Supreme Council of Health

Doha, Qatar

Supreme Council of Health

Doha, Qatar

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Stalin Raj V.,Erasmus Medical Center | Farag E.A.B.A.,Supreme Council of Health | Reusken C.B.E.M.,Erasmus Medical Center | Lamers M.M.,Erasmus Medical Center | And 16 more authors.
Emerging Infectious Diseases | Year: 2014

We obtained the full genome of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) from a camel in Qatar. This virus is highly similar to the human England/ Qatar 1 virus isolated in 2012. The MERS-CoV from the camel efficiently replicated in human cells, providing further evidence for the zoonotic potential of MERS-CoV from camels.


Alkuwari M.G.,Health Promotion and Community Medicine | Aziz N.A.,Public Health and Preventive Medicine | Nazzal Z.A.S.,Supreme Council of Health | Al-Nuaimi S.A.,Hamad Medical Corporation
Vaccine | Year: 2011

Influenza A/H1N1 new vaccine helps control disease spread. Cross-sectional survey was conducted at PHC & Emergency Departments in Qatar to determine influenza A/H1N1 vaccination rate among HCWs and associated factors, 523 HCWs were enrolled. The study showed that 13.4% HCWs received vaccination. Feeling protected strongly influenced vaccination decision (OR = 14.5). Uncertainty about vaccine efficacy and fear of side effects strongly influenced decision to reject the vaccine (OR = 0.3 and 0.2 respectively). Vaccination coverage was very low. The most common barriers were uncertainty about vaccine efficacy and fear of side effects. Health authorities should build message highlighting how the benefit of vaccination outweighs risk. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


Abu-Madi M.A.,Qatar University | Behnke J.M.,University of Nottingham | Ismail A.,Supreme Council of Health | Al-Olaqi N.,Qatar University | And 2 more authors.
Parasites and Vectors | Year: 2011

Background: The rapid growth of Qatar in the last two decades has been associated with an enormous expansion of building programs in its cities and in the provision of new service industries. This in turn has attracted a large influx of immigrant workers seeking employment in jobs associated with food handling, domestic service and the building industry. Many of these immigrants come from countries in the tropics and subtropics where intestinal parasitic infections are common. Methods. We analyzed intestinal parasitic infections recorded in 2008 among immigrant and long-term resident workers in Doha city, Qatar (n = 1538). Stool examinations were carried out at the Hamad Medical Corporation and at the Medical Commission in Doha using standard procedures. Results: Overall, 21.5% of subjects were infected with at least one of the species recorded (8 helminth and 4 protozoan species; the highest prevalence was for hookworms = 8.3%) and there were strong regional effects on prevalence of helminths, with subjects from North East Africa and Nepal showing particularly high prevalence. Most helminths declined in prevalence in subjects that acquired residency status in Qatar, especially among female subjects, but there was a marked exception among male Nepalese workers, who continued to harbour helminth infections (notably hookworms) after they became residents. Contrary to all other regional groups the prevalence of Giardia duodenalis was higher among Nepalese residents compared with new arrivals, while Blastocystis hominis infections were more common among residents of all regions, and especially among North East Africans. Conclusions: Our analysis has identified male Nepalese workers as a particular risk group continuing to harbour hookworm infection and G. duodenalis as residents, and subjects from North East Africa are as particularly likely to acquire B. hominis infection after settling in the country. These conclusions have important implications for the health authorities in Qatar. © 2011 Abu-Madi et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Haagmans B.L.,Erasmus Medical Center | Al Dhahiry S.H.S.,Hamad Medical Corporation | Reusken C.B.E.M.,National Health Research Institute | Raj V.S.,Erasmus Medical Center | And 17 more authors.
The Lancet Infectious Diseases | Year: 2014

Background: Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) causes severe lower respiratory tract infection in people. Previous studies suggested dromedary camels were a reservoir for this virus. We tested for the presence of MERS-CoV in dromedary camels from a farm in Qatar linked to two human cases of the infection in October, 2013. Methods: We took nose swabs, rectal swabs, and blood samples from all camels on the Qatari farm. We tested swabs with RT-PCR, with amplification targeting the E gene (upE), nucleocapsid (N) gene, and open reading frame (ORF) 1a. PCR positive samples were tested by different MERS-CoV specific PCRs and obtained sequences were used for phylogentic analysis together with sequences from the linked human cases and other human cases. We tested serum samples from the camels for IgG immunofluorescence assay, protein microarray, and virus neutralisation assay. Findings: We obtained samples from 14 camels on Oct 17, 2013. We detected MERS-CoV in nose swabs from three camels by three independent RT-PCRs and sequencing. The nucleotide sequence of an ORF1a fragment (940 nucleotides) and a 4·2 kb concatenated fragment were very similar to the MERS-CoV from two human cases on the same farm and a MERS-CoV isolate from Hafr-Al-Batin. Eight additional camel nose swabs were positive on one or more RT-PCRs, but could not be confirmed by sequencing. All camels had MERS-CoV spike-binding antibodies that correlated well with the presence of neutralising antibodies to MERS-CoV. Interpretation: Our study provides virological confirmation of MERS-CoV in camels and suggests a recent outbreak affecting both human beings and camels. We cannot conclude whether the people on the farm were infected by the camels or vice versa, or if a third source was responsible. Funding: European Union projects EMPERIE (contract number 223498), ANTIGONE (contract number 278976), and the VIRGO consortium. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Abroug F.,University of Monastir | Slim A.,Charles University | Ouanes-Besbes L.,University of Monastir | Kacem M.-A.H.,Charles University | And 12 more authors.
Emerging Infectious Diseases | Year: 2014

In 2013 in Tunisia, 3 persons in 1 family were infected with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). The index case-patient's respiratory tract samples were negative for MERS-CoV by reverse transcription PCR, but diagnosis was retrospectively confirmed by PCR of serum. Sequences clustered with those from Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.


Jones S.P.,World Innovation Summit for Health WISH | Jones S.P.,Imperial College London | Patel V.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Saxena S.,World Health Organization | And 4 more authors.
Health Affairs | Year: 2014

From 2011 to 2030, mental health conditions are projected to cost the global economy $16 trillion through lost labor and capital output. The gold standard of psychological interventions, one-on-one therapy, is too costly and too labor-intensive to keep up with the projected growth in demand for mental health services. Therefore, new solutions are needed to improve the efficiency of mental health care delivery and to increase patient self-care. Because 85 percent of the world's population has wireless signal coverage, there is an unprecedented opportunity for mobile technologies to incorporate psychological self-care into people's daily lives and relieve workforce shortages. In this article, we suggest that policy makers look to technology innovators for guidance. For example, Google's principles, called "Ten Things We Know To Be True," are useful for understanding the drivers of success in mobile technologies. For principles such as "focus on the user and all else will follow," we identify examples of how evidence-based mobile mental health technologies could increase patient self-care and reduce the demand for one-on-one psychological intervention. © 2014 Project HOPE- The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.


Babiker A.H.,Supreme Council of Health | Carson L.,Queen's University of Belfast | Awaisu A.,Qatar University
International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy | Year: 2014

Background The incidence of chronic illnesses is increasing globally. Non-adherence to medications and other medication-related problems are common among patients receiving long-term medications. Medication use review (MUR) is a service provision with an accredited pharmacist undertaking structured, adherence-centered reviews with patients receiving multiple medications. MUR services are not yet available in community pharmacies in Qatar. Objective The current study aims to evaluate community pharmacists’ knowledge, attitudes, and perception towards establishing MUR as an extended role in patient care. Setting Private community pharmacies in Qatar including chains and independent pharmacies. Methodology A cross-sectional survey using a self-administered questionnaire was conducted among licensed community pharmacists from December 2012 to January 2013. Data analysis was conducted using descriptive and inferential statistics. Main outcome measures Knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to MUR concept and services. Results A total of 123 participants responded to the survey (response rate 56 %). The mean total knowledge score was 71.4 ± 14.7 %. An overwhelming proportion of the participants (97 %) were able to identify the scope of MUR in relation to chronic illnesses and at enhancing the quality of pharmaceutical care. Furthermore, 80 % of the respondents were able to identify patients of priority for inclusion in an MUR program. However, only 43 % of the participants knew that acute medical conditions were not the principal focus of an MUR service, while at least 97 % acknowledged that the provision of MUR services is a great opportunity for an extended role of community pharmacists and that MUR makes excellent use of the pharmacist’s professional skills in the community. The participants generally reported concerns about time, dedicated consultation area, and support staff as significant barriers towards MUR implementation. Conclusion This study suggests that community pharmacists in Qatar had sufficient knowledge about the concept of MUR and its scope, but there were still important deficiencies that warrant further education. The findings have important implications on policy and practice pertaining to the implementation of MUR as an extended role of pharmacists and as part of Qatar’s National Health Strategy to move primary health care forward. © 2014, Koninklijke Nederlandse Maatschappij ter bevordering der Pharmacie.


Nonnemaker J.M.,Rti International | Crankshaw E.C.,Rti International | Shive D.R.,Rti International | Hussin A.H.,Supreme Council of Health | Farrelly M.C.,Rti International
Addictive Behaviors | Year: 2011

The purpose of this paper is to identify factors associated with initiation to inhalant use among adolescents aged 9 to 18. The data are from the National Survey of Parents and Youth, a longitudinal household survey. Baseline surveys for adolescents and parents were conducted between November 1999 and June 2001 and then annually for three subsequent rounds. The outcome measure is an indicator of a respondent's first use of inhalants. Discrete-time survival analysis was used to model the hazard of initiation. The hazard of inhalant initiation peaks at about 14. years of age (slightly younger than smoking and marijuana initiation). African Americans were less likely than Whites to initiate inhalant use, and higher family income was protective against inhalant initiation. The findings suggest that parenting is associated with initiation of inhalant use: parental drug use was a risk factor for inhalant initiation, and a measure of parental monitoring was protective. The study results also suggest a strong relationship between inhalant use and other problem behaviors and sensation seeking. These results highlight the need to intervene early for youth at risk of or just beginning to engage in risky behaviors including inhalant use. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Objective To present one of the first national dietary guidelines that incorporates food sustainability principles into its public health recommendations. Design The paper outlines recommendations and utilizes an ecological framework of policy analysis to examine context, drivers, consequences and future suggestions in establishing and maintaining sustainability principles within the Qatar Dietary Guidelines. Setting Qatar. Subjects Population of Qatar. Results Qatar has produced one of the first national dietary guidelines to integrate principles of food sustainability. National interest in environmental sustainability and food security, population concern over food waste (reinforced by Islamic religious law), strong authority of the Supreme Council of Health (supported by an Emirate government), a small domestic food industry and a lack of food industry influence on the guidelines have contributed to the inclusion of sustainability principles within the document. Conclusions Whether these principles will be embraced or rejected by the population in the long term will likely be determined by the Dietary Guidelines Task Force and the Supreme Council of Health's commitment to educating the population about the relevance and importance of these principles and establishing champions to advocate for them. © 2015 The Authors.


Khalaf Al-Kaabi S.,Supreme Council of Health | Atherton A.,Supreme Council of Health
ClinicoEconomics and Outcomes Research | Year: 2015

This study, commissioned by the Supreme Council of Health in the State of Qatar, focuses on the main noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) globally and regionally, in order to gauge their potential impact on Qatar. The research shows that the Gulf Cooperation Council is projected to be affected dramatically by NCDs in the coming years. The top fve NCDs that will affect Qatar in terms of economic burden and disability-adjusted life years are cardiovascular diseases, mental health and behavioral disorders, cancer, respiratory diseases, and diabetes. Whilst these diseases have diverse effects on patients, their causes can be traced to “… common lifestyle-related, or behavioral, risk factors such as tobacco use, a diet heavy in fat, and physical inactivity”. The total direct and indirect costs to the Gulf Cooperation Council calculated for the above fve NCDs were $36.2 billion in 2013, which equates to 150% of the officially recorded annual health care expenditure. If this trajectory is maintained, spending per head of population in Qatar will reach $2,778 by 2022. These fgures demonstrate not only the potential financial impact of the main NCDs, but also give an idea of how the current health system is working to address them. © 2015 Al-Kaabi and Atherton.

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