Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) has been visited by Thor Pedersen, a Red Cross goodwill ambassador for Denmark who is currently in Qatar as part of a mission to promote humanitarian compassion by traveling to every country in the world without flying.
In a meeting with the QRCS staff and volunteers, Pedersen listened to a presentation on the organisation's history and activities locally and internationally. Then, he delivered a lecture on his journey, which serves a cause by emphasising the sense of humanity as the basis of coexistence and communication, regardless of the barriers of culture, language or politics.
The guest visited the QRCS-managed Workers' Health Centre in Mesaimeer, which is supervised by the Ministry of Public Health. With guidance from Dr Hassan Ali Kassem, chief medical officer at the Medical Affairs Division, QRCS, Pederson had a tour of the health centre's 27 clinics, including ophthalmology, dermatology, internal medicine, pulmonology, ENT as well as 15 GP and five dental clinics.
Working 24/7, the centre serves an average of 1,300-1,400 patients per day, or 32,000 patients per month. It has an 11-bed urgent cases department, ultrasound unit, X-ray unit, a laboratory and a health literacy centre.
Pederson commended the high-quality services offered by the centre, which are up to international health care standards, QRCS has said in a statement.
He said he was happy to be here in Qatar, as his 153rd country to visit since the beginning of his journey nearly five years ago, which is planned for completion by 2020.
"Unlike many may think, it has not been a vacation. I have faced a mix of challenges and impressive moments. I plan to publish a book describing everything I learnt during my journey," said Pederson. "My message to humanity is an appeal to take responsibility for the betterment of life for those vulnerable people in society.
"Those attached to the Red Cross/Red Crescent have already stepped up and are doing their part. Unfortunately, many people seem disconnected and inactive in improving the living conditions of those in need.
"Further, I strongly feel that personal strife among individuals could easily be avoided if there was more tolerance, respect and genuine interest towards those we disagree with. I say that 'a stranger is a friend you've never met before', and that is really all up to how you wish to approach the next person that you meet.”