Doha, 5 June, 2021: Hamad Medical Corporation’s Tobacco Control Center, has been honored by the World Health Organization (WHO) for its work in helping people to quit smoking and spreading awareness about the dangers of tobacco.
Every year, WHO recognizes individuals or organizations in each of the six WHO Regions for their accomplishments in the area of tobacco control. This recognition takes the form of WHO Director-General Special Recognition Award and World No Tobacco Day Awards. The HMC Tobacco Control Center, a WHO Collaborating Center, has was one of the awardee organizations from the Eastern Mediterranean Region.
In 2017, HMC’s Tobacco Control Centre was designated as a WHO Collaborating Center, the first in Qatar and the region. WHO Collaborating Centre, which also includes research institutes and parts of universities and academies, is designated to carry out activities in support of the WHO’s mandated international health agenda.
Dr. Ahmad Al Mulla, Head of the HMC's Tobacco Control Center, received the Recognition Award presented to the Center in the presence of: Dr. Abdulla Al Ansari, Chief Medical Officer at HMC, Mr. Ali Abdulla Al Khater, Chief Communication Officer at HMC, Prof. Abdul-Badi Abou-Samra, Chief Quality Officer and Director of Qatar Metabolic Institute at HMC, and Dr. Ahmed Al Mohammed, Chairman of HMC's Intensive Care Units and Medical Director of Hazm Mebaireek General Hospital.
The Center’s Director Dr. Ahmad Al Mulla said he was proud of the achievement and of the work being done by the dedicated team.
“Our team has been at the forefront of not only helping people to quit smoking but also to educate and spread awareness amongst the community about the dangers of tobacco use,” Dr. Al Mulla said. “This award is international recognition of this vital service and our work, that has so positively impacted the many patients.
“The Tobacco Control Center’s mission is to raise public awareness on the dangers of tobacco use, in addition, to providing health and medical advice, as well as behavioral support and counselling for smokers to help them quit the habit,” said Dr. Al Mulla.
In addition to the main Smoking Cessation Clinic, over the last two years new dedicated smoking cessation clinics have also been opened at Al Wakra Hospital and Hazm Mebaireek General Hospital, enabling the team to reach even more patients.
Dr. Al Mulla said the Center continued to treat and support people who wanted to quit smoking throughout the pandemic.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, HMC’s Tobacco Control Center has continued to provide consultations and support, including medication and psychological support for tobacco-dependent patients through telephone-based consultations,” he said.
The Center and its team also run regular training and educational events for healthcare staff in Qatar and the region as well as community outreach programs. This is addition to the research work undertaken by the team which has seen more than 50 academic papers published.
Dr. Al Mulla thanked Minister for Public Health Her Excellency Dr. Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari for her continued support for the Center’s activities and programs.
“With this kind of high-level support, we are able to make a real difference to the lives of our patients,” he said. “Tobacco use as one of the most pressing health risks in Qatar and we need to continue our collaborative efforts to educate and help the public quit tobacco.”