Partnership Yields Successful Training Workshop

The Health Authority – Abu Dhabi (HAAD), the regulatory body of the health care sector in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, recently partnered with Global Bridges to conduct a training workshop for healthcare professionals on how to effectively assist tobacco users in quitting.

Falling within HAAD’s key strategies for tobacco control and with the main purpose of building capacity in offering tobacco dependence treatment (TDT) in Abu Dhabi, the workshop was well received by all.

According to HAAD statistics 2011 – self-reported smoking prevalence in adult national males is 24% and 29% in Expatriate males, with prevalence in women being much lower at 0.8% and 6.6% in nationals and expatriates respectively.

The CME 13.75 hour accredited workshop, “Training course on tobacco dependence treatment”, is the first following the adoption of training guidelines in the HAAD Standard on Smoking Cessation Services.

Held over 3 days 7-9 October 2012 in the City of Abu Dhabi, it attracted a wide selection of 45 health professionals including cardiologist, general practitioners, nurses, pharmacists and dentists.

The specific objectives of the workshop were to advance TDT, primarily in Abu Dhabi, through equipping attendees with knowledge and skills needed to practice, build capacity of participants to handle various cases of TDT, as well as enhance understanding of tobacco control strategies and the role of TDT.

Tailoring the workshop to the local Abu Dhabi area was paramount, and the team at Global Bridges successfully incorporated local practices and cultural habits into the sessions.

The workshop was co-organized by the Health Authority-Abu Dhabi and Global Bridges and was able to fulfill the main objectives of building the capacity of healthcare professionals to offer tobacco dependence treatment (TDT) and advance tobacco control both in Abu Dhabi and around the UAE.

Further, the workshop played a role in developing a network both within Abu Dhabi and internationally to continue the learning regarding TDT.

The Global Bridges’ online network provides a convenient platform for local participants to interact with one another, providing a ready-made solution for individuals from a wide base of professions, but with shared interests, to interact and form working groups.

The Health Authority Abu Dhabi looks forward to utilising the Global Bridges’ group members as stakeholders in future policy development for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi with regards to tobacco control strategies and training of healthcare professionals.

Their hands on experience with patients, particularly within the Middle East, in terms of the Arabic language and local customs and beliefs will provide a unique perspective as stakeholders and on policy and decision-making issues.

Moving forward, the Health Authority Abu Dhabi will be collaborating with interested parties on potential research projects, and the network of participants and Global Bridges’ experts will provide a valuable pool of potential partners. With the next World Conference on Tobacco Or Health in 2015, to be held in Abu Dhabi city, great work is anticipated.

For further information, contact the Abu Dhabi Tobacco Control Programme