‘New media boosts health awareness’

Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman with guests and participants at the opening of the First International Forum for Public Relations, Media and Health Awareness in Madinah on Tuesday. (SPA)

Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman with guests and participants at the opening of the First International Forum for Public Relations, Media and Health Awareness in Madinah on Tuesday. (SPA)

Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman opened on Tuesday a three-day international forum organized by the General Directorate of Health Affairs in Madinah on the role of the media and public relations to spread health awareness.

Health Affairs Director General Abdullah Al-Taifi commended the governor for lending full support to the conference.

Muhammad Al-Nojaimi, a member of the Higher Institute for Justice, called on the media to stick to professional ethics, especially in the backdrop of the proliferation of various forms of media that can reach vast numbers of viewers and readers.

“Media people should stick to journalistic ethics and be honest while discharging their duties,” he said. “This will be a great service to the community.”

Shoura Council member and scientific researcher Hayat Sindi stressed the need for taking maximum advantage of the new media to step up public health awareness among people.

“The focus these days is on providing excellent health care to people with reduced spending on public awareness activities,” Sindi said, adding that new media is the best means to communicate with people and boost their health awareness.

Abdul Aziz Al-Hemaisy, undersecretary at the Ministry of Health, said the ministry aims to raise health awareness with the help of professionals. He said awareness is the cornerstone of health care, especially in the treatment and prevention of disease.

Speaking to Arab News on the sidelines of the forum, Sindi said that since 2005 half of the population in the United States had adopted the Internet to deal with their health problems.

“Sometimes the symptoms are simple and there is no need to go to hospital,” she said. The patient consults the doctor online and the doctor gives the necessary advice, she explained.

According to studies, most patients die due to lack of health awareness and the consequent unhealthy behavior. Millions of lives have been saved by the online health awareness programs, Sindi said.

Online health awareness also reduces the pressure on doctors. This mode of awareness has made great strides and now there are plans to launch a film on YouTube, she added.

 
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