Doha, 20 October, 2019: Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC’s) Tobacco Control Center – which has been officially designated by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the first WHO Collaborating Centre in Qatar and the GCC Region – recently held two training programs on tobacco dependence and prevention designed to combat the growth of tobacco use in the community.
The first program, which was held over five days and was for healthcare professionals from HMC, Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC), Naufar, Qatar Red Crescent, Qatar Petroleum, and other organizations, focused on enhancing the capacity of participants to address various types of patients who require tobacco dependence treatment. This training program was held with the support of the Ministry of Public Health and in collaboration with the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean and King Hussein Cancer Center, Jordan, and was accredited by the Council for Tobacco Treatment Training Programs (CTTTP) and the Qatar Council for Healthcare Practitioners (QCHP).
The second program, which was held over two days, was attended by school counselors, nurses, and social worker from public schools across the country and was designed to provide these professionals with the tools required to contribute effectively to the prevention and treatment of tobacco use among young people and school students. It is estimated that 14 percent of adolescents in Qatar use some form of tobacco regularly.
“Both training sessions were comprehensive and evidence-based and were delivered through a combination of techniques, including presentations, demonstrations, role-play, practical exercises, and case studies,” said Dr. Ahmad Al Mulla, Head of the HMC Tobacco Control Center.
Dr. Al Mulla said 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.
“These workshops demonstrate the important leadership role that Qatar plays in providing advanced training in the areas of tobacco control and smoking cessation. These sessions, along with others we have planned for the future, are aimed at increasing knowledge of both healthcare professionals and those who work with young people, not only here in Qatar, but regionally and internationally,” said Dr. Al Mulla.
“We continue to strive to combat tobacco use by increasing tobacco control and smoking cessation capacity building and awareness among concerned stakeholders in different healthcare and academic institutions in Qatar. It is important that we re-double our efforts to educate young people about the dangers of smoking,” added 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 includes research institutes and parts of universities and academies, are designated to carry out activities in support of the WHO's mandated international health work.