Posted on October 05, 2015

Healthcare professionals from across the globe convened in Doha to explore the latest strategies for managing patients with obesity at a training symposium hosted by Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMC-Q) and Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC).

The two-day Specialist Certification in Obesity Professional Education (SCOPE) event featured expert speakers from leading medical institutions around the world who explained the most up-to-date clinical practices for identifying, managing and treating obesity and associated conditions, such as diabetes. Delegates who attended the ‘SCOPE School’, held at Qatar National Convention Center, heard lectures about the relationship between obesity and cardiovascular disease, impaired lung and kidney function, fertility problems, sleep apnea, diabetes and mental health issues, among other subjects.

Dr. Shahrad Taheri, Professor of Medicine at WCMC-Q, said: “The aim of the event was to equip healthcare professionals in the region with the most up-to-date and effective skills and knowledge for managing patients with obesity. By working to put in place the best possible strategies we can make real improvements to the health of people with obesity, helping to protect them from developing other debilitating conditions and maximizing their quality of life.”

Obesity is one of the world’s most pressing health concerns, with the World Health Organization reporting that 13 per cent of people worldwide are obese, while in Qatar 33 per cent of the population are obese. Introductory remarks were given at the opening of the event by Dr. Taheri and senior HMC figures Dr. Abdul-Badi Abou-Samra, Chairman of Medicine, Dr. Saad Al Kaabi, Chair of Gastroenterology, and Dr. Edward Hillhouse, Chief Policy Advisor on Academic Health Systems.

WCMC-Q and HMC collaboration 2 [].jpgThe first day of the SCOPE School featured interactive workshops on prescribing physical activity for obese patients, psychological approaches to managing obesity and how to choose diets for obesity management. On day two, workshops addressed sleep apnea, post-bariatric surgery patient care and endoscopic procedures, while a panel discussion explored the management of obesity in Qatar and the wider Gulf region.

Contributors to the SCOPE School included senior physicians and scientists of WCMC-Q, HMC, Aspetar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Qatar Diabetes Association, the University of Sydney and the Woolcock Institute in Australia, in addition to UK-based institutions that included Imperial College London, the University of Birmingham, University College London, the University of Bristol, King’s College London, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, and the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust.

Delegates at the event earned credits towards SCOPE certification, which is the world’s only internationally-recognized obesity management certification scheme. SCOPE is endorsed by the UK National Health Service and more than 50 national health associations worldwide. Dr. Taheri added: “With obesity and associated conditions, particularly diabetes, becoming so prevalent in the Gulf region, it is imperative that we ensure healthcare professionals are able to provide the very best advice and care. SCOPE School is a very effective way of doing that.

“With the correct advice and care, patients with obesity can be helped to control and improve their conditions, allowing them and their families to live full and happy lives.”