Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Department of Geriatrics and Long-Term Care has been designated by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a WHO Collaborating Center for Healthy Ageing and Dementia. The Collaborating Center initiative is designed to bring benefits to both parties, including more visibility of key projects and programs, enabling improved opportunities to exchange information and develop technical cooperation with other international institutions as well as facilitate better access to funding for research and program development.
Dr. Hanadi Al-Hamad, National Lead for Healthy Ageing in Qatar and Chairperson of the Department of Geriatrics and Long-Term Care at HMC, was designated as the Head of the Collaborating Center.
WHO Collaborating Centers are institutions which are designated by the Director-General to carry out activities in support of the Organization's programs. Currently there are over 800 WHO Collaborating Centers in over 80 Member States working with WHO on areas such as nursing, occupational health, communicable diseases, nutrition, mental health, chronic diseases and health technologies.
Her Excellency Dr. Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari, Minister of Public Health, praised this unique cooperation between the State of Qatar represented by the Ministry of Public Health and the World Health Organization, which is the third Collaborating Center, which confirms the strong focus and commitment to local health care.
Previous Collaborating Center agreements in Qatar include the WHO Collaborating Center for Disease Epidemiology Analytics on HIV/AIDS, Sexually Transmitted Infections, and Viral Hepatitis with Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar, and the WHO Collaborating Center for Treating Tobacco Dependence with the HMC’s Tobacco Control Center, which achieved re-designation in 2021.
Dr. Al Hamad said: “Qatar’s population is growing exponentially, and this is resulting in a rapidly growing number of older adults. While some people age well and remain active and relatively illness free in older age, others are more prone to chronic diseases and disabilities that negatively impact their quality and length of life. This Collaboration Center will support the WHO by contributing to knowledge and research on healthy ageing, including the importance of integrated care and preventative health literacy promotion.”
Dr. Al-Hamad, who is also the Medical Director of Rumailah Hospital and the Qatar Rehabilitation Institute, added: “Dementia risk reduction, management and care is another important area for joint collaboration that will be greatly supported by the Collaborating Center. We are already doing a lot in terms of research and promoting integrated care for patients living with Dementia and we are happy to share our findings with the WHO and other Collaborating Centers interested in the same field.”
Dr. Ahmed Al Mandhari, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, said that this designation will help grow the collaborative efforts already in existence between relevant WHO teams and HMC teams. “WHO Collaborating Centers are a mechanism of cooperation in which relevant institutions are recognized by WHO as assisting the Organization in implementing its mandated work. These types of collaboration have been supporting the achievement of WHO’s planned strategic objectives at the regional and global levels for over 70 years. The objectives are related to the development and strengthening of national and regional institutional capacity; and enhancing the scientific validity of its global health work,” said Dr. Al Mandhari.
“Our older population represent a key pillar in society and a valuable asset to the country – it is therefore fitting that we, the government, invests in promoting health awareness and healthcare services for this population group. This Collaborating Center provides a framework for how we look after our ageing citizens more effectively,” said Deputy National Lead of Healthy Ageing and Medical Director of the Home Healthcare Services, Dr. Essa Al-Sulaiti.
Source and cover image credit: Press release
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