Posted on November 12, 2013

Helping young patients deal with their illness and treatment through art and play was the subject of a recent workshop held by Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), in collaboration with Qatar Museums Authority and Sheik Eid Charitable Society.

The workshop was led by Italian artist, Marianne Hilman and focused on how to encourage children to use art and craft to express themselves.

This kind of creative activity can help ease the stress of illness and treatment and enables them to express themselves and what they are going through. Physicians, social workers, nurses, children and parents attended the special workshop.

Ms. Aisha Al Khulaifi, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at HMC, who coordinated the workshop, said the event was aimed at equipping those who work with younger patients with ways to help children cope with their illness.

 "This is an important part of the treatment and recovery process for children and is an innovative way for them to deal with the stress of their illness or condition,” Ms. Al Kulaifi said.

She said the workshop was the second one facilitated by HMC in the use of art therapy in the recovery process and Hamad would continue to work with community partners to develop similar events.

Ms. Fatima Jassim, Children's Programs Coordinator at HMC, said there were many similar activities used by clinicians, nurses, social worker and others dealing with sick children which have become an integral part of their treatment and recovery.

“This workshop also aimed to establish communication between children, parents and healthcare professionals,” she said. “Long-stay young patients at HMC are provided with a range of activities and entertainment including laptops with internet access,” she said. “They also have access to a library with a large assortment of Arabic and other language books.”

Dr. Mazin Al Hajiri, Head of the Medical Unit at Sheik Eid Charitable Society, stressed the importance of recognizing the psychological aspect of treating young patients.

“Children definitely benefit from events and activities like this as they boost morale and aids the recovery process,” Dr. Al Hajiri said.

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