Recommendations

  • Health campaigns in Qatar should be improved: All recent campaigns have not been as memorable among young Qataris as one would hope. Even reminding our respondents of the names of specific campaigns what they were did not inspire more than half of our respondents to remember one of them specifically. The more universal campaign Kullana for Health and Safety was most often remembered. But interestingly, while Sahatak Awalan website may not be used that often, it is one of the most trusted sources on health among teens.
  • Personal sources of health information and advice should be encouraged, educated and used: Young people in Qatar still rely heavily on their parents, siblings, friends, and medical providers as sources of health information. Even when it comes to sensitive health topics, teens are actually more likely to speak with their parents than to look information up on the anonymous internet.
  • It is important to ensure that accurate, appropriate, and easily accessible health information is available to teens online—because the internet has become the most important mediated source. To some extent, only television can live up to internet sources. Internet information is used, and acted upon, so it had better be good.
  • Digital tools--apps and games—are popular and should be used as instruments of health information and education.
  • Mental health problems can be addressed in public health campaigns. Our respondents did not treat mental health as a “taboo” and were fairly open about their interest in mental health information.
  • Teens should be helped develop digital health literacy and search skills. Many teens don’t seem to explore much beyond what appears when they conduct an online search. Also, their naivety when it comes to posting about personal health problems is alarming. Teaching digital literacy skills would seem to be an appropriate part of health classes. Health teachers can also function as guides, helping direct teens to the best sources of information.