New Valley: Charming spot for health tourism in Egypt

Nehal Samir
15 Min Read

New Valley A Spanish delegation consisting of 14 doctors in different specializations visited New Valley governorate to explore its potentials in health tourism, sending a message to the whole world that the desert tourism and Egypt in general are safe.

The visit comes within the framework of efforts to promote medical tourism as the most prominent type of tourism that characterizes the governorate with its natural and environmental components, which qualify it for global competition among the most famous tourist destinations in this field. Daily News Egypt accompanied them in their visit and conducted some interviews to learn more about the purpose of their visit, what was agreed and the potentials of the New Valley in the Health Tourism.

Health tourism in desert areas is one of the interests of the ministry of Tourism: Deputy Minister

Deputy Minister of Tourism and Antiquities for Tourism Affairs Ghada Shalaby, told Daily News Egypt that Health tourism in desert areas is one of the interests of the ministry, noting that working on this file was halted for a while.

She explained that this file is important for many reasons including, supporting the local communities, especially in the border governorates such as the New Valley, in addition, it brings hard currency as it is characterized by the high spending as a result of the circumstances of this type of tourism.

Shalaby mentioned that this type of tourism is relatively new and Egypt is unique in this type’s “touristic product” so it competes well.

“Tourists who are interested in desert tourism will find a different product. They will find antiquities, and nature, in addition to a kind of healing, whether in the sulfuric waters or the wild plants and herbs that can be used in treating many diseases,” she said.

She also highlighted the advantage of offering mediation and isolation.

The Deputy Minister of Tourism and Antiquities for Tourism Affairs noted that Egypt is rich in many natural and archaeological elements that include tangible or intangible human heritage represented in antiquities and natural features that Egypt is interested in preserving and promoting to other countries.

She added that the visit aims to introduce the Spanish delegation interested in Egyptian culture to a new tourist area, the New Valley, to be added to the list of tourist destinations in Luxor, Aswan, or Cairo.

Private-Sector Initiative

Shalaby further explained that the idea of inviting the Spanish delegation is a private-sector initiative to promote the potentials of the area and to show them that they are able to send European patients who are interested in treatment with natural elements to Egypt.

“We are here today either the ministry or the ETBP arm or the governorate representatives, working hand in hand with the private sector to stand on the potentials and the capabilities of this part of Egypt’s land,” Shalaby said.

The General coordinators of the conference and Spanish delegation visit, Walid Ezzat chairman of Minerva Group, and Mohamed Tawfik Chairman of Seshat Group Viajes Culturales Seshat Barcelona said that with the support of the Egyptian authorities in particular Major Mohammad Zamlout governor of New Valley and Hanan Magdy the vice governor with a lot of support with the medical authorities in Egypt. At the same time, with the support of Essam Al-Qady, ex-director of the supreme military council of Egypt, they were able to bring the Spanish experts to Egypt to highlight the importance of the New Valley in medical tourism.

 “I asked my friend Juan Francisco Arce, the head of the delegation and the CEO of Méderi Nutrición Integrativa & Synestia Biology to support me financially and psychologically to convince the constellation of Spanish and European doctors for scientific and medical support and the transfer of experiences, especially in the Nano therapy and micro nanotherapy technique of for Cancer: Targeting and Multifunctionality in the Future of Cancer Therapies through the integrative medicine and program of medical nutrition therapies as well as ozono therapies,” Tawfik told Daily News Egypt

He explained that Integrative medicine uses different kinds of therapies based on back to nature avoiding the side effects of traditional drops but never is complementary but integrative medicine . Some cases required to use kind of acupuncture therapies and others kind of methods with low cost convenient to unable patients to afford high cost of medicine clinic costs.

Tawfik said that the visit also aimed at implementing an introductory training course for Spanish doctors, visiting archaeological sites, and learning about the history of medicine in ancient Egypt.

He noted that implementing this introductory training course for the Spanish doctors required the presence also of distinguished Egyptian doctors in the field of complementary and clinical medicine together in the New Valley after stopping in Cairo, where the opening of the scientific mission in a conference was announced.

Meanwhile, Ezzat explained that among the main objectives of the visit is to carry out an exploratory trip to the unique, distinguished and suitable sites for complementary medicine in Egypt, especially the oases of the New Valley, which are less polluted in the African continent. Also, it aimed at revitalizing knowledge of the historical foundations on which the development of various medical specialties related to experimental complementary medicine was built.

He further noted that the visit aims to spread awareness of the importance of complementary medicine that does not conflict with traditional clinical and surgical medicine, in addition to achieving a kind of continuous scientific activity among the participants seeking to achieve future cooperation between the two parties

Purpose of Visit

On the sideline of their visit, Daily News Egypt interviewed Juan Francisco Arce, the head of the delegation and the CEO of Méderi Nutrición Integrativa and Synestia Biology.

Juan Francisco said that the main purpose of the visit was to make the first Nature-history course to discover the origin of the ancient natural treatments and medicines, aiming to find new therapies in the integrative medicine field and understand where the medicine they practice with their patients every day comes from. He mentioned that all members of the delegation were excited to discover the New Valley as a tourist destination as well as a health tourism destination.

“We came to the New Valley to discover new treatments that have a big existing success in patients with dermatological diseases, and pulmonary disease,” he added.

Juan Francisco continued that the main objective is to allow the Spanish doctors to network and interact with their Egyptian colleagues, that they wish so, to share their experience in the diagnostics, natural treatments, recommendation of nutritional and supplement food and exercise, taking care of other emotional aspects.

The head of the Spanish doctor’s delegation also said that during this visit, the Spanish team sought to learn more about the integrative medicine field in Egypt, as they believe that integrative medicine has a lot of things that are good for the health and is the other bill to the traditional medicine.

He further explained that integrative medicine is not an alternative to traditional medicine, it’s always complementary, mentioning that doctors can use different tools, skills and techniques to treat one person. medicine is only one medicine, either traditional, complementary or integrative medicine. “Still, if the patient needs a drug, he must take a drug. But not always does he need a drug for the first option. Maybe you can do a lot of things before taking a drug for hypertension, pulmonary disease or other diseases.”

In 1947, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared three important decrees to treat the patient; first is  treatment of the disease, the second is to prevent it and the third one is to potential the health which means to give support to the immunity system, according to the Spanish expert.

“Unfortunately the world is witnessing  a high use of several drugs together without being aware of the high interactions of these medicines together and how they impact the liver and other organs of the patient.”

Why New Valley?

Regarding choosing Egypt and the New Valley specifically for the trip, Juan Francisco said that the governorate of the Valley competes with the most famous international places for this field with its perfect climate, natural Sulphur water, sand burial, silt treatment, and mud therapy.”

He further noted that Egypt was one of the first places to use natural products as drugs to treat diseases, while the other nations learned from the ancient Egyptians. 

Meanwhile, Essam Al-Qadi, Vice-chairperson of Safari Egypt; said “ We have been working on the health  tourism file for many years.”

Al-Qadi explained to Daily News Egypt that the New Valley is “a charming spot in the land of Egypt,” and that its components can be invested in all kinds of health tourism, whether medical tourism, recreational tourism or facilitating (accessible)  tourism.

Al-Qadi talked about the potentials and the components of the New Valley, he said that the governorate enjoys enormous natural resources, including its weather is pollution free and treats most diseases.

He continued that the governorate is rich in a wonderful range of wild plants and herbs that can be used in a wonderful group of wild plants and herbs that are used in treating many diseases.

Al-Qadi mentioned that the Spanish delegation is interested in these herbs and plants as they are specialized in complementary treatment.

Al-Qadi added that the New Valley is also rich with its various sulfur water springs, and all studies have confirmed that they treat many skin and respiratory diseases, mentioning that inhaling water contains many elements that cure many chest diseases.

In addition, the governorate has sand burial that treats many skin and rheumatic diseases, especially since medicine is now largely turning to nature and the use of land in treating many diseases,” Al-Qadi said.

In terms of the visit of the Spanish delegation, Al-Qadi said that this delegation came to discover how they can benefit from this wealth of health tourism.

What’s Next?

Responding to DNE’s question on their plan after getting back to Spain, Juan Francisco said that a female doctor from the Spanish delegation is part of the association of Spanish medical doctors for integrative medicine,her name is Beatriz Granero, she suggested making a Egyptian national association of medical doctors on integrative medicine (AEMN), to exchange the experience between the two countries in this field through mutual visits and formation in the different naturists techniques and tools to treat to the population.

Talking about how Egypt and Spain get benefited from each other in the integrative medicine field, Juan Francisco said that Egypt can get benefited from the knowledge support and experience of the Spanish doctors that are specialized in the integrative medicine field, as he thinks that “in Egypt, there are no pure integrative naturists medical doctors, but exists a great conscience to be formed in this field.”

“Meanwhile, Spain patients can benefit from the New Valley`s original natural therapy as I think the governorate is more potent to natural therapies, there exist the original therapies that nature gives to the people and must to take advantage of it”, he concluded.

Meanwhile, Tawfik and Ezzat revealed that at the end of the visit, the Spanish and the Egyptian sides agreed to organize regular visits for the European especially the Spanish patients to receive their integrative medicine in Shanda lodge located Dakhla Oasis-New Valley.

Al-Qadi said that Egypt has more than 1350 sulfur water springs, meanwhile, we are looking to make a module from the New Valley that could be implemented in the other governorates.

“I hope to start a very big project in complementary and experimental medicine that will not only help in providing treatment but also in preparing medical personnel, in cooperation with the Spanish side, to receive many patients from all over Europe to benefit from this beautiful place,” he concluded.

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