04 Oct, 2021
A doctor who chose to make his profession a humanitarian message, he was one of the first to enter the world of social media to spread awareness about health education, and an active social figure in the field of volunteer work.
Dr. Ahmed Abdul Malek, a family medicine specialist, topped the list of doctors who contributed (and still do!) to exposing medical myths and misinformation about topics such as COVID-19 among others by shooting informational videos with advice to spread awareness.
In an exciting and valuable interview with Dr. Ahmed Abdul Malek, he explained that he believes doctors should always stand in the space between the concepts of ‘over-exaggeration’ and ‘underestimation’, where he shared his advice to both employees and students to maintain their health while in the workplace and school, especially with the fall and winter seasons coming:
1. You’re known to be one of the most active doctors on social media who seek to spread awareness about health education. Talk to us about how it all began!
The story began when I was
sitting with my friends who were smoking shisha and sharing it among
themselves, which is a grave mistake for many reasons, notably because it could
cause the spread of the flu or more dangerous diseases such as hepatitis, among
others. I decided to take a picture of the shisha, posted it on my Instagram,
and wrote: "Shisha is the official transporter of flu and
hepatitis.", then went to sleep. When I woke up in the morning, I found
strong engagement, new comments, and followers. The rest is history.
2. You refer to yourself on Twitter as a doctor with a humanitarian message… what is it?
I feel as though I have found myself and have been blessed in the field of health awareness.
As for my humanitarian message, I’ve gone on many medical trips all over the world to give a helping hand, along with others to Gaza, Bangladesh, Djibouti, Tchad, and Kenya. We also went to the Syrian - Jordanian border and the Syrian -Turkish border in the midst of the Syrian conflict, as I truly believe that Medicine is a humanitarian message for everyone, regardless of your religion, sect, or race.
“I truly believe that medicine is a humanitarian message for everyone, regardless of your religion, sect, or race.”
3. Tell us more about the most common medical myths that you’ve discussed in your book, ‘Medical Myths’:
Let me tell you a story. I got nearsightedness at a young age, which prompted my mother to make me a cup of carrot juice every morning as she believed it would "strengthen my vision", and I forcefully continued to drink carrot juice for a whole year. A year later, my mother and I went to an optician; she expected that I wouldn't need glasses anymore; instead, was informed that my sight was actually getting worse.
The book "Medical Myths" is the first and dearest book to my heart, in which I spotted a group of myths that exist in our society, including: "Carrots strengthen eyesight and green tea helps in weight loss" and many others.
4. Tell us about your book, “Yellow or Green Banana?”
Well, first of all, the book is not about bananas, though it does discuss food choices, such as green or yellow bananas, regular or diet cokes, and ketchup or mayonnaise. The book shows you how to make choices with the proper nutritional journey.
The idea behind this book came up when a friend invited a group of us over to dinner. One of the people said that since he was trying to lose weight, he would not eat rice and instead ate bread. I found it funny, because in reality, according to the nutritional scale, rice is better, lighter on your stomach, and lower in calories than bread.
As for the title, the famous photographer “Abu El-Nimer” suggested using an image of a banana because it would attract attention. So, I chose the book title in line with the cover photo.
5. List a few of the fifty rules of health
A person must care about his food in quantity and quality since it is the main element that determines human health. The second element is sports and movements; people must move regularly and daily. Finally, the third element is the periodic follow-up and examinations with a doctor every year or at least six months.
“I believe, in my experience as a doctor, vaccinations have been proven to be the best protection against COVID-19.”
6. What advice do you give to each of the employees and students to abide by them when present at the workplaces and schools?
First and foremost, I would like to insist on the importance of students returning to school, not only for education purposes, but for the development of their behavioral, interactive, and life skills as well. My advice for both students and employees would be to vaccinate, as I believe, in my experience as a doctor, vaccinations have proven to be the best protection against COVID-19. I also advise students and employees alike is to adhere to the health rules and requirements, such as wearing the mask and social distancing without any leniency to ensure their own safety and the safety of everyone around them.
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