Health-care alliance for tobacco dependence treatment launches training in the Middle East

Global Bridges is new and unique global community for healthcare organizations who treat tobacco dependence. It is situated at Mayo Clinic. Recently, it was announced that Global Bridges and King Hussein Cancer Center will start training with health care providers in the Eastern Mediterranean Region on how to successfully treat smokers.

King Hussein Cancer Center

King Hussein Cancer Center

The first training, planned on April 27-28 at King Hussein Cancer Center, will gather 15 public health professionals from Jordan. Feras Hawari, M.D., director of the Cancer Control Office at King Hussein Cancer Center and regional director for Global Bridges, will hold this seminar. In addition, King Hussein Cancer Center will cooperate with other organizations to conduct regional seminars during four days in June.

Feras Hawari said that prevalence of smoking is extremely high in most of the Eastern Mediterranean countries, and only some countries have established tobacco dependence services. Holding such trainings, they want to eliminate tobacco dependence at smokers.

Global Bridges was found in 2010 as a worldwide collaboration which helps health care providers to treat tobacco use and dependence and which was established for effective tobacco control policies. During first year of working, Global Bridges had a positive influence upon 400,000 patients throughout the entire world by training over 5,400 health care providers in Mayo Clinic. Training consisted in seminars on how to appropriately treat tobacco dependence.

Feras Hawari, as a Global Bridges regional director, and his colleagues will lead activities to improve tobacco dependence treatment and tobacco control policies across the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region. The WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region includes 22 countries: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

King Hussein Cancer Center is a specialized center that focuses on assuring state-of-the-art comprehensive cancer care in Jordan and the Middle East.

Prevalence of smoking is high in most countries of the Eastern Mediterranean Region. In Afghanistan men who are smoking tobacco products comprise 82 % and 13.4 % in Oman. For women, rates vary from 57.1 % in Lebanon to less than 1 % in Oman. Among youth people, WHO reports that between 1 in 3 and 1 in 4 boys smoke in the countries of the Eastern Mediterranean Region. In Jordan, prevalence is at 28 % among adult population, but 48 % among adult males. 35 % of boys aged 13 and 15 years smoke, and prevalence among girls is on the rise.

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