DOHA: Nursing faculty and students at University of Calgary Qatar (UCQ) are conducting a research to know the connection between weather patterns and respiratory health in Qatar.
Dr Kim Critchley, Dean and CEO, is leading the study with Canadian biologist, Dr Kevin Teather.
Under their supervision, nursing students Asma Hussain, Nicola Dsouza, Lea Jabonete and Nawal Ali are conducting the study, funded by Qatar National Research Foundation.
The UCQ research group works closely with Al Rayyan Health Centre.
For the past six months, students have been gathering evidence on the numbers and types of breathing conditions that have been treated, and correlating information with weather conditions on those dates.
Privacy of individuals is protected, and only information relevant to the study is obtained. Information concerns the relationship between weather patterns and treatments for breathing problems.
“Other studies have been conducted in New York City,” says Asma, “and they reveal that more people are admitted to New York hospitals with breathing problems when the weather is dry and windy.
“A separate study showed that dust-sand storms in the Middle East could contribute to lung diseases like silicosis, caused by breathing in small, airborne particles.”
Nicola said the UCQ research used these studies as part of background, and gathering information from Qatar.
“The information we have from Hamad Medical Corporation is that the incidence of respiratory problems is rising in Qatar.
“While some health conditions like stroke and cancer are decreasing, chronic respiratory diseases are increasing. As nurses, we want to know why and what can be done about it,” she added.
The UCQ team presented the findings of the first part of the study at the International Conference on Atmospheric Dust in Italy this week and have had their abstract accepted for publication.