Doha, 22 June, 2019: Last week, as part of an agreement with the Ministry of Public Health and in collaboration with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office, Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Tobacco Control Center held a two-day train-the-trainer workshop on treating tobacco dependence.
Held 19 to 20 June in Doha, the workshop was delivered by internationally recognized experts in tobacco control, including Dr. Ahmad Al Mulla, Head of the HMC Tobacco Control Center, Dr. Dongbo Fu, Medical Officer for Tobacco Cessation, Department for Prevention of Non-Communicable Diseases, WHO, and Dr. Feras Hawari, Director, Tobacco Treatment Specialist Training Program, King Hussein Cancer Center.
The aim of the workshop was to educate healthcare workers about the history of tobacco control in Qatar, the epidemiology of tobacco use in the country, and the important role tobacco cessation programs play in reducing the tobacco epidemic among the adult population in the country.
The training was attended by 45 general practitioners, consultants, specialists, residents, psychologists, and nurses from HMC, Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC), Qatar Petroleum, Qatar Red Crescent, and Sidra Medicine. There were also participants from tobacco control focal points in Iraq, Oman, Madagascar, and Gambia.
As part of the workshop, participants learned different strategies to help patients quit smoking and also to coach their colleagues in their smoking cessation interventions. The workshop highlighted best practices in clinical care and included the use of hands-on activities, practice sheets, role-playing, and exercises.
Dr. Al Mulla said the workshop was the second in a series hosted by HMC and the WHO as part of Hamad’s role as a WHO Collaborating Centre. He noted that future workshops are planned in conjunction with ongoing efforts to enhance the ability of frontline healthcare providers to deliver the best quality of care to tobacco-dependent patients.
“The workshop demonstrates the important leadership role that Qatar plays in providing advanced training in the areas of tobacco control and smoking cessation. These training sessions were aimed at increasing the pool of experts in the smoking cessation field, not only here in Qatar, but regionally and internationally,” said Dr. Al Mulla.
In 2017, HMC's Tobacco Control Center was designated as a WHO Collaborating Centre, the first in Qatar and the region. WHO Collaborating Centres, which also include research institutes and parts of universities and academies, are designated to carry out activities in support of the WHO's mandated international health work.