Qatar demonstrated its commitment to enhancing the medical and holistic healthcare needs of the elderly with the first Qatar International Geriatric and Gerontology Conference, held recently at The Ritz Carlton – Doha.
Minister of Public Health HE Dr Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari together with other ministerial dignitaries attended the event and reaffirmed their commitment to support the goals for ‘Healthy Ageing’ set out in the country’s National Health Strategy 2018 – 2022.
According to Dr Al Kuwari, older adults, aged 60 and above, contribute to the rich fabric of society and it should be incumbent on all of us to recognise them as valuable resource. She said that we need to be aware of their changing health and well-being needs.
Our culture embraces protecting the dignity of our older population; we need to embrace different approaches to support their independence and to harness their contributions to society. This inter-professional conference is an important component in enhancing the knowledge and skills of our professional workforce and it complements the many other activities that our teams engage in across the public and private sectors to foster a greater understanding of the meaning of ‘healthy ageing’.
The Ministry of Public Health, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) and the British Geriatrics Society (BGS) jointly hosted the event, which saw over 600 attendees over three days. Conference chairperson Dr Hanadi Khamis Al Hamad, Medical Director of Rumailah Hospital, said the conference was the culmination of concerted efforts from many teams, and was made possible through support from the Ministry of Public Health and many other stakeholders in Qatar.
The Center for Elderly Empowerment & Care (Ehsan), a non-government organisation under the umbrella of Qatar Foundation for Social Work (QFSW), was a strategic sponsor of the event.
Ehsan Executive Director Mubarak bin Abdulaziz Al Khalifa expressed their keen interest to participate in the conference.
Ehsan is one of the leading providers of social empowerment and care services for older people in Qatar. We are delighted to participate in this conference and collaborate with other stakeholders in Qatar to discuss all issues related to enhancing service provision for older persons and improving their quality.’
President of the British Geriatrics Society, Professor Tahir Masud said they try to promote developments in Geriatric Medicine across the globe. The group has established ties to HMC and collaborates in areas of education and training. He added that people living longer is something that should be celebrated.
As our healthcare and lifestyle provisions improve, we have more older people making up a key segment of society. This demographic trend does mean however that chronic conditions such as frailty, dementia, sarcopenia, reduced mobility and falls are becoming more prevalent and how we deal with such issues will increasingly become one of the greatest challenges of our time.’
HMC and Primary Health Care Corporation have made major strides in delivering integrated care and specialist services to older adults. This includes expanding existing residential facilities, such as the Enaya Specialized Care Centers, as well as multi-disciplinary home healthcare services, which deliver essential care to residents across Qatar.
Click here for more information about the recent Qatar International Geriatric and Gerontology Conference.