MDA wraps up successful int'l conference [pg. 6]

By JASON TAITZ
October 25, 2006 21:49
1 minute read.

 
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The International Magen David Adom (MDA) Committee meeting concludes Thursday after five days of discussion and lectures, focusing on the work done during the recent war with Hizbullah and on new medical developments. The David Intercontinental Hotel, Tel Aviv, hosted participants from Israel and the 17 countries around the world that have a Friends of Magen David Adom organization. About 100 MDA leaders joined together to hear various speakers, including Israeli MDA volunteers, and Vice Premier Shimon Peres, whose speech MDA UK director Eli Benson called "brilliant." On Monday, the group visited the North to meet the medics who had been the first on the scene at every Katyusha attack this past summer, and heard their stories about coping during the war with Hizbullah. The conference also focused on the news that more countries were seeking to set up Friends of MDA groups, with Spanish and Italian representatives announcing their intentions to join. A spokesman was proud to announce that record donations were received during the Lebanon crisis, with the UK friends alone donating 2 million, half of which was used to pay for 24 ambulances and half for training purposes and other emergency expenses. The organization also had the innovative approach of evacuating their northern medics' families to the South, so they would be less worried about looking after their relatives and more able to concentrate on the important task at hand. Finally, looking to the future, participants were told about new medical technologies being pioneered by MDA, which the group hoped would save many lives in the future. One focus of research was on macrophage, which according to one participant had "produced first class results." Macrophage, which are large white blood cells, attack only foreign invaders in the body, useful to tackling ulcers and injections. MDA owns the intellectual property rights to the research, and Teva is rumored to be in talks about developing macrophage into a commercial product.

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