A series of training workshops for health care professionals from the Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) has been launched to introduce the Primary Health Care Strategy for NCD through training its health care professionals (physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dieticians, and health educators) on newly unified guidelines for NCD supported by Action on Diabetes.

Commenting on the new guidelines, Herluf Thomsen, Programme Manager of Action on Diabetes, said:

Action on Diabetes has pioneered a number of initiatives to help tackle the diabetes problem in Qatar, from training programmes and mobile clinics to awareness campaigns. A number of these programmes are aimed at educating members of the community on the nature of the condition and its management.’

The first of 12 training workshops for health care professionals was held on 18 October 2014, with the remaining 11 scheduled to take place every Saturday until 10 January 2015. The sessions will start at 8 am and run until 2 pm.

The PHCC newly adopted NCD guidelines highlight the importance of consolidating the advice and counsel given to patients in all healthcare centres and members of the community.

For example, Diabetes is one of Qatar’s greatest health challenges and is estimated to affect 16.7% of citizens (according to the 2012 Qatar STEPwise report). The introduction of the new training workshops is a key part of the strategy being implemented to improve medical care offered to people living with diabetes.

Five experts from PHCC and Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) will oversee the training sessions. Each training session will train around 35 doctors on the new guidelines, ensuring it is ingrained in their consultancy for patients in all of the primary healthcare centres in Qatar.

Dr Samya Ahmed Al Abdulla, Regional Director and Senior Consultant, Family Medicine, lead of NCD strategy implementation working group from the primary health care centre, says:

From a healthcare perspective, Non Communicable diseases especially diabetes is one of the biggest challenges facing the State of Qatar and as a result, there are many initiatives being implemented to control it including National Primary Health Care Strategy which has three objectives:

  1. Improve Access to NCD Clinics and increasing their numbers.

  2. Development of Clinical Guidelines for DM, HT, Dyslipidimia, Asthma &CAD, and training of primary health care professionals (physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dieticians, and health educators) on it through a set of workshops.

  3. Diabetes Disease Registry Established at HCs.

The new training sessions are part of a wider awareness programme being led by PHCC and Action on Diabetes in their goal to prevent the condition and limit spread of NCDs.

The State of Qatar took its first steps in establishing a primary health care system and started to provide healthcare services through a range of clinics as early as 1954. In 1978, the Ministry of Health developed a comprehensive scheme for building a primary health care system. Currently, the PHCC is operating through 23 primary health care centers distributed into three regions, namely Central, Western, and Northern.

Action on Diabetes is a partnership between the Supreme Council of Health, HMC, PHCC, Qatar Diabetes Association – member of Qatar Foundation, Maersk Oil and world leader in diabetes care Novo Nordisk. The unique partnership setup helps the Qatari authorities raise awareness of diabetes, help those at risk to avoid it, and give people already living with diabetes advice on managing their health better.