24pc of QNRF funding goes to healthcare and medical studies

August 18, 2014 - 1:51:57 am

DOHA: Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) has allocated huge funds for studies to find solutions for medical and health problems, according to a senior official. 

QNRF’s 24 percent of funding is spent on healthcare and medical researches which focus on diabetes, cancer and heart diseases. 

In an interview with Qatar Health magazine published by the Supreme Council of Health (SCH), Dr Abdul Sattar Al Taie, Director, QNRF, said, “We fund research projects which deal with scientific and technical issues. We give priority to research in energy and environment, computer sciences and ICT, health and life sciences and social sciences, arts and humanities. However, extra importance is given to research on health issues. “That’s why 24 percent of funds are allocated for research on healthcare. This will help Qatar build research capacity by interacting with researches around the world and build research culture. Also it will reflect on the quality of medical services and healthcare.” 

Health research projects are done by Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), Sidra, Qatar biomedical research institute, Qatar Cardiovascular Research Center, Qatar Diabetic Society, Weill Cornel Medical College (WCMC), Al Ahli Hospital and Qatar University. “We grant funds for comprehensive research about Qatar and its people. There are 149 projects on medical and healthcare under QNRF,” said Dr Al Taie. 

Studies are being conducted by WCMC on mapping the Qatari genome to prevent inherited diseases, that could help doctors target interventions to reduce the prevalence of debilitating hereditary disorders. HMC is conducting research on complications and prevalence of diabetics, a big lifestyle health problem. 

“Through QNRF, we managed to create opportunities for Qatari researches to collaborate with more than 400 research institutes around the world, including Monash Institute for Research, Harvard University, Cambridge University, Imperial College London and American University in Beirut,” Dr Al Taie said, adding Qatar spends 2.8 percent of its GDP on research and development.