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Doha: Aspetar - Qatar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital has completed the fourth Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President’s Travelling Fellowship for Football Medicine programme.

The programme was launched in 2012 with the objectives to increase the pool of medical staff trained in football medicine in Asia and to ensure interventional programmes to prevent injuries and illnesses are in place.

Increasing performance and health through evidence-based scientific research and updated modern scientific knowledge are also the travelling fellow programme’s goals. It has also initiated research in football medicine to enhance the level of care of players.

Aside from Aspetar, the other three hosts for the programme this year were Hong Kong, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates. Three delegates from AFC Member Associations - Dr Marc Anthony Castro (Philippines), Dr Ahmed Saeed Ali bin Mahfoodh (Yemen) and Sivanasvaran Suppiah (Malaysia) - were assigned to Aspetar.

Aspetar has been one of the collaborating centres for the programme since its inception in 2012 and has hosted three previous editions. As a member of the Aspire Zone Foundation, which serves sports clubs and federations throughout the state of Qatar, Aspetar aims to provide the highest possible standard of treatment for sports-related injuries with internationally renowned clinicians, scientists and researchers.

Dr Mohamed Ghaith Al-Kuwari, Acting Director-General of Aspetar, said: “We at Aspetar are committed to sharing knowledge and expertise that we gained through treating sports injuries and improving performance with medical professionals from around the globe. We are always excited and eager to welcome international delegates from the AFC President’s Travelling Fellowship programme to our hospital in Doha.”

Aspetar was accredited as a FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence in 2009 and in 2014 as an IOC (International Olympic Council) Research Centre for Prevention of Injury and Protection of Athletes Health.

“The fellowship programme was beneficial in terms of sharing and exchanging experiences with the experts and elite sports medicine physicians we have met at Aspetar during our time here,” Dr Ahmed Saeed Ali from Yemen expressed his sentiment, which was shared by Malaysia’s delegate Suppiah.

Dr Marc Anthony Castro from the Philippines said: “To be a part of the Aspetar medical centre for these seven days has been invaluable. The emphasis placed on understanding the importance of a team-based approach to care was essential in understanding correct pathways to player recovery.

“Being able to see how they manage their cases and players, as well as understanding the organisational flow, is useful first-hand knowledge to gain for developing our own services.”

Photos: Aspetar