UAE: First child successfully treated for multiple sclerosis

Boy complained of double vision, chronic headaches, and worsening academic performance


A Staff Reporter

Published: Mon 21 Feb 2022, 3:11 PM

In a first for the UAE, a hospital in Sharjah has treated a child suffering from multiple sclerosis.

Emirates Health Services (EHS) said the treatment offered at Al Qassimi Women’s & Children’s Hospital (AQWCH) gives hope to multiple sclerosis patients across the UAE.

The 10-year-old boy was referred to a paediatric neurologist after he complained of double vision, chronic headaches, and worsening academic performance.

Clinical examinations revealed that the child suffered from the rare neurological disease usually seen in adults.

The boy was treated with corticosteroid derivatives, but the treatment failed to produce encouraging results. The medical team opted to use a new medication called Ocrelizumab that had never been used on children in the UAE.

The medication is administered over the course of a few hours, under close supervision. “The positive response observed in the patient brings renewed hope for children suffering from multiple sclerosis,” the EHS said.


Dr Safiya Al Khajeh, director of AQWCH, said multiple sclerosis in children is extremely rare, occurring at a rate of less than 5 per cent. “The delay in diagnosis and treatment may lead to further deterioration in the patients’ health. Primary and secondary hospitals must quickly transfer suspected cases to centres specialising in paediatric neurology.”

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