Browsing 'health' News

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.”

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?

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.


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.


April Younglove / Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Reacting to avian flu outbreaks in other countries, Qatar has begun cracking down on live bird imports and exports.

According to Al Raya, a temporary ban has been placed on this type of animal.

A source at the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) told the newspaper that the ban also applies to some fresh poultry and eggs.

Pietro Izzo / Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

In the past few weeks, different strains of the bird flu virus have emerged in France, South Korea, India, the UK and many other nations.

In some countries, birds got sick and died of the flu, while in others, humans contracted the virus and grew ill or died.

Elsewhere in the Gulf, Saudi Arabia has in the past 10 days banned chickens and eggs from India, parts of France and Poland over bird flu concerns.

Safety first

The MME source told Al Raya that all poultry products currently inside of Qatar are safe and subject to rigorous inspection.

These imports cannot pass through Qatar’s ports of entry without certification from their home country that they are free of infectious diseases, he added.

William Brawley/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Veterinarians are also keeping tabs on geese, ostriches and other birds at local farms.

A few months ago in October, the MME said it was taking “precautionary measures” to protect residents against the spread of bird flu.

The virus can cause fever, malaise, cough, sore throat, muscle aches, abdominal pain, chest pain and diarrhea. These can then develop quickly and cause severe respiratory problems.

In a statement last week, the World Health Organization said:

“WHO advises that travelers to countries with known outbreaks of avian influenza should avoid, if possible, poultry farms, contact with animals in live bird markets, entering areas where poultry may be slaughtered, or contact with any surfaces that appear to be contaminated with feces from poultry or other animals.

Travelers should also wash their hands often with soap and water, and follow good food safety and good food hygiene practices.”