The international community with the Ministry for Public Health (MoPH), Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC), and Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) as well as other health bodies in Qatar joined the World Health Organization (WHO) to commemorate the 7th of April every year. The theme for this year’s event hopes to raise awareness of depression as the major cause of disability and poor health globally.

An annual campaign was launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) to enable more individuals suffering from depression anywhere in the world to come forward and receive help. Every health partner in Qatar was involved and saw to the success of the year’s campaign by WHO with the theme “Depression, Let’s Talk”.

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Recent estimation from the WHO reported that more than 300 million individuals are suffering from depression, which reveals a 15% increase between 2005 to 2015. The limited range of studies carried out in Qatar indicates the global prominence of mental disorders reflecting the worldwide prevalence estimation from WHO.

In 2014, a baseline study performed in Qatar discovered that the fear of stigmatization was the main reason depressed individuals refuse to seek help.

WHO’s director at the Department for Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Dr. Shekhar Saxena indicated that the continual stigmatization of mental disorders was the underlying reason for the theme “Depression, let’s talk” and the initial step towards treatment and recovery of depressed individuals is by talking to someone they trust.



A series of events and practical discussions geared towards establishing awareness of depression among the public and health care practitioners was implemented by the HMC, PHCC, and other health partners to commemorate the WHO’s day. They also participated in other activities like creating awareness in the public about the causes and the potential effect of depression. This campaign focuses on sensitizing the general public about the treatment and prevention options available.

The PHCC’s head of Service Development, Dr. Fatema Mohamed Musa stated that depression is a mental disease which is quite common that makes a patient  constantly sad, and lacking interest in fun and enjoyable activities. The first point of contact for patients suffering from mental disorders like depression is the PHCC health centers. Considering that patient-physician communication is a major aspect of clinical practice, physicians have participated in the appropriate formal training that has improved their skills and knowledge which is significant in providing a complete and focused service.

Mental disorder is a very stressful and burdensome illness in Qatar, according to the Global Burden of Disease Study.

Depression is not an indication of any physical weakness as anyone can be affected irrespective of their gender, age, or socioeconomic status. Available treatments cater to minor or major depressive conditions and it is better if an individual seeks help earlier to facilitate faster recovery.

The consultant psychiatrist and deputy chairman of psychiatry at the Mental Health Service in HMC, Dr. Majid l-Abdullah stated that taking therapy and antidepressant medication or both are usually involved in treating depression.

He continued that a depressed individual can greatly benefit from having a conversation with someone they trust as a simple expression of their inner feelings can help a depressed individual alleviate the stress that can result in depression, which is why they are in support of the WHO’s effort that encourages people to discuss their issues before being diagnosed with a severe problem.


NPC International Files For Bankruptcy

One of the biggest Pizza Hut brand has filed for a chapter 11 bankruptcy. NPC International filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday, July 1, 2020. The company cited that the coronavirus pandemic, along with other problems, led to shutdowns, rising costs, and massive debts.

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The company whose debt rose to more than $900 million has already pre-negotiated a restructuring agreement with its first and second lien lenders.

NPC International has been dealing with several issues even before the emergence of the coronavirus. The arrival of the pandemic didn’t do the company any favors. The combination of the problems such as increasing debt loads, food costs, shutdowns, and increasing costs of labor led to the company filing a Chapter 11.

In the wake of dwindling sales, the company had previously obtained an emergency funding of $3 million from lenders after mentioning that it would exhaust its current working capital by the middle of the year. The company said that it hopes to utilize the bankruptcy process to carry out detailed discussions with brand partners, creditors, and landlords. It expects the discussions will help achieve an amicable Chapter 11 plan of reorganization.

COVID-19 has amplified the challenges the company experienced in these times “, and we understand that it is essential to take proactive steps to reinforce our capital structure,” Jon Weber, CEO of NPC’s Pizza Hut Division.

NPC oversees more than 1,600 franchised restaurants, of which more than 75% of them are in the Pizza Hut system. The Pizza Hut restaurants have been a significant drag on the profitability of NPC, according to Chief Restructuring Officer Eric Koza. He said the drag could be attributed to massive inflations as well as a lack of sales growth.

“The Pizza Hut business has been a shadow of its former self, and it has lagged behind competitors,” Koza added. “The reliance on third-party delivery services like Grubhub and DoorDash has also increased competition.”

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NPC reports that its Pizza Hut restaurants saw an increase in sales as the coronavirus pandemic reduced the flexibility of taking out and food delivery. However, Wendy too a big hit owing to the drop in the foot and drive-thru traffic.