Primary Healthcare Corporation (PHCC) and Action on Diabetes (AoD) – the leading public-private partnership backed by Maersk Oil Qatar, Ministry of Public Health, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), Qatar Diabetes Association (QDA) and Novo Nordisk, have successfully delivered 24 diabetes training workshops to more than 1,000 pharmacists since the start of the year.

The success of the workshops is tangible and concrete evidence of progress in meeting the human capital and capacity building pillar of the Qatar National Diabetes Strategy. Such efforts are designed to build the pool and knowledge of diabetes care resources, and develop the support infrastructure required to deliver the new model of diabetes care in Qatar, as envisaged by the strategy.

Delivered by expert trainers from PHCC and HMC, the workshop and interactive sessions covered technical, clinical and pharmaceutical practice including diabetes mellitus complications, new oral glucose-lowering therapy, insulin basics, GLP-1 agonist drugs, hypertension complications, obesity and diabetes, dyslipidemia and an overview of endocrine disorders.

In addition, the sessions included more general and practical advice and guidance on delivering excellent patient care, supporting patient education and counselling as well as helping to build ‘soft skills.’ They also covered topics such as time management, working well under pressure and effective communication skills, as well as exploring how best to build a multidisciplinary, diabetes team.

The workshops build on the significant success achieved to date in developing the necessary capabilities and tools to prevent and better manage diabetes and other related diseases in Qatar. They directly address a key principle of the National Diabetes Strategy, which is to deal with care and treatment of health conditions across an entire disease sector, and to develop multi-disciplinary approaches to healthcare.

The successful pharmacy workshops follow on from two recently completed training programmes for diabetes educators that have benefited more than 800 healthcare practitioners since they were launched. The first of these, the Diabetes Educator programme, is now it in its fourth year and is delivered by the Canadian Michener Institute for Applied Health Science in collaboration with the QDA. The second, the Fundamentals of Diabetes Education course, is conducted by the College of the North Atlantic-Qatar with assistance from Action on Diabetes and Hamad Medical Corporation.

Lewis Affleck, Managing Director, Maersk Oil Qatar, said:

These workshops perform an important role in building the capacity, capability, skills and expertise of healthcare professionals in Qatar which is one of the key aims of the National Diabetes Strategy. Realising these ambitions and helping take the strategy forward is further evidence of how Maersk Oil Qatar and its Action on Diabetes partners are committed to Qatar for generations to come and to making a meaningful difference to its people.’

The workshops demonstrate AoD’s continued and concerted focus on supporting the successful implementation and delivery of Qatar’s National Diabetes Strategy, launched last year to arrest the trajectory of the condition in the country.

Since its launch in 2011, AoD has made considerable progress in tackling one of Qatar’s biggest health challenges in three key areas. First, awareness and prevention, helping build understanding of the causes, risks and complications associated with the condition and educating the public. Second, patient empowerment, providing screening to more than 35,000 people and distributing information and advice. The third area has focused on building human capability and capacity through training healthcare professionals.

Dr Samya Al Abdullah, Executive Director of Operation Department, Lead of NCD working group, PHCC, said:

We’re delighted to continue our long term partnership with AoD and build on our success achieved to date in enhancing the capacity of healthcare practitioners in Qatar. Together, we are confident that we can make strong progress in tackling one of the country’s biggest health challenges and in fulfilling the ambitions of the National Diabetes Strategy.’

Herluf Thomsen, Action on Diabetes programme manager from Novo Nordisk, added:

Tackling diabetes effectively requires a coordinated and multidisciplinary approach. The role of pharmacists alongside other clinical colleagues cannot be overstated. Such workshops and training programmes therefore play a vitally important part in equipping and educating pharmacists with the necessary skills to deliver the best possible patient care. We’re delighted with the success of these sessions and with the enormous progress that we have achieved working with PHCC, HMC and our other partners.’

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