Qatar aims to establish integrated care for children and adolescents - estimated to be about half a million- through the National Health Strategy 2018-2022, stated a senior official involved in the implementation of the strategy.
“According to the latest estimates of Qatari population, nearly half million of the population falls under the category of children and adolescents. My main responsibility is to establish integrated care for children and adolescents in collaboration with different stakeholders by building national networking and evidence based practices that aim to achieve better health, better care, and better value for all,” said Dr Sadriya al-Kohji, national head for Children and Adolescent Health Strategy.
Dr al-Khoji who has been appointed by HE Dr Hanan Mohamed al-Kuwari, Minister of Public Health as the national lead for Children and Adolescents in the National Health Strategy 2018-2022, was speaking to the media at an event recently.
“We have three health targets and nine initiatives for the current strategy involving different organisations and committees aiming at involving governmental, nongovernmental, social organisations and families in our plans.The adolescents during their growth, development and education experience several health related obstacles physically, mentally and psychologically. This is an area of our focus,” explained Dr al-Khoji.
“The strategy will focus on improving breastfeeding practices, healthy diet and physical activities, and decreasing dental caries.We also will be looking at healthy schools, tobacco control, maintaining high vaccination coverage, integrated paediatric practice between different levels of care, child safety, adolescent friendly services and parental literacy. The importance of psychosocial support for children and adolescents all through their journey should not be ignored as it affects all other aspects of the health and wellbeing,” continued the official
“Family centred care, health care provider capacity building, improving health care infrastructures, developing programmes tailored to meet cultural and social values of the community, building strong communication channels with children and their care givers and scientific research are key areas for action that should be considered,” added Dr al-Khoji.
The National Health Strategy 2018-2022 identifies seven priority population groups: healthy children and adolescents, healthy women leading to healthy pregnancies, healthy and safe employees, mental health and well-being, improved health for people with multiple chronic conditions, health and well-being for people with special needs, and healthy aging.
The strategy also identifies priorities at the health system level to guide and manage actions in the health sector over the coming years, which reflect the health needs of Qatar, and take into account internationally agreed health care priorities and best practices.