Posted on April 03, 2014

Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) has hosted the 4th Annual Child Health Research Day at HMC’s Medical Education Center. The day-long conference featured lectures and scientific presentations from international and local healthcare professionals actively engaged in pioneering research in health issues relevant to children in Qatar.

Over 334 participants attended the event, including physicians, nurses and other allied healthcare professionals from HMC hospitals and Pediatric Emergency Centers, as well as Sidra Medical and Research Center, Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, Shafallah Medical Genetics Center, and Qatar University. “The overall aim of the event is to continue to build child health research capacity in Qatar through collaborative partnerships as well as to support the development of pediatric research within HMC and within Qatar,” said Dr. Abdulla Al Kaabi, HMC Senior Consultant in Pediatrics and Project Director for HMC/SickKids Partnership Project, in the opening remarks at the conference.

The event served as a platform for child health researchers in Qatar to showcase the projects they have engaged in as well as to share their findings on topics pertinent to child health issues in Qatar including, child road traffic injuries, Wilson’s disease and vitamin D deficiency in infants and children. The event was supported by HMC/SickKids Project and HMC Medical Research Center and followed from the mentorship SickKids provided through the HMC/SickKids Partnership to the HMC Research Task Force in an effort to build a research culture focused on children’s health within the country.

Last Minute Deals from Kuwait

“Pediatric research is not only vital to children, but also to the adults that they will become, and therefore, reflects in the health of the nation,” said Professor Neena Modi, an international speaker at the event, Consultant in Neonatal Medicine, Chelsea &Westminster Hospital, London and Vice President for Science & Research of the UK Royal College of Pediatrics & Child Health. “Doctors around the world have a responsibility to question and to strive to reduce uncertainties in infant and child care, by evaluating new treatments and policies through dedicated research, as children have the right to benefit from research,” Dr. Modi said.

Other local speakers at the event and leaders in the field of child health research in Qatar included, Dr. Amal Khidir, Consultant Pediatrician at HMC and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medical College-Qatar, who shared insights into the common challenges that are faced by child healthcare researchers and presented recommendations for adopting a culturally-sensitive approach when taking on such research; Dr. Francesco Marincola, Chief Research Officer of Sidra Medical and Research Center, who shared updates on Immunotherapy of cancer; Dr. Haitham El Bashir, Senior Consultant in Developmental Pediatrics and Head of Child Development and Rehabilitation section at HMC, who highlighted research work in the area of childhood disability in Qatar.

A poster exhibition was also held during the event, which included 26 posters displaying research from healthcare institutions across Qatar. Four best posters and six best abstract submissions were selected for awards and recognition during the event. The event was highly regarded as a success by the attendees and marked another step toward building capacity in child health research in Qatar and HMC’s mandate to sustain an academic health system.