(MENAFN - The Peninsula) The Peninsula
Doha: H E Dr Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari, the Minister of Public Health, officially inaugurated Hamad Medical Corporation's (HMC) new Tobacco Control Center.
Commenting on the significance of the new center, the Minister said that it plays an important role in the fight to reduce increasing levels of smoking in the community and the long-term harmful effects of smoking.
'Nothing is more important for the prevention of several cancers and more than 50 other diseases than eliminating the use of tobacco products, said Dr Hanan. 'The new HMC Tobacco Control Center reinforces our commitment to implementing effective and long-lasting strategies for reducing tobacco use and providing accessible treatment options for people who want to stop smoking. This is especially important in Qatar, where we are seeing more young people smoking and using tobacco products, she added.
The HMC Tobacco Control Center has moved to a new location within Hamad Bin Khalifa Medical City (Building 311). This will help to increase capacity and will cater to a wider audience in the country through the provision of education, support, and treatment for those wanting to stop smoking. The Center sees around 1200 new patients each year, with each attending around six follow-up appointments.
The center has been officially designated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and is the first WHO Collaborating Center in Qatar and the GCC. WHO Collaborating Centers, which also include research institutes and parts of universities or academies, are designated by the Director-General to carry out activities in support of the WHO's mandated international health work.
'The HMC Tobacco Control Center's expanded services include training for clinicians. This ensures the best quality care and healthcare management for smoking cessation in Qatar through the appropriate treatment as well as health awareness campaigns and messaging and scientific evidence-based research, said Dr Ahmad Al Mulla, Head of the HMC Tobacco Control Center. 'The new location also houses newly introduced innovative clinical services such as laser therapy to help people stop smoking the first of its kind in Qatar.
'Smoking has been shown to harm nearly every organ of the body, and science shows that most adult smokers start smoking during adolescence, Dr Al Mulla said. 'Around 37 percent of the country's population aged 15 years and above said they currently smoke tobacco. It is therefore important that we redouble our efforts to reduce levels of smoking in the community.