Doha, 7 April 2020 - Aspetar, Qatar's orthopedic and sports medicine hospital, has announced the launch of its Covid-19 Evidence for Athletes Service—a unique platform under its official website. Available in full in English and soon in Arabic the web platform will provide athletes and those involved in athlete healthcare with evidence-based information on the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, according to a statement.
The Aspetar Covid-19 Evidence for Athletes Service is a first of its kind aimed specifically at athletes, their healthcare teams, coaches and the broader sports community. It provides them with easy access to relevant and reliable information based on the latest scientific evidence. This is done through a new streamlined and modern webpage with improved functionality. This easy access to essential and up-to-date information will help athletes and their healthcare practitioners to make wiser and more informed decisions.
A key feature is an athletes’ questions section with short answers provided by the evidence team, which will be soon available in more than 15 different languages. Each question and answer is supported by an infographic featuring the ‘bottom-line’ answer.
Aspetar is working closely with many international sports medicine associations to share the translated answers with their athletes. The other sections include educational material, relevant scientific papers, other relevant resources, as well as an interactive section that allows athletes to share their questions and stories with the multidisciplinary evidence team.
This new and comprehensive Aspetar service bring athletes and sports medicine and science experts from all over the world together in a unique and innovative way to help tackle the Covid-19 pandemic and its consequences. Mohamed Khalifa al-Suwaidi, Aspetar director general, said: “We are thrilled to launch our new web platform to our partners: athletes and experts. This shows Aspetar’s commitment to provide reliable information to athletes through our channels of communication, and with our partners in the sports and health sector.
"We are addressing the issues of interest to athletes around the world, as well as sharing their stories and experiences during the coronavirus outbreak. At Aspetar, we are doing all we can to ensure that precautionary measures are taken to limit the spread of the new coronavirus. "These measures are being introduced by the High Committee for Crisis Management in Qatar, in line with the advice of the World Health Organisation and reliable international medical organisations."
The online Aspetar Covid-19 Evidence for Athletes Service provides a wealth of information about exercise and fitness, as well as on dealing with the psychological stress of staying at home, and maintaining the physical distancing required to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Messages stress the important role of healthy sleep and nutrition to protect the immune system.
Dr Paul Dijkstra, director of Medical Education at Aspetar, said: “Athletes—like all of us—are dealing with a unique situation, their training and competition schedules are disrupted, and it is unclear how long this might last. Another challenge is the huge amount of information that is available. Although much of this information is reliable, it can be hard to understand or is irrelevant. And, sadly, much is also fake news, causing fear and anxiety.”
He added: “We are privileged to have Professor Mike Clarke involved. He is the Research Director for Evidence Aid and one of its founders. Evidence Aid is dedicated to making evidence available to people dealing with disasters and emergencies. We hope to extend this collaboration to other national and international organisations and sports medicine federations.”
In responding to the pandemic, Aspetar has produced a variety of education materials through its official online channels and social media platforms, playing a pivotal role in educating athletes on how to deal with this pandemic. A consistent message to athletes is the importance of taking adequate preventive measures to protect and maintain their own health and that of the broader society.
Aspetar is a world leading specialised orthopaedic and sports medicine hospital, and the first of its kind in the Middle East. Since 2007, with a world expert team, the hospital has provided top-level comprehensive medical treatment to all athletes in a state-of-the-art facility that sets new standards internationally.