The Tobacco Control Center of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) was recently honoured by the World Health Organization (WHO) for their work in helping people quit smoking and spread awareness about the dangers of tobacco.
Every year, WHO recognises individuals or organisations in each of the six WHO Regions for their accomplishments in the area of tobacco control. This recognition takes the form of the WHO Director-General Special Recognition Award and World No Tobacco Day Awards. The HMC Tobacco Control Center, a WHO Collaborating Center, was one of the awardee organisations 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 Tobacco Control Center, received the Recognition Award.
Dr Al Mulla said he was proud of the achievement and of the work being done by their dedicated team. He said that their team has been at the forefront of not only helping people quit smoking but also in educating and spreading awareness amongst the community about the dangers of tobacco use. The award, he said, is recognition of the vital service and work that has positively impacted 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 behavioural support and counselling for smokers to help them quit the habit.
In addition to the main Smoking Cessation Clinic, new dedicated smoking cessation clinics have also been opened over the last two years at Al Wakra Hospital and Hazm Mebaireek General Hospital, enabling the team to reach even more patients.
Dr Al Mulla said the centre continues to treat and support people who want to quit smoking throughout the pandemic, providing consultations and support, including medication and psychological support for tobacco-dependent patients through telephone-based consultations.
The centre also runs regular training and educational events for healthcare staff in Qatar and the region as well as community outreach programmes. This is in addition to the research work undertaken by the team, which has seen more than 50 academic papers published.
Dr Al Mulla thanked the Minister for Public Health, HE Dr Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari, for her continued support for the centre’s activities and programmes.
With this kind of high-level support, we are able to make a real difference to the lives of our patients.
Tobacco use is one of the most pressing health risks in Qatar. Dr Al Mulla said there is a need to continue their collaborative efforts to educate and help people quit tobacco use.
For more information about the HMC Tobacco Control Center, visit hamad.qa.
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