By Umer Nangiana
Combining awareness about vital health issues with on-the-spot medical check-up and treatment, Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) and Jalalabad Association provided an opportunity to hundreds of Bangladeshis in Qatar to get themselves screened for health issues.
Hundreds of blue collar workers from the Bangladeshi community in particularly benefited from the medical camp that was organised at the InterContinental Doha, The City recently.
A number of physicians accompanied by nurses from PHCC provided the visiting workers with free on-the-spot check-ups and treatment. The organisers had also arranged for a seminar, where specialist doctors and medical experts shed light on issues like cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
A large number of Bangladeshis attended the seminar, where medical experts urged them to adopt a healthy lifestyle by incorporating regular exercise into it and giving up on harmful habits such as smoking.
“Basically this programme is all about increasing awareness among the masses, mostly the labour class. The physicians are looking after patients who [normally] have no access to basic health facilities,” Dr Zaheer Ahmed, Consultant Family Physician, PHCC, told Community.
“We are checking [the patients’] blood pressure and blood sugar primarily; but [we are also treating them for other problems] if they also tell us about them,” said the doctor.
Among the complaints they received, the most common were about body aches and pains, while some people complained of diabetic problems and high blood pressure as well. The doctor said they had already seen more than 100 people at the camp, while more were coming.
“We have been advising the patients about the importance of exercise and diet. A lot of people have actually benefited from this camp but they would obviously need proper follow-up checks with the doctors and they would need to register with their local primary care facilities,” said Dr Zaheer.
Speaking to the audience at the seminar going on at the other end of the camp, the Ambassador of Bangladesh to Qatar Ashud Ahmed praised the PHCC and Jalalabad Association for the initiative.
He said that people already know the importance of maintaining good health but due to negligence and shortage of time they do not see a doctor, “unless we fall sick or feel any disturbances in our day to day life. Thus we remain forgetful of the wise words that prevention is better than cure.”
He added, “I am very happy to know that this medical campaign will play an important role in building awareness among the people of our community about the importance of regular check-ups and maintaining a sound health.”
The information that the visitors to the seminar and the camp receive will help them from falling sick and help them keep fit and make a proper contribution to the society at large, he said.
“I hope that the target group of the seminar particularly benefits from the series of lectures delivered by the noted health specialists on a number of life threatening diseases that a significant number of people of different ages generally suffer from,” said ambassador Ahmed.
He said Qatar has been providing excellent medical facilities to the expatriate communities who make more than 90 percent of the population. The ambassador welcomed the recent Emiri decree about bringing about positive reforms in several important areas including the health sector.
These community-oriented reforms, he told the audience, have been widely appreciated and will have long lasting effect on the overall development of this country and its people.
Speaking about the people of Bangladesh, the ambassador told the gathering that they have been living in Qatar for many years now and the size of the community is gradually increasing. They find this country very comfortable to live in and enjoy its culture and traditions which are almost similar to those of Bangladesh.
“The government of Qatar has a very positive impression [of Bangladeshis], largely because of the fact that they are very law abiding, hardworking and tend to lead peaceful social lives,” said the ambassador of Bangladesh.
He said the government of Qatar has indicated “keen interest” in receiving more people from Bangladesh. Recently, the possibility of bringing doctors and nurses from Bangladesh has been discussed at the level of the two governments, he added.
“While we are trying to increase our bilateral interactions on trade, investment and other economic and commercial fronts, the mainstay of our relations as of now is sending manpower for development of Qatar and economic development of my home country, Bangladesh,” said ambassador Ahmed.
He also said these kinds of medical awareness campaigns will go a long way in shaping up the community in doing their assigned jobs properly and comfortably. The ambassador hoped that the PHCC will come up with similar programmes on regular basis for health sector development of the country, with particular focus on its community members.
Chief guest M A Mannan, the State Minister of Finance and Planning of Bangladesh, also spoke to the audience.
“I was fortunate to be a part of this gathering and listen to very important issues of health related entire humanity. I thank the Jalalabad Association for going out of their way and connecting with the larger community and try to seek ways to help our communities here, there and everywhere,” said the visiting minister.
“We do feel proud that our community is spreading worldwide. There are 10 million of us working globally at this moment and the numbers are growing. We are proud that our people are working hard, that they are very industrious, diligent and the reports sent form our embassies abroad are very positive,” he told the audience.
Sharing his own experience of fighting certain cardiovascular diseases for the past 20 years, the minister urged the audience to adhere to the advice given by the medical experts and doctors.
“We know some of our enemies and friends very well. Our enemies are the cigarettes and smoking, and exercise is our friend, so let’s embrace our friend,” said Mannan.
President of Jalalabad Association S Khan thanked the speakers, ambassadors from different countries, guests from Bangladesh and other visitors for attending the seminar.
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