Road traffic injuries (RTIs) are a major cause of death and disability burden around the world and Qatar is no exception. Every year there are more than 4,000 motor vehicle crashes in Qatar, with more than 600 of those causing major injury and more than 200 resulting in death.
Dr. Hassan Al Thani, Senior Consultant and Head, Trauma, Vascular and General Surgery at Hamad General Hospital’s Trauma Center said: “Road traffic injuries cause one out of every eight deaths (12.5 percent) and are the leading killer in Qatar, causing more deaths than cancer or cardiovascular disease. Intervening through a multi-pronged approach, including primary prevention, post-injury care and rehabilitation, form the Hamad Trauma Center’s mandate and are key to reducing the burden of RTIs in Qatar,” said Dr. Al Thani.
Dr. Al Thani, along with Hanan Al-Kuwari PhD, Managing Director of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), participated in a panel discussion at the WISH Summit recently held in Doha. The discussion centered on best practice in trauma prevention and treatment.
In 2007 Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) established a Trauma Center at Hamad General Hospital as the country’s only Trauma Center. The Center is one of the leading facilities for the care of injured patients in the Middle East and was recently recognized by the World Health Organization and the Arab Health Awards. The Center evaluates more than 5,000 patients each year and its establishment has resulted in a 50 percent reduction in the deaths of patients admitted to the hospital with serious traumatic injuries. In 2011, HMC’s Ambulance Service received accreditation from the Joint Commission International (JCI).
With this achievement the Ambulance Service, formerly known as Emergency Medical Services, became the first in the region, and the first national ambulance service, to be accredited by the JCI. The Center and the Ambulance Service are key components of Qatar’s trauma system, providing essential post-injury response to victims of road trauma.
“Trauma is a complex disease and there is no simple solution. However, it is a predictable and preventable disease,” says Dr. Al Thani. “Qatar has the vision, the leadership and the financial capacity to be a role model for injury prevention and road safety; we should all take personal responsibility to prevent road traffic injuries.”