Abu Dhabi, UAE: The National Rehabilitation Center Abu Dhabi (NRC), a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center of excellence in the field of substance abuse in the Middle East, today announced that it has joined the International Technology Transfer Center (ITTC) network, making it the only entity from the region to become part of this network. The Network aims to develop the skills of professionals, organizations and systems that provide substance use prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and recovery support services.
His Excellency Dr Hamad Al Ghafri, Director General of NRC, announced NRC’s affiliation to ITTC Network at a virtual global event held on Wednesday, 24 February, 2021. Drawing the participation of senior officials from the U.S. Department of State and experts from the intergovernmental organization the Colombo Plan, the agenda of the event included a presentation by Dr Dean Fixsen, the Implementation Scientist and Director, Active Implementation Research Network, Inc.
The ITTC Network (Scientific Group) uses an advanced model for technology transfer related to reliability and drug consumption. These centers undertake various activities such as needs assessment, training and technical assistance to modernize work mechanisms and capacity building, in cooperation with the competent government agencies.
The ITTC Network will contribute to implementing the modules included in the training programs not just in the UAE, but also in the wider region. The network covers South Africa, Ukraine and Vietnam, in addition to a coordination center in the U.S. The ITTC’s scientific group receives support from the International Office of Drug Control and Law Enforcement (INL) of the U.S. Department of State, which has a mandate to reduce drug demand, and is associated through a partnership with the International Consortium of Universities on Drug Demand Reduction (ICUDDR).
Commenting on this announcement, His Excellency Dr Hamad Al Ghafri, said: “We are proud of NRC affiliation to ITTC Network. This is a remarkable milestone for our team in supporting training opportunities, building national technical capabilities, and supporting international collaboration through NRC’s partnership with several like-minded organizations in Egypt, Sudan and Seychelles”.
Al Ghafri noted that most of the research and technologies in the field of addictions is developed in the U.S. and Europe, adding that the cultural adaptation of intervention practices developed in the West and other countries to other countries and cultures, is thus vital.
“Our specialty is one that is continuously evolving. Therefore, it is imperative to keep up to date with the recent developments in the this rapidly growing field. The nature of this field has led to the development of training that includes evidence-based research such as the Universal Treatment Curriculum (UTC) and the Universal Prevention Curriculum (UPC),” Al Ghafri concluded.
For NRC, joining ITTC Network marks the beginning of a new relationship that links the center with a group of universities and research centers around the world, to utilize a variety of strategies to accelerate the implementation of science-based and culturally appropriate practices.