PHCC / Facebook

PHCC social media campaign

Healthcare officials in Qatar have launched a new social media campaign that uses a popular online meme to urge residents to eat healthier and think positively.

The campaign is loosely based on Bill, a cartoon who always chooses the sensible, pragmatic option when faced with a modern dilemma.

One of his earliest iterations was, “Bill is on the internet. Bill sees something that offends him. Bill moves on. Bill is smart. Be like Bill.”

knowyourmemes.com

Be Like Bill cartoon

Inspired by the meme, Qatar’s Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) has been using it to promote positive health messages in the country.

Rashid’s family

The group runs some two dozen health centers in Qatar, and has centered its new campaign around Rashid’s family (#rashid_family).

The cartoon Qatari family unit was created by the organization in 2014 to use on campaign posters.

In the first of the two cartoons shared so far, the youngest member of the family, one-year-old Hayat, is seen drinking plain milk, with the line: “Hayat is a healthy child, be like HAYAT.”

PHCC / Facebook

PHCC social media campaign

And in the second, 45-year-old doctor Rashid, Hayat’s father, is pictured at his desk.

Rashid has a “beaming smile” at work, apparently due to his optimistic approach to life. Readers are urged to “be like Rashid.”

The PHCC has not yet responded to Doha News‘ request for comment on the campaign.

But it comes as officials are working to improve the physical and mental health of the population.

Health concerns

Some 42.3 percent of adults in Qatar are obese – the highest rate in the Gulf (which has an average of 36.7 percent).

And an increasing number of children in Qatar are also obese, putting them at risk of getting a host of diseases, including diabetes.

Video still

Ministry of Public Health ad

Meanwhile, around 18 percent of people in Qatar suffer from depression.

A series of community mental health centers are in the works to help tackle the stigma surrounding mental health and boost care for residents.

What do you think of the posters? Thoughts?

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One Works

Rendering for the Transport Education Center

Qatar Rail has picked an Italy-based architecture firm to design an upcoming Transportation Education Center (TEC) in the country.

The center will include exhibition space and also serve as a recreational facility for the public.

It is expected to encompass the rapid changes Doha has undergone in the past few decades, and encapsulate its “past, present and future,” One Works said in a statement.

One Works

Rendering for the Transport Education Center

The firm won a Qatar Rail design competition regarding the TEC last month.

In a statement, Qatar Rail’s Senior Director Mohamed Timbely said: “One Works has perfectly interpreted the spirit and the goal we set for ourselves from the competition’s outset.”

The firm is also no stranger to the Doha Metro project, as it is already working on the finishes for seven Red Line North stations.

Desert fort inspiration

Speaking to Design MENA, One Works partner Leonardo Cavalli said its design was inspired by desert forts.

“We wanted to enhance Qatar’s heritage in every key element of our project, as well as in every single detail by recognizing how Qatar can look to the future by virtue of its past.”

The publication reports that the TEC will be located between Lusail Boulevard and the Al Qassar Metro Station.

The complex will include offices, a theater and a rooftop restaurant. Also on the roof will be an outdoor park space that can host expos on public transportation.

No timeline has been announced for the TEC. The first phase of the Doha Metro is expected to launch to passenger traffic in late 2019/early 2020.

Thoughts?

QNA

Nepal’s Foreign Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat meets Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim

Qatar should build temporary shelters for Nepalis who are having work problems and set up a better mechanism for these expats to complain when they aren’t paid by employers.

That’s the advice a senior delegation of Nepali officials gave Qataris during a visit to Doha last week, according to Ekantipur.

Some 350,000 Nepalis work in Qatar, mostly in blue-collar positions. They comprise the country’s second-largest demographic group, after Indians.

Richard Messenger/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

During his visit to Doha last week, Foreign Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat met with the Emir as well as his Qatari counterpart.

He also spoke with the labor minister, discussing with all three the “safety and wellbeing of Nepali migrant workers,” according to Nepal’s embassy in Doha.

Solutions

According to Nepali officials, chief complaints among workers include not being paid on time.

Qatar has been working to address this issue with the rollout of the wage protection system, which mandates that employers pay out salaries via direct bank transfer.

But many construction companies have been struggling with this system.

More than a dozen men wait to use the ATMs at City Center Mall.

Shabina S. Khatri

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Mahat also raised the issue of grievances, pointing out that the current process of lodging a complaint against one’s employer is too long and convoluted.

This however is also being addressed.

A few months ago, Qatar’s Cabinet approved the idea of setting up a labor resolution committee that addresses worker disputes within three weeks.

It is unclear when these will actually be set up, however.

New shelters

In the meantime, Mahat urged Qatar to construct shelters for Nepalis seeking refuge from abusive employers.

He also suggested that officials set up an institute in Nepal to produce trained and skilled manpower, and increase the quota for such workers.

For its part, QNA said Mahat and officials discussed “bilateral relations and ways of promoting them.”

But according to Ekantipur, Qatari officials were receptive of the suggestions and “assured all possible assistance.”

Thoughts?

James Killoran/Flickr

Turkey flag

A new Turkish hospital will soft open in Doha on Tuesday, Jan. 17, according to local media reports.

The Turkish Hospital is located in New Salata on C-Ring Road and is a joint venture between the Qatar-based Taleb group and Turkey’s Ruzgar group.

It has 100 beds and is staffed so far by 40 Turkish doctors, as well as nurses and other personnel from all over the world, the Peninsula reports.

Some 1,000 patients a day can be seen daily at the hospital, the newspaper added.

And departments include emergency, obstetrics and gynecology, general surgery, ophthalmology, urology, dermatology and pediatrics.

Speaking to the Qatar Tribune, the hospital’s CEO Dr. Volkan Uygunucarlar said:

“My primary job is to think like a doctor and to treat patients as humans and not customers.

We have designed our systems in such a way that there is connectivity between departments so that our patient could get comprehensive attention and medical care in the shortest possible time.”

The hospital’s launch comes months after Qatar’s first Turkish school opened in Doha and as relations between the two countries grow stronger than ever.

Patient care prioritized

Qatar is in dire need of more doctors and hospital beds, as it contends with a larger, older and sicker population in the coming years.

The Turkish hospital is one more than half a dozen healthcare facilities expected to come online in 2017.

Entrance of Women’s Wellness and Research Center.

Ashghal

Entrance of Women’s Wellness and Research Center.

By the end of December, there will be more than 1,100 newly-built hospital beds for residents in the new facilities across Qatar, Hamad Medical Corp. said last year.

The projects include a women’s wellness center, a communicable diseases facility and three hospitals for workers.

Thoughts?