Human Services

Qatar University’s (QU’s) Health Interprofessional Education Program with the Interprofessional Education Students’ Association in Qatar in collaboration with the UK Centre for the Advancement of Interprofessional Education (CAIPE) in the UK collaborated on the first international virtual debate ‘whether governments should make COVID-19 vaccine mandatory’.
The event was conducted virtually for 2 hours and attended by around 200 local QU and international attendees with more than 780 views on Qatar University (QU) YouTube channel. The event started with an overview of the association’s vision, mission and activities presented by the President of the IPE Student Association and QU third year medical student Ms. Jawaher Baraka. QU Vice President for Medical and Health Sciences and Dean of the College of Medicine (CMED) Dr. Egon Toft, welcomed the audience, participants and judges. He expressed his pleasure of having these debates which started locally then moved into international level. Dr. Toft commented that these debates are an example of positive outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic. He concluded by wishing both of the team’s best of luck in the debate.
Dr Richard Pitt, CAIPE Chair, then warmly welcomed all participants, judges and attendees stating CAIPE has been a global leader for over 30 years in the promotion and development of IPE and works to improve quality in education, practice and the organization and delivery of services. Through this collaborative working CAIPE welcomed the opportunity to engage to collaborate in this student international debate. He added: ‘At CAIPE we were delighted to engage in this international interprofessional student debate on a very contentious subject. Both teams were very articulate in presenting their informed evidence based arguments for or against the motion with enthusiasm. They are all to be congratulated on their collaborative approach to the debate’.
The debate was moderated by the former president of the IPE Student Association Ms. Sawsan AlMukdad. Members of the affirmative side from Qatar included QU Pharmacy student Ayesha Ahmed, QU Medical student Menatalla Said and University of Calgary- Qatar- Nursing student Sharon Benjy. Members of the negative team from UK included King’s College London (KCL) Nursing student Alisha Khan, Medical student Konstantinos Lioulois, and London School of Economics student Sally Berry. The debate followed a format where each student was given a 5 minute for a speech, a 2-minute caucus and a chance for a cross examination from the opposing team. The audience were allowed to ask questions directed to the teams after the debate and the judges gave their recommendations and feedback for both teams.
The winning team was determined after receiving the votes from both the judges (70%) and the audience (30%). The judges included: QU CMED Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology Dr. Susu Zughaier, Senior Scholar from WHO Collaborating Centre on Health Workforce Planning & Research (Dalhousie University) Dr. John Gilbert, and Glasgow Caledonian University Associate Dean for Learning, Teaching, and Quality from School of Health and Life Sciences and CAIPE Board Member Dr. Nichola McLarnon. The affirmative team from Qatar was announced the winner at the end of the debate.
As both sides comprise an interprofessional team, the debate contest opened an opportunity to observe the perspectives of various healthcare students and allowed the participants to increase their knowledge on the different issues concerning COVID-19 that is currently affecting the lives globally of everyone through reliable data and evidence-based research. QU-CPH Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and QU Health Chair of Interprofessional Education program Dr. Alla El-Awaisi, in her concluding remarks, thanked both teams for representing their countries well, congratulated Qatar team for winning and added: “We are truly honoured to have had this great collaboration with CAIPE in the UK to allow healthcare students from both UK and Qatar to debate a very timely topic. We hope this activity was a great learning opportunity for healthcare students from both teams to learn and collaborate with each other. Debate is a good opportunity to practice some of the essential competencies in interprofessional learning including shared decision making, interprofessional communication, and respect”.
Mrs Amira Chaudhry, CAIPE Board Member and Student Working Group Lead made the closing remarks saying: ‘The CAIPE Student Working Group has thoroughly enjoyed collaborating with the University of Qatar IPE student society in our first live streamed student activity. The debate brought together students from multiple professions and vocations allowing them to articulate well-structured points, justifying the reasoning and importance for the public to legally, ethically and morally exercise their rights to choose if they wish to have the covid-19 vaccine. The debate allowed the students to understand each other’s remits within their own professions whilst also exploring others. I would like to thank everyone for a very informative collaborative event and look forward to showcasing further events with students both in the UK and abroad in the future’.
Ms Menatalla Said from the affirmative Qatar team said: “It was an extraordinary experience from my end, filled with excitement and enthusiasm. It was a pleasure meeting healthcare students from the UK. The debate was informative and fruitful I would personally say that it opened windows for me personally to have a look on what effect this house motion put on different countries could at different stages of the pandemic. I look forward to more of these debates to enhance our critical thinking and analysis as medical students as this will help us be more aware and sceptical in the future. And hope everyone enjoyed as much as I did”.
Mr Konstantinos Lioulois from the negative team said: ‘I am certain I speak on behalf of everyone when I say that it was a great pleasure for us to participate and to be given the opportunity to showcase our hard work, professionalism and excitement to represent CAIPE. We look forward to further opportunities”.