Clinical Audiologists Graduate from Qatari-Canadian Initiative at HMC
Doha, 28 November 2010: Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) stepped up efforts to provide quality audiology services in Qatar with the graduation of 25 clinical audiologists at a ceremony in Hajar Auditorium, attended by representatives from the International Continuing Health Education Collaborative (ICHEC) in Canada, the Canadian Embassy in Doha, and other distinguished guests.
The graduates, who represent staff from HMC’s Audiology and Balance Unit, other departments, primary healthcare centers and companies including QatarGas, completed a one-year continuing education diploma course in clinical audiology.
“The three-year initiative is implemented by HMC in partnership with ICHEC in order to address the increasing need for audiologists to serve the increasing population in Qatar,” said Dr Khalid Abdul Hadi, head of HMC’s Audiology and Balance Unit. Dr Hadi, who spearheaded the program, stressed that more audiology professionals are needed to support the rapid growth of Qatar’s health sector, as many hospitals and health centers are being built and various health programs are being developed in the country.
“HMC created an agreement with ICHEC aimed at building local capacity so that our staff would be able to deliver these services, instead of bringing them from outside,” said Dr Hadi, who further explained that they conducted a five-year study to determine the audiology needs in Qatar.
Based at the University of Toronto and Mount Sinai Hospital in Canada, ICHEC is an international continuing health education initiative whose model is designed to use global capacity. Professor Arnold Noyek, Director of International Continuing Education, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, explained that this enables them to benefit from the best minds from around the world when they work in partnership with HMC to develop programs for Qatar.
“With ICHEC and Peter A. Silverman Center for International Health at Mount Sinai Hospital, we do a lot of work globally, particularly in developing parts of the world,” according to Prof. Noyek, who is also an Ashoka Fellow. “But we also have programming of which our work in Qatar is the highlight; where we work with people offshore who are truly equal partners in capacity.”
Professor Noyek expressed his profound respect for HMC and for Dr Hadi, who developed the program on universal newborn hearing screening that has been adopted by the State of Qatar as a national health policy, and which is “second to none in the world.” Dr Hadi underwent previous training in Ontario, Canada, studying the province’s newborn screening program where early diagnosis has greatly impacted the lives of children born with hearing loss.
“The origin of these partnerships date back ten years and they begin with the vision of Dr Hadi when he first came to Canada to train with us to become an international pioneer and champion of hearing health with all of you. This beginning makes us so proud to be here today,” Prof. Noyek addressed the audience at the ceremony. “The entire team – in Canada and Qatar – has worked diligently to further the groundbreaking research in newborn hearing screening, habilitation and family support on which this program is based.”
“Qatar is now leading this program, which is decreasing the burden of economic and social challenges in the Qatari community,” stated Abi Sriharan, Director of ICHEC. “ICHEC is highly committed to work with HMC to build local human resource capacity so its programs can be sustainable without international input. We are also hoping to expand and planning further initiatives beyond hearing health training.”
Speaking during the ceremony, Dr Hanan Al Kuwari, Managing Director of HMC, congratulated the graduates for their achievements. She mentioned HMC’s efforts in hearing health and commended Dr Hadi for his role in developing Qatar’s National Program for Early Detection of Hearing Loss.
“The program has screened more than 75,000 newborn babies for the early diagnosis and management of hearing loss, and helped equip many children for life. We have achieved dramatic results since the Qatari cochlear implant program started in 2004, due to the fact that hearing loss is being diagnosed within 24 hours to three months of delivery.
“The contributions of leading authorities in hearing health such as Dr Hadi, and our strong partnership with prestigious institutions such as ICHEC, the University of Toronto and Mount Sinai Hospital in Canada, are some of the reasons why Hamad Medical Corporation continues to lead and excel in the provision of healthcare in Qatar and the region,” Dr Al Kuwari said. “As an organization that brings together the best and brightest minds from around the world, ICHEC’s commitment to working with us in building local capacity is immensely valuable in the success of the present and other initiatives in healthcare education.”
Follow us on our social media channels: