International Psoriasis Council

Advancing Knowledge. Enhancing Care.

Advancing Knowledge. Enhancing Care.

Getting to Know IPC’s Board Member Mahira El Sayed: What Inspired Me to Specialize in Psoriasis

Mahira El Sayed, MSc, MD

Ain Shams University

Cairo, Egypt

IPC Board Member

Bio

  • Professor Mahira El Sayed, based in Cairo, Egypt, is a Board Member of the International Psoriasis Council
  • She qualified in medicine in Cairo and obtained two post-graduate degrees: MSC and MD.
  • Professor El Sayed is the Head of the Egyptian Board of Dermatology and is involved in the Ministry of Health combined committee for Biologic therapy for psoriasis patients and her fellow rheumatologists.
  • She has been the Administrative Director of the Department of Dermatology and Venereology at Ain Shams University since 2000, with numerous responsibilities, including directorship of the dermatology training program.
  • Professor El Sayed has been an IPC Board Member for three years and an IPC Councilor since 2015. She is the Chair of the Skin of Color Working Group, a member of the Governance Committee, and has chaired the IPC Psoriasis Masterclass for the Middle East and Africa annually since 2019.

Professor Mahira Hamdy El Sayed’s dermatology career is a genuine commitment to understanding and treating psoriasis. As a Dermatology Professor at Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt, and a vital member of the International Psoriasis Council (IPC), her dedication has profoundly impacted the lives of those affected by this challenging skin condition.

Professor El Sayed’s journey began with a genuine passion for dermatology. Early in her residency, this passion evolved into a focused interest in psoriasis. Witnessing the challenges faced by psoriasis patients in Egypt due to limited access to treatment, she took proactive steps. Professor El Sayed established a weekly psoriasis clinic and played a key role in setting up similar clinics across the nation, totaling over ten specialized facilities in universities and Ministry of Health hospitals.

Collaborating with rheumatologists, Professor El Sayed initiated joint clinics, providing comprehensive care that addressed both dermatological and rheumatological aspects of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

"Advocating for treatment for all psoriasis patients around the globe is not just a goal; it's a responsibility."

— Mahira El Sayed, MSc, MD

Driven by a commitment to improve the situation for her patients, Professor El Sayed expanded her horizons by attending international meetings. It was during these gatherings that she realized the stark differences in access to care between her patients in Egypt and those in the Western world, specifically with the development of newer biological therapies. This realization fueled her advocacy and led her to become an IPC Councilor.

Now an IPC Board Member, Professor El Sayed focuses on two crucial pillars: education and access to care. Currently chairing the IPC Psoriasis Masterclass for the Middle East and Africa, she plays a significant role in educating younger doctors, especially in regions with limited exposure to global dermatology expertise.

Professor El Sayed’s commitment extends beyond education. Successfully lobbying the government, she ensured the inclusion of biologics in national insurance, along with guidelines developed in collaboration with rheumatology colleagues. This accomplishment substantially improved access to advanced treatments for psoriasis patients across Egypt.

Acknowledging the ongoing challenges, particularly in remote areas with a large population, Professor El Sayed is actively engaging with dermatologists in national insurance clinics nationwide. Her goal is to ensure they are well-informed about psoriasis and the proposed treatment guidelines, eliminating the need for patients to travel for their treatment.

Inspired by IPC and the International Federation of Psoriasis Associations (IFPA), Professor El Sayed achieved another significant milestone by establishing a psoriasis patient organization in Egypt. Through perseverance, she has provided a voice for all psoriasis patients, appointing a dedicated young woman as the organization’s president.

Professor El Sayed values her collaboration with IPC, praising the collective brilliance and dedication of physicians worldwide, along with the remarkable IPC staff. Her continuous learning journey includes presenting at various IPC symposia during dermatology meetings and contributing to the global discourse on psoriasis care.

In Professor El Sayed’s own words: “Advocating for treatment for all psoriasis patients around the globe is not just a goal; it’s a responsibility.”

Professor Mahira El Sayed’s story shows the impact of passion and advocacy in dermatology, inspiring positive change for people with psoriasis worldwide.

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