Doha: 29 December, 2021: The Department of Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery at Hamad Medical Corporation, in cooperation with the International Obesity Federation, held the first National Obesity Workshop, "Challenges and Strategies for Prevention and Treatment". The workshop was attended by a group of obesity experts from Hamad Medical Corporation, primary health care and the private sector, in addition to leaders from the Ministry of Public Health, the World Obesity Federation and obesity experts from the UK, Gulf countries, and Lebanon.
The workshop also witnessed extensive discussions on the national guidelines for the management of patients with obesity in adults and children, which were recently published on the website of the Ministry of Public Health in the State of Qatar and the best ways to implement them. The workshop also aimed to introduce the challenges facing health care providers in dealing with overweight patients and the complications of obesity.
The representative of the Ministry of Health also reviewed the guidelines set by the Ministry for the treatment of obesity in adults and children. These guidelines aim to unify obesity treatment plans in various health facilities in the State of Qatar, emphasizing the country's commitment to providing the best, safe and effective care in treatment and preventing obesity associated diseases, in line with what is stipulated in the national health strategy.
The workshop also underlined obesity in children and adolescents due to the increasing numbers of obesity cases in this age group who also are likely to suffer from health, social and mental challenges as a result of obesity which also stresses the importance of the service provided to this age group.
The leaders of clinical nutrition at Hamad Medical Corporation participated in the workshop. They reviewed the importance of a healthy balanced diet and stressed that the treatment of obesity requires integrated care based on adherence to a healthy balanced diet, in addition to changing the sedentary lifestyle and changing the unhealthy behavioral habits to include sports and daily physical activity to reach the best weight.
The workshop was distinguished by hosting number of patients with obesity to review their therapeutic or surgical journey in weight loss, narrate their vision and the challenges they faced during the treatment and follow-up period. This represents the modern medical trend, taking into account patient preference and needs when developing a treatment plan.
Head of the Bariatric Surgery Department at Hamad Medical Corporation, Dr. Moataz Al Basha, explained that the Center of bariatric and metabolic Surgery of Hamad Corporation is one of the largest centers in the world, as it has continued steady expansion since 2011 to provide integrated medical services at the highest international levels based on scientific evidence. The center is also unique - in addition to surgical services - in providing therapeutic management for obesity and its associated diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol, through a group of specialized doctors with the highest levels of training and fellowships in obesity medicine and surgery, in addition to a team of clinical dietitians, physiotherapists and health educators.
The number of patients visits seen annually by the Department of Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery was 14500 which makes the center one of the largest specialized and quality of provided services.
The workshop shed light on the state of Qatar being the first in the Gulf and Arab world to establish the first training program to grant a fellowship in obesity medicine, which was launched in 2014 under the leadership of Dr. Wahiba El-Haj, Senior Consultant of Bariatric Medicine at Hamad Medical Corporation. The program currently includes nine doctors, which is an important step in providing specialized doctors to fill the gap resulting from the scarcity of doctors in this specialty.
Dr. Mohamed Al-Sherif, consultant endocrinology and obesity medicine at Hamad Medical Corporation, reviewed the leading and important role played by the Bariatric team at HMC in training medical cadres at the Primary Health Care Corporation through accredited periodic lectures to contribute to the integration of health care provided to obese patients between Primary Health Care and Hamad Corporation.
The first national obesity workshop concluded y issuing several regional recommendations to ensure the improvement of awareness efforts and support of obesity treatment and prevention and encouraging patients to seek healthcare. The workshop focused on providing treatment alternatives which are proven internationally in addition to surgical treatment. The workshop further recommended increasing training programs for healthcare providers to target obesity as well as launching awareness campaigns in schools to educate children on the risks of obesity.