Launching the first Tobacco Dependence Treatment Training Diploma in the Eastern Mediterranean Region

King Hussein Cancer Center (KHCC) recently signed an agreement with the University Of Petra (UOP) to launch a joint specialized diploma in Tobacco Dependence Treatment (TDT) to be offered in Amman-Jordan. This offering builds on evidence that training and education in general enhances confidence and readiness to advise, counsel, and offer TDT services. Open for healthcare professionals from various health backgrounds and from all countries of the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) and beyond, the diploma seeks to help Jordan and the region fulfill Article 14 of the FCTC: namely incorporating TDT training into curricula and into continuous professional development programs.

The program, to be offered over four months, will offer lectures as well as practical components including on-the-job training at KHCC clinics. Modules to be covered include a general introduction to tobacco control and the integral role of TDT; tobacco products; dependence, withdrawal, and relapse; developing an individualized treatment plan with counseling and pharmacological components; principles of research in TDT; principles for tobacco control outreach; clinical practice and field work. Teaching will start in October 2014.

This collaboration builds on the achievements of KHCC in the field of TDT training and the reputation UOP has built among national and Arab students over the years. It also benefits from the status of UOP as initiator and president of the Alliance of Jordanian Universities against Smoking, which seeks, among other goals, to provide TDT services for students through their universities and enforce smoking bans in Jordanian academic facilities.

The diploma comes as a natural extension of work conducted to date by KHCC as the regional partner for Global Bridges. Over the past three years, KHCC intercepted more than 1500 healthcare providers and tobacco control advocates from EMR with training on TDT. As a result, several treatment programs have been initiated in countries of the EMR and others have been strengthened. In addition, such training has created general interest in TDT and strengthened belief in the important role it plays in reducing prevalence of tobacco use and in controlling non-communicable diseases.

For more information on the diploma, please contact cco@khcc.jo.