King Hussein Cancer Center holds a training workshop on tobacco dependence treatment


As the regional host for Global Bridges in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR), King Hussein Cancer Center (KHCC) recently held a workshop for healthcare workers from all over Jordan on the topic of tobacco dependence treatment. The workshop, held in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MoH), aims to advance tobacco control efforts in Jordan through building the capacity of healthcare workers to provide help to smokers and users of tobacco in general.

The 50 participants came from various backgrounds including medicine, nursing, pharmacy, nutrition, and dentistry, in addition to lecturers from Jordanian universities. In terms of geographic representation and affiliation, the participants came from several governorates and represented MoH, the Alliance of Jordanian Universities against Smoking, private pharmacies, public and private healthcare centers, and institutions working in the field of health education and awareness.

The workshop comes as an integral component to KHCC’s role in tobacco control, and as a proof of the entrenched collaboration between KHCC and MoH in this area. Over the past 2 years, and through similar workshops, KHCC has trained more than 550 participants from EMR through workshops held in Jordan, UAE, Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco.

Over three days the workshop addressed the harms of tobacco use and its association with non-communicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes, cardio-vascular diseases, and chronic lung diseases. In addition, the team trained participants on evidence-based tobacco dependence treatment through counseling and motivational interviewing, the use of pharmacotherapy, and drafting an individualized plan. Throughout, trainers utilized case studies from their practice to provide a practical component to the workshop.

Participant satisfaction was quite high, and individuals expressed their content especially with how the workshop addressed motivational interviewing and setting treatment plans. In addition, participants commented on anticipated value from contacts made during the workshop for advancing tobacco control in Jordan.

Dr. Feras Hawari, the regional director for Global Bridges in EMR and the director of the Cancer Control Office at KHCC commented: “In light of multinational tobacco companies entering the Jordanian market, and the recent price drop to increase their market shares, it is imperative that we create awareness among healthcare providers regarding the highly addictive nature of tobacco and their role in spreading this awareness within their communities. Yet, this workshop was unique as it brought together healthcare providers along with reps from university administration and student clinics with the purpose of diversifying channels targeting youth in a very critical age and setting.”

Dr. Malek Habashneh, director of Awareness and Health Communication Directorate at MoH and regional consultant for Global Bridges commented: “We realize that tobacco use threatens the upcoming generations in Jordan, and we know that tobacco dependence treatment plays a key role in helping smokers in specific and the population at large fight this epidemic. To date, MoH has clinics in 3 governorates and we seek to increase the availability of such services throughout the country. However, this is highly dependent on the availability of trained and capable staff.”