Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Majid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, the Dubai Health Authority(DHA) recently held a workshop to train healthcare workers on the latest advances in the treatment of tobacco cessation.
The two-day workshop was attended by more than 60 healthcare professionals from the DHA , Ministry of Health, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Police, the private sector as well as physicians from the GCC countries.
The aim of the program was to train healthcare providers including primary healthcare physicians, specialists, medical residents and nurses on the latest advances in treating tobacco addiction, keeping in mind new recommendations based on the latest scientific research.
Specialists in the field included practitioners such as Global Bridges Alliance (an organization that conducts training programs worldwide to empower healthcare professionals with knowledge on smoking cessation and treatment of tobacco addiction) and King Hussein Cancer Center in Jordan. The two entities held educational lectures as part of this workshop
Medical staff were trained to use the latest methods and techniques in treating smoking addiction through new recommendations based on global Scientific evidences.
Dr. Hanan Obaid, Tobacco-Free Dubai leader and head of community health services programs, Primary Health Sector at the DHA thanked HH Sheikh Majid bin Mohammed for his support. She said: “ The training program is part of the Tobacco-Free Dubai initiative, which was launched in May 2009, and includes many several activities and targeted awareness campaigns which will take place across schools, universalities, and public and private sector entities.
Dr. Wedad Maidour Director of Primary Health Care at the at the Ministry of Health and Chairman of the UAE Tobacco Control team highlighted the prevalence of tobacco use and provided information on the several tobacco control programs that are taking place in the in UAE. She also provided an overview of the role of the Ministry of Health (UAE) and the WHO tobacco control projects which is known (MPOWER)
Dr. Feras Hawari, the regional director for Global Bridges in the Eastern Mediterranean Region and director of Cancer Control at King Hussein Cancer Center, and Dr. Michael Burke from the Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Center (USA) presented through their lectures and training, important steps that are needed to ensure the community, especially the youth, looks into tobacco cessation programs to stub the habit of tobacco consumption.
Hawari suggested recommendations such as providing training and running tobacco dependence treatment (TDT) to cope with the global trend of increase in the incidence of non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and chronic respiratory diseases. He said that tobacco use is a common risk factor among those diseases. Estimates indicate that the cost of treating these diseases will add up to 6 trillion over the coming 15 years and a majority of this cost will have to be incurred by low and middle-income countries; a burden that these countries cannot shoulder.
Therefore, given its cost effectiveness, TDT is one of the strategies highly recommended by WHO to address the issue of tobacco use and associated disease prevalence.
The participants were trained on the modern therapeutic means of tobacco addiction treatment and were provided with advice on how to deal with special groups such as pregnant women and adolescents