Over the last few months, participants from Qatar Foundation and Hamad Medical Corporation along with their friends and families have actively taken part in the development of Qatar Biobank to help prepare for wide-scale recruitment from the Qatari public later this year.
However, the news about Qatar Biobank is spreading quickly and members of the wider community have also begun contributing. After hearing about the initiative on Twitter, Qatari national Fahad Al Thani signed up and was amongst the first 300 individuals to take part in Qatar Biobank.
Fahad contributed information on his health as well as biological samples and provided feedback on his overall experience at the Qatar Biobank centre, located in Building 29. Contributions and input from participants are considered particularly important, as such a large-scale health initiative requiring participation from Qatar’s communities has never been undertaken before.
Fahad spoke about his experience, saying, “I am thrilled to be involved in Qatar Biobank’s journey, I feel excited about contributing to an initiative that will make vital health research possible and give Qatar’s communities stronger chances of preventing and treating diseases. What I most liked about the experience was that the privacy and convenience of the participants was carefully considered throughout the research. From the moment I entered and until my way out I was treated with care and I felt that I was the only participant there.”
“I’m certainly glad to be amongst the first 300 participants, and wish that one day in the near future Qatar Biobank will be able to reach thousands. Indeed, I would like to encourage more members from our community to contribute to this research and lead the way for the sake of healthier generations,” added Fahad.
Qatar Biobank was established by Qatar Foundation, the Supreme Council of Health, and Hamad Medical Corporation, with the support of scientists from Imperial College London, to enable medical research on health issues that prevail in Qatar.
QF and HMC employees and adult members (18+ years) of their families can contribute to Qatar Biobank as participants by offering around 3 hours of their time to give samples of urine, saliva and blood (about 60millilitres, or around the same volume as a “pocket size” hand sanitizer gel), and having a series of measurements, such as height, weight, blood pressure, lung function and grip strength. Finally, participants will be asked to complete a questionnaire and provide some overall feedback on their experience at the Qatar Biobank centre.