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Qatar looks forward to a new year on the path of giving, which continued without interruption despite the spread of COVID-19, with the health and education sectors being the most affected by the global pandemic. The efficiency of performance did not stop especially in these two sectors, so achievements continued and were up to the challenge under these exceptional circumstances.
The health and education sectors are among the vital areas that receive unlimited support from His Highness the Amir of State of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani’s wise leadership due to their great impact on the health and wellbeing of citizens armed with knowledge and able to exert effort and assume responsibility and thus effectively contribute to the growth and development of the country.
The pace of achievement in the two vital sectors continued according to the highest standards and quality of performance and in their various fields. The health sector was able to reach important achievements, most notably its ability to confront the COVID-19 pandemic and limit its spread while maintaining the pace of providing usual healthcare services to all members of society with further development of the health system and the opening of new medical facilities.
Thanks to the efforts of the health sector and the cooperation of state agencies, Qatar was able to respond to the pandemic and overcome two waves of it. The measures adopted by the State succeeded in limiting its spread among members of society, mitigating its effects on various aspects of life, and reducing the death rate due to complications of the disease to a minimum, as one of the lowest death rates of COVID-19 in the world was recorded in Qatar.
Qatar ranked 15th for the countries that dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic and was the only Arab country that was included in this classification in Der Spiegel magazine.
During 2021, Qatar’s scientists contributed to the publication of many important scientific research on the pandemic in international scientific journals, as well as adopting strict travel policies that take into account the nature of the spread of infection and the ability of the health system to absorb it, in addition to the strength and flexibility of the health system and its ability to adapt to the plans set by the state in order to raise the capacity and redistribute its specialized cadres quickly and effectively.
Among the distinguished successes achieved by the health sector during 2021 was its implementation of the largest vaccination campaign in the history of Qatar for citizens and residents of the country for free, as Qatar ranked among the top 10 countries in the world in terms of vaccination coverage against COVID-19 compared to its population.
The National COVID-19 Vaccination Programme has achieved high coverage rates, as more than 86 percent of the population received vaccination with two doses of the vaccine, which is one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, and the provision of the third booster dose has been started for people six months after receiving the second dose.
Despite the great efforts made by the health sector to combat the pandemic, the healthcare system in Qatar continued its growth and development, as investment in new health facilities, services and technologies contributed to the development of the health sector infrastructure in the country in order to meet health needs in light of the steady population growth in the country.
With the opening of new health facilities in 2021, the number of hospitals affiliated with Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) increased to 14, and the healthcare system now includes some of the most advanced medical technologies in the world.
The number of primary health care centers in the public sector has now increased to 28 centers affiliated with the Primary Health Care Corporation and 4 other centers run by Qatar Red Crescent.
The Ministry of Public Health has prepared the national plan for health security, which will enhance the application and commitment of Qatar to the International Health Regulations 2005, with the participation of the World Health Organization and partners in the health sector, and work to add a number of precautionary and complementary plans to the national framework for health emergencies.
While the development of ambulance services and surgical facilities has made Qatar one of the best countries in the world in the field of traffic safety, the post-accident response has been improved to reduce fatalities and serious injuries, as the telephone response time to the accident was about 6 seconds, and the time to reach the site of the accident inside Doha 7 minutes and outside Doha 8 minutes in 91 percent of cases.
Work continued during this year to implement the projects of the National Health Strategy 2018-2022, and a number of achievements were made in a number of National Health Strategy’s priorities, similar to those related to priority population groups, as the national policies for occupational safety and health were approved and published.
This year, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) celebrated the 15th anniversary of the prestigious accreditation of its hospital network by the Joint Commission International (JCI).
Hamad Medical Corporation’s hospitals and facilities have received more than 40 accreditations from the commission over the past 15 years, which confirms the corporation’s application of international standards and its commitment to provide the best possible level of health care for all patients.
The Primary Health Care Corporation also received Accreditation Canada International for the third time and the Patient-Centered Care award, in addition to the Corporation’s laboratories receiving the accreditation of the College of American Pathologists (CAP).
At the level of education, Qatar continues the huge and ambitious accomplishments that it has achieved in the education and higher education sector during 2021, in addition to raising the level of education and developing it to ensure that the state’s needs for resources and distinguished human assets are met in various fields, determining the stages of education, preparing curricula, examining systems and higher education institutions and supervising them, as well as issuing licenses and following up with educational services centers.
Qatar’s interest in education is the main tool for achieving development and well-being, which is why the state constantly seeks to overcome the obstacles that hinder its progress to ensure the provision of comprehensive education in a good environment for all citizens and residents.
The state has also harnessed all its material and human capabilities, and improved infrastructure, training and development, and everything necessary to achieve the fourth goal of the sustainable development goals on education.
Before the start of the new school year in August 2020, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education has provided the necessary inputs to launch the educational process as an effective education, with outputs that keep pace with contemporary requirements, including the provision of well-qualified teachers, and effective and inspiring school administrations at the same time.
The ministry has also established modern school systems, curricula that respond to the requirements of the 21st century, promoted partnerships with parents, enhanced an enabling digital infrastructure, and a supportive school environment, in addition to providing logistical support and all aids for blended education, in light of the best scientific policies and strategies. Furthermore, it examined the factors affecting the quality of education in state’s schools and worked to overcome them.
On this basis, the journey of achievements that came in line with the national development strategy and the education and training sector strategy continued.
In this regard, Qatar achieved further success and notable results at all levels related to the development of the educational process in various axes and tasks, in addition to the State’s plans at the level of future programs and projects to keep pace with the strategic plan of the education and training sector, which ends in 2022.
The ministry also worked on preparing and equipping many schools and kindergarten buildings for the academic year 2020-2021, establishing additional classes and annexes in many existing schools and others for those who are disabled, and implementing the updated integration policy, in addition to the notable increase in the registration of adult students, as well as discovering and taking interest in talented students in different stages of education according to their individual needs, as well as completing the licensing and accreditation procedures for a number of agencies and higher education institutions, while continuing efforts to revise the main sources of learning.
Despite the continuing COVID-19 outbreak worldwide, the education process continued successfully with the development of effective plans and alternatives for different levels and classes to ensure the continuity of the educational process while preserving the health and safety of those involved and adopting modern technology and its applications in the field of education.
Qatar implemented e-learning in its schools since 2012, becoming one of the first countries in the region to implement this modern system as the focus on developing e-learning and promoting the digital transformation of the educational environment is an integral part of the strategic plan of the Ministry of Education, which was represented in the infrastructure of digital platforms, the use of technology in teaching methods, and the training of teachers and students to deal with technology.
In the context of these achievements, Qatar made progress in dealing with the priorities stated in the Berlin Declaration on Education for Sustainable Development last May, including those related to public policies, transforming learning environments, developing teachers capabilities, empowering youth, and accelerating procedures at the national level through the actions and measures it has taken in accordance with the second Education and Training Sector Strategy (2018-2022) and the plan of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, which stem from Qatar National Vision 2030.
In the field of higher education, Qatar has witnessed an increasing growth in the number of higher education institutions, bringing their number in 2021 to 32 institutions, offering 365 academic programs in various educational paths.
Qatar achieved steady growth in the number of scientific research institutions and centres, as they reached 33 this year, with interests ranging from environment, energy, medicine, entrepreneurship to computing, as well as social, humanitarian and educational studies, technological innovations and sustainable development.
Qatar’s efforts in the field of education were not limited to the local sphere only, but extended to include all parts of the world, especially marginalized communities, places of conflict and hard-to-reach areas. The state is currently working through its financing, humanitarian and development arms and its partnerships with many organizations, governments and bodies from different countries of the world to intensify efforts to educate more than 364,000 refugee children in 14 countries, with the aim of bringing the total number of refugee children enrolled in school to 1.5 million children around the world.
The vital and important achievements made according to systematic and studied plans and strategies in these sectors confirm beyond any doubt that Qatar is proceeding with boundless confidence and ambition in its efforts towards achieving its goals for comprehensive and sustainable development in all files and sectors, especially in the health and education sectors, given that an educated, healthy citizen is more capable of exerting effort and giving and actively contributing to the growth and progress of his country, under the wise leadership of HH the Amir.
These achievements embody the rational approach taken by the state in implementing its development policies, including health and education, with efficiency, quality and competence, for the benefit of its current and future generations, which confirms that Qatar is now in the ranks of developed countries. It anticipates a new year, in which the march of achievements will continue in all sites and fields.Qatar looks forward to a new year on the path of giving
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