This summer, Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI) at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) is providing full support to the COVID-19 efforts of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) through its volunteer programme. 

QBRI Volunteers Join HMC in Fight Against COVID19 2In June, QBRI employed all of their efforts to provide high-calibre volunteers to HMC. The research institute also placed the capabilities of their research staff at HMC’s disposal, as they provided technical assistance where needed.

QBRI conducted an information session in collaboration with HMC to encourage volunteers to play an active role in the effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Qatar. One of the many aims of the information session was to explain the safety standards followed by HMC and ensure the well-being of QBRI participants.

QBRI Senior Research Associate Dr Afif Ben Mahmoud said he volunteered because ‘assisting others is part of what makes us human’.

It was fulfilling to extend a helping hand to others and contribute through knowledge-sharing; my hope is that my efforts have contributed to this noble endeavour.

Another QBRI volunteer, post-doctoral researcher Dr Ilaria Poggiolini said, volunteering has given her a sense of purpose during this challenging time, allowing her to give back to Qatar.

Aside from the implementation of a successful volunteer programme, QBRI also jointly hosted a webinar featuring HMC Senior Consultant and Head of Virology Dr Peter Coyle. The talk focused on the Diagnostic Stewardship for COVID-19 and the viral kinetics of SARS-CoV-2 – the RNA virus responsible for the pandemic.

QBRI also shared their laboratory equipment with HMC, while researchers with specific knowledge about molecular biology volunteered to provide technical assistance by analysing COVID-19 samples. HMC has examined nearly 600,000 people since the outbreak. Over 100,000 people have tested positive for the virus in Qatar with less than 200 fatalities reported across the country. Worldwide, over 23 million people have been confirmed positive with the virus, with more than 800,000 fatalities.

We are proud to support HMC, says QBRI Executive Director Dr Omar El Agnaf. He said that as one of Qatar’s leading healthcare providers, HMC’s work is tremendously important and their cooperation only highlights their responsibility to the local community. As a rule, QBRI generally deals with non-communicable and non-infectious diseases.

However, once our support was needed, we offered all our expertise and relevant equipment to assist the invaluable work being carried out to fight this devastating virus. It is a team effort in every way possible.

For more information on the work of QBRI, visit their page on hbku.edu.qa.