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Posted On: 5 June 2021 02:19 pm
Updated On: 5 June 2021 02:49 pm

World Health Organization honors HMC Tobacco Control Center

Leena Chung
Leena Chung
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Hamad Medical Corporations Tobacco Control Center has been honored by the World Health Organization (WHO) for its work in helping people to quit smoking and spreading awareness about the dangers of tobacco.

Every year, WHO recognizes individuals or organizations in each of the six WHO Regions for their accomplishments in the area of tobacco control. This recognition takes the form of WHO Director-General Special Recognition Award and World No Tobacco Day Awards. The HMC Tobacco Control Center, a WHO Collaborating Center, has was one of the awardee organizations from the Eastern Mediterranean Region.

In 2017, HMCs 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 WHOs mandated international health agenda.

HMC Tobacco Center receives an honor by WHO
Image Credit: HMC

Dr. Ahmad Al Mulla, Head of the HMC's Tobacco Control Center, received the Recognition Award presented to the Center in the presence of Dr. Abdullah Al Ansari, Chief Medical Officer at HMC, Ali Abdullah Al Khater, Chief Communication Officer at HMC, Dr. Abdul Badi Abou Samra, Chairman of Internal Medicine at HMC, and Dr. Ahmed Al Mohammed, Chairman of HMC's Intensive Care Units and Medical Director of Hazm Mebaireek General Hospital.

The Centers Director Dr. Ahmad Al Mulla said he was proud of the achievement and of the work being done by the dedicated team.

HMC Tobacco Center receives an honor by WHO
Image Credit: HMC

"Our team has been at the forefront of not only helping people to quit smoking but also to educate and spread awareness amongst the community about the dangers of tobacco use," Dr. Al Mulla said. "This award is international recognition of this vital service and our work, that has so positively impacted the many patients.

"The Tobacco Control Centers mission is to raise public awareness on the dangers of tobacco use, in addition, to providing health and medical advice, as well as behavioral support and counselling for smokers to help them quit the habit," said Dr. Al Mulla.

In addition to the main Smoking Cessation Clinic, over the last two years new dedicated smoking cessation clinics have also been opened at Al Wakra Hospital and Hazm Mebaireek General Hospital, enabling the team to reach even more patients.

Dr. Al Mulla said the Center continued to treat and support people who wanted to quit smoking throughout the pandemic. "Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, HMCs Tobacco Control Center has continued to provide consultations and support, including medication and psychological support for tobacco-dependent patients through telephone-based consultations," he said.

Dr. Al Mulla praised the continued support provided by the Ministry of Public Health for the Centers activities and programs. "With this kind of high-level support, we are able to make a real difference to the lives of our patients," he said. "Tobacco use as one of the most pressing health risks in Qatar and we need to continue our collaborative efforts to educate and help the public quit tobacco."

The Center and its team also run regular training and educational events for healthcare staff in Qatar and the region as well as community outreach programs. This is addition to the research work undertaken by the team which has seen more than 50 academic papers published.

Source: Qatar News Agency