• 7/3/2024



    Iraqi delegation team of 21 Healthcare Professionals arrive in Qatar for a 3-day workforce training workshop hosted by WHO Collaboration Centre for Healthy Ageing and Dementia, Hamad Medical Corporation and WHO-EMRO for Integrated Care for Older People (ICOPE) implementation.

    Doha 03 July 2024: Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Department of Geriatrics and Long-Term Care, which has been appointed as a WHO Collaborating Centre for Healthy Ageing and Dementia in Qatar, under auspices of MOPH Qatar, led and hosted a 3-day training workshop for integrated care for older people (ICOPE). In attendance were 21 specialist multidisciplinary delegates from Iraq as well as clinicians from Qatar in order to undergo capacity building and foster learning exchange. The main aim was to be inspired by Qatar’s current ICOPE implementation strategy and be support system to implement a similar model in Iraq.

    Mr. Ali Al Janahi, Acting Assistant Managing Director, Hamad Medical Corporation, welcomed the Iraqi Delegates and supported the workshop and its success.

    Dr. Al Abdulla Al Ansari, Chief Medical Officer, Hamad Medical Corporation said; “Choosing Qatar as the first pilot site in the middle eastern region is a great honor, and I appreciate the education and knowledge investment that Dr. Hanadi Al Hamad, a National Lead of ICOPE with her team have made in sharing their expertise and helping to train our primary care teams involved in this amazing project. This is a real demonstration of what collaboration can achieve that is based on a joint commitment to deliver the best evidence-based care to our older population and now in extension in Iraq.”

     Dr. Hanadi Al Hamad, National Health Strategy Lead for Healthy Ageing in Qatar, Sr. Consultant Geriatrician, Deputy Chief for Long Term care, Rehabilitation. Home care services and geriatric care, Medical Director at Rumailah Hospital and QRI, Sr. Consultant Geriatrician and Head of the First and only W.H.O. Collaboration Centre for Healthy Ageing and Dementia, explained Qatar and the World has a growing elderly population, promoting healthy ageing is both nationally and in the region a priority commitment of our centre. “ ICOPE ( Integrated Care for Older People) -Care Model reflects a Unique community-based approach that will help to reorient health and social services towards a more person-centred and coordinated model of care that supports optimising functional ability for older people” She stated.

    Expressing her thanks to our Excellent Primary Care Services, she added, here in Qatar working in close collaboration with our Primary Care services our department of geriatrics at HMC with our W.H.O. Centre has taken lead in setting up the 1st ICOPE Clinic in the entire Middle East Region.

    It’s been over a year since the first clinic at Al Wajba Health Centre opened. The clinic runs every Wednesday of the week, and runs together with geriatric and PHCC multidisciplinary teams.

    Elderly residents in the catchment zone of Al Wajba have been served successfully and recently this year a second ICOPE Clinic at Rawadat Al Khail PHCC, has launched and runs every Thursday .

    With the expertise of Qatar’s ICOPE Clinic services, also being the first and only ICOPE Clinic in the world that is integrated with country’s electronic medical records, W.H.O. EMRO approached our W.H.O. Collaboration Centre to provide capacity building support to Iraq for implementation of ICOPE Project in Iraq.

    The three-day workshop was planned with Qatar’s expertise, along with W.H.O. experts.

    Dr. Hanadi continued; “The ICOPE healthcare approach helps broader health and social care systems respond more effectively to the diverse and complex needs of older people. The W.H.O. ICOPE Guidelines provide recommendations for healthcare workers on how to best assess older people’s health and effectively address their needs, ideally in community-based healthcare settings that are easy to access. The aim is to promote healthy ageing practices and prevent, slow, or reverse declines in the physical and mental capacities of older people.”

    ICOPE is a public health integrated care programme for people above 60, which aims to support the independence of older people living in society. ICOPE proposes evidence-based recommendations for health care professionals to prevent, slow, or reverse declines in the physical and mental capacities of older people.

    The three-day workshop gave teams a platform to engaged in extensive discussions on how to adapt and implement the ICOPE programme most effectively for elderly population in Iraq.

    Working in close collaboration with Primary Health Care Corporation, two ICOPE Clincs have been set up. Al Wajba Health Centre and Rawdhat Al Khail Health Center PHCC. The clinics have a reception desk, assessment and treatment rooms that focus on diagnosing and managing the numerous physiological changes that often occur with increasing age.

    As people age, the decline in their health can manifest as visual impairment, hearing loss, cognitive decline, malnutrition, mobility loss, depressive symptoms, urinary incontinence, and balance issues that may lead to falls. The aim is to identify any such impairments, or the risk of them developing or progressing, as soon as possible to be able to intervene and enable the older person to experience a better quality of life, based on a recognition of their right to be treated with dignity and respect.

    Sharing on the workshop achievements Dr Wasim Akram, Geriatrician and Clinical Lead for ICOPE from Dept of Geriatrics HMC stated; “Over the three-day workshop, attendees learnt about age-friendly primary care, communication skills to an older person, ICOPE core principles, ICOPE care pathways to fit Iraq’s context and many real life case studies which were discussed in groups and role play scenarios served as training.”

    The Iraqi delegation visited Qatar Rehabilitation Institute (QRI) where they were able to see the advancements in technology at areas such as the Gait Lab, Easy Street and in-patient paediatric ward.