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Supporting Strategies and Frameworks
The National Cancer Framework 2017-2022
Poor lifestyle and environmental factors may be contributing factors in 40% of cancer cases. For these cancers, the ultimate trajectory of incidence will be driven by the success of PHS programs and the effect they have on positive reinforcement of healthy diets, physical activity, and environmental health.
The top five risk factors in Qatar for NCDs identified in the PHS are:
High body-mass index
High blood pressure
High fasting plasma glucose
Ambient particulate matter
Low whole grain intake
Additional risk factors also include smoking, high cholesterol, and low physical activity and can greatly increase the likelihood of developing an NCD.
Address Lifestyle Risk Factors
The PHS has recognized the scale of the issue regarding healthy lifestyle adoption and tobacco cessation and has made clear recommendations to help promote healthier lifestyles and therefore better overall health for Qatar.
In Qatar, smoking is still a significant problem. The STEPWise WHO tobacco survey for Qatar in 2013 indicated that male smoking (all tobacco) rates were at 31.9%,12 compared to 19.5% in the USA13. According to GATS (Global Adult Tobacco Survey) data the exposure to second-hand smoke in Qatar within:
Restaurant precincts = 21.2% for men and 32.2% for women
Workplaces = 13.8% for non-Qataris and 8.3% for Qataris
Households at least once a month = 16.8% for both Qataris and non-Qataris
Other lifestyles risk factors
The PHS also includes clear objectives to tackle other lifestyle risk factors, summarized below:
:- Reduce risk factors of chronic non-communicable disease
:- Increase overall public awareness on the positive health effects of healthy nutrition and engaging in regular physical activity
:-Formulate and promote culturally appropriate and sustainable policies and legislations aimed at food diversity, healthy eating habits and increasing physical activity in the population
:- Stimulate / Increase the practice of regular physical activity across the population, with particular emphais on schools, workspace, and targeted communities
:- Establish wellness services and health coaches in Primary Health Care Centers
:- Enhance collaboration with the private sectors to promote the importation, production, and distribution of food products which contribute to a healthier to a more balanced diet
Evidence from international literature reviews strongly supports the role of the primary healthcare team in delivering population education and prevention advice. Therefore wherever possible, cancer prevention and education messaging will be made available to the network of family physicians at PHCC, private providers of primary care and
In 2016, three PHCC wellness centers opened with the vision of empowering people to make positive lifestyle choices to achieve balance in physical, mental and emotional health and to support people to live longer, healthier, productive lives.
To achieve the wellness vision, a new range of preventative wellness services will be provided to adults by a multidisciplinary team including physicians, nurses,health coaches and exercise physiologists in a tranquil environment, with both swimming pool and full gymnasium facilities.
Wellness services will operate an evidence-based model, linking clinical services to wellness services. To support the sustainability of these services, consideration must be given to wellness in the new national Health Insurance provision. It will be used for prevention-related activities, including promoting a healthy lifestyle, smoking cessation exercises prescription and dietary advice with the aim of improving the health of patients with chronic conditions.
Access to genetic testing
The Qatar Genome Project has successfully sequenced 3,000 genomes, a significant proportion of the population.
Phase Two of the project is due to commence shortly and aims to see a further 7,000 genomes sequenced.
This large volume of raw data presents enormous opportunities for the research community in Qatar.
The high-risk breast and ovarian cancer-screening clinic in Qatar were established in March 2013, as a multidisciplinary clinic. It is the first clinic of its kind in the region dedicated exclusively to providing genetic counseling and risk management for women at high risk. Identifying individuals at increased risk for hereditary cancer leads to early detection and prevention opportunities, with the ability to reduce both cancer incidence and mortality.
Premarital screening is already mandatory for Qataris. There is potentially scope to expand this screening to identify those at high risk of certain cancers or other non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
Services will be expanded to include gastrointestinal hereditary diseases and other diseases with links to cancer expanding on existing infrastructure to develop a dedicated medical cancer genetic department. It will be important to work collaboratively to establish this capability, recognizing the significant investment made across Qatar in infrastructure related to genetic testing sequencing and research.
The major cause of cervical cancer is infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV). The strains of HPV which have been proven to cause cancer can be vaccinated against. In many countries where cervical cancer rates are higher, a vaccination program has been adopted for preadolescent children. Although the incidence of cervical cancer in Qatar is low, it could be reduced further with the uptake of this vaccine. Therefore, the HPV vaccine will continue to be made available to those families who wish to vaccinate their children.
Support the i
mplementation of Public health Strategy Smoking cessation measures:
Tobacco surveillance system
Tobacco law enforcement Framework
Tobacco cessation services including a national quite line
Tobacco cessation services including availability of nicotine r
eplacement therapy and support through PHCC services
Establish a functional comprehensive tobacco taxation model that includes customs and excise taxes
mplementation of the Public Health Strategy Health Living Objectives (HL1-HL6)
Support primary care providers in the development of wellness services
Expand Screening for those at high risk of hereditary cancers
Establish a dedicated National Cancer Genetic Service