On February 24, the island Kingdom of Bahrain recorded its first COVID-19 case when a school bus driver tested positive for the coronavirus.
A few weeks prior to that, Bahrain’s Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa had seen an interview on Sky News with Professor John Ashton, a former regional director of public health in England. Shortly after that, Professor Ashton boarded a flight to Bahrain to advise the island state on its coronavirus response.
CMEC Director Charlotte Leslie speaks to Professor John Ashton and Dr Jameela AlSalman for this special episode on the global fight against Covid-19 and asks what the United Kingdom could potentially learn from the Middle East?
Professor John Ashton
Professor Ashton was North West Regional Director of Public Health and Regional Medical Officer from 1993 to 2006 and Director of Public Health and County Medical Officer for Cumbria from 2006 to 2013.
He is well known for his work on Planned Parenthood and healthy cities and for his personal advocacy for public health. He is the author of many scientific papers, articles and chapters in books and of several books including The New Public Health which has been the standard textbook on public health.
His latest book Blinded by Corona which includes an account of his work in Bahrain, will be published this autumn with Gibson Square Books.
Dr Jameela AlSalman
Dr Jameela is a consultant in infectious diseases, geriatrics and internal medicine at Salmaniya Medical Complex in Bahrain. She is a member of the national task force combating COVID-19 in Bahrain.
She has done special training in infection control at Yale University and has many publications in peer reviewed journals. She is an associate professor at the Arabian Gulf University and has received several honours and awards for her scientific contributions internationally.