Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, President

Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, President
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watching a bad era end

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Farida, Farah, Nariman 23 Sep. 2010

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26 October 2007

Health Tourism...in Safaga!

Safaga’s Climatotherapy…
cures psoriasis, rheumatoid & skin diseases

By Hoda Nassef

During the past decades, mankind has been plagued with the wrath of a suffering environment made worst by his own design. The world is heating up fast. Ice caps are melting in accelerated rates. Eco-friendly practices are still not fully in place. A few years ago in May, summer floods shocked northern Europe. Tidal waves swept the shores along the Asian subcontinent. Twisters wreaked havoc in the coastal U.S. The El Nino erupted dormant volcanoes, and so forth. The harsh effects of the ruptured ozone layer and all horrific calamities have left many shaken. When will man ever learn? What world is there for the children to see? Mother Earth is obviously waging war.

It isn’t so, in some places. On the west coast of the Red Sea, for instance, Mother Nature shows her forgiving, caring, nurturing side - finally, a testament that there is hope for the future – particularly for those afflicted with orthopaedic and dermatological ailments.

Beauty IS skin-deep, in Safaga!

Conducted under the auspices of Egypt’s ministries of Scientific Research and Tourism, a series of studies demonstrated that the unique environmental phenomena prevalent in Safaga (50 kilometers south of Hurghada) actually cures patients suffering from ‘psoriasis’ – a chronic, inflammatory, non-contagious skin disease appearing as red scaly patches. It has been found that Safaga’s unique physical make-up promotes ‘climatotherapy’ – a natural, pleasant treatment based on the environment alone. It is highly favoured as it is devoid of the serious adverse effects associated with other methods of psoriasis treatment. Steroid creams, artificial rays, and prescription systemic drugs, can take a heavy toll on internal organs.

In a thesis by a dermatologist based in Cairo, climatotherapy actually works well for psoriasis cases. From his initial experimental group of 80, he has proven that the characteristic natural climate and ideal topography and geographical features in Safaga, help control the disease. The nearby mountains surrounding Safaga’s shore, act as a natural barrier, which prevents wind, giving a cloudless sky. The atmosphere is virtually free from dust, and as a result the amount of ultraviolet rays reaching the earth is higher than in any other region, as the Safaga shore takes the form of a bay, thus diverting the ultraviolet rays into the low land. Exposure to longer sunbeams assists the clearing up of psoriatic skin. Combined with the effect of long-wave ultraviolet rays prevailing in the early mornings and late afternoons, water salts are essential in the treatment of psoriasis.

Bathing in the extremely saline Safaga seawater – with salt concentration level of 34% - completes the effective regimen the patients need to follow. Four consecutive weeks of sea and sunbathing in Safaga, supplemented with the application of Vaseline or any keratolytic agents, such as salicylic acid ointments, produce dramatic results. He concluded that an estimated 90% of the patients are successfully cured in Safaga.

Mud Baths!

In 1991, it was discovered that tourists who eventually resided in the tourist village of Safaga, showed significant improvement from rheumatoid arthritis. Further analysis of the phenomenon made by the National Research Centre, revealed that rheumatoid arthritis in the area is extremely rare – a mere 0.014 percent, as opposed to the one percent incidence rate elsewhere in the world. This discovery has lead to the favourable environmental attributes of the area. Grey sand, available only at the Safaga beaches, and the sun’s rays, proved to have cured 16 rheumatoid control patients. The researchers subjected another group of 109 to the elements for four weeks, and follow-up checkups after six months. Overall clinical results showed marked improvement, if not complete recuperation. Only a few had relapses or slight deterioration. Rheumatoid components are suppressed, such as erythrocyte sedimentation rate, rheumatoid factor, morning stiffness, tenderness or pain of the joints.

Safaga’s natural resources, albeit not fully understood yet by experts, has revealed the following: the gray sand contains three radioactive elements, namely thorium, uranium, and K40 in traced safe amounts; the high ultraviolet density produced by the surrounding hills in horseshoe shaped formation and the mirror-like sea surface favourably modulate T-Cell functions; and the relaxing, stress-free ambience of the resort area may have collectively encouraged speedy recovery.

At one of Safaga’s hotel clinic, a course of treatment entails four successive weeks of lying flat on the pits with affected joints covered by 5cm of gray sand, three hours daily. Every half-hour patients are made to move their joints. At regular intervals, they are given water, lemonade or orange juice, to replace lost fluids. Increased salt intake is recommended. At the end of each session, the patients are wrapped with towels, and take warm baths after relaxing for 30 minutes away from drafts. Long afternoon walks are recommended, apart from the routine.

Health Tourism Blooming

Tourist targets can be set on other assets of Egypt. Giant leaps are starting to unfold, in the promoting Health Tourism. Marketing Egypt as a destination for medical, health, well-being tourism, is one key activity that can bolster the return of tourist dollars. Safaga has plenty to offer – to the living, yet suffering.

Queen Hatchepsut herself suffered from psoriasis, and bathed in the potent waters of Safaga that flowed from Qena through the crevices across the mountains. There’s a considerable increase in tourism since 1994, and tourists come mainly from Germany, France and Poland. Medical treatment is available in these hotels, and the cost is immaterial versus the amount otherwise spent by patients on commercial drugs, expensive creams and hospitalisation. There is immense potential in Safaga’s treatment facilities. Over 25 million people suffer from psoriasis, and approximately the same for rheumatoid arthritis. If only people would believe the methodology of Mother Nature, with such a healing touch, let us also start loving this planet!



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