QRI, HMC provide training to Gaza-based healthcare workers
March 26 2022 12:24 AM
The QRI Speech Therapy team.
The QRI Speech Therapy team.

The Speech Therapy Department at the Qatar Rehabilitation Institute (QRI) has concluded a speech therapy training programme with healthcare professionals at Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Hospital for Rehabilitation in Gaza on the West Bank of Palestine.
The objective was to upskill local Palestinian clinicians in providing more up-to-date diagnoses and treatment for children with dysphagia, a condition which refers to problems related to feeding and swallowing that are brought on by disease, illness or congenital defects at birth.
Some of the most common causes of paediatric dysphagia include prematurity, developmental delays, cleft lip or cleft palate, brain injury, cerebral palsy, gastroesophageal reflux disease.
The Paediatric Dysphagia Clinic at the QRI has developed a service based on international best practices in treating such disorders.
Five speech therapists were involved in the 15-month training programme that was delivered online, and included theoretical knowledge as well as practical demonstration and training in using the donated tools and equipment.
Six speech therapists from the Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) also joined this training.
Eman Yousef al-Mulla, chief of the HMC’s Speech Therapy Department, said: “While Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Hospital has some equipment, they did not have all appropriate tools and materials needed for therapies in their clinics, and we applied creative thinking to help the Gaza-based team develop tools using local resources.
“Additional tools and equipment were donated by the HMC’s Speech Therapy Department.
“It was not easy for our colleagues in Gaza, having to deal with multiple power outages that interrupted the Internet connectivity for the online training,” al-Mulla said. “Moreover, we all had to deal with the effects of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic that impacted how we could work.”
“We also had to adapt the training to be delivered completely online without the usual benefit of practical face-to-face sessions,” the official added. “But I am pleased with how well we adapted the training programme to deal with these (challenges) and the success of the programme to date.”
The hospital was sponsored by the Qatar Fund for Development, under the patronage of His Highness the Father Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, and inaugurated in 2019.
The training programme was delivered by experienced speech therapy specialists with expertise in dysphagia, led by supervisor Ibrahim Alayaseh, and the QRI’s Asha Gopinath.
The training focused on teaching the latest techniques to promote feeding and swallowing in children with dysphagia.



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