to make 10 million face masks a day. According to the Minister of Industry, Morocco will start exporting millions of face masks every day, once it has secured a stockpile of 15 million for local use.

The country, with more than 36 million people, has reported more than 6k cases including 188 deaths since the COVID-19 outbreak began.


Lebanon-based medical services' company MEDSERV has announced the completion of a sanitization tunnel that can be installed in public spaces to help support COVID-19 response efforts.

With about 10 million residents, Lebanon has reported more than 800 cases so far, including 26 deaths.

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