SHARJAH, Leading medical experts have warned people against turning to the internet and social media to self-diagnose and self-medicate.
During the 6th, and final, Sharjah Ramadan Majlis, the medical experts and UAE health ministry officials stressed the importance of approaching only authorised medical practitioners. The Majlis, entitled 'Common Medical Misconceptions - Between Right and Wrong', took place on Sunday night at Al Majaz Amphitheatre.
Physician and social media personality, Dr. Ahmed Abdelmalek, from Kuwait, expressed his alarm over the growing global trend of turning to online sources, social media and various other so-called self-styled medical experts for self-diagnosis and self-medication, and said that nothing can replace the examination and diagnosis of a real, qualified, and trained doctor.
"A qualified and trained physician takes a number of factors into account while examining and treating a patient, something that online experts and unknown sources cannot do," said Dr. Abdelmalek.
Dr. Abdel Nasser bin Salem, Adviser at the UAE Ministry of Health, stressed that the UAE has a zero-tolerance policy against the practice of medicine by self-styled "experts" and called for a regulatory mechanism to deal with unauthorised sources of medical advice, information and advertisements offering quick, magical solutions.
Dr. Bin Salem said the medical fraternity and the media could play a crucial role in promoting awareness among people, especially children.
Dr. Muawia Al Elaiwi, a Saudi Arabia-based paediatrician, attributed the problem to the absence of public awareness about health and called for active steps to promote health awareness. "Health awareness is the first line of defence against disease," he asserted.
Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Media Council, honoured the speakers and sponsor of the session, Dr Nutrition, together with the supporting partners of the Ramadan Majlis, namely the Sharjah Broadcasting Authority, the Sharjah Heritage Institute and the Juma Al Majid Centre for Culture and Heritage.
Source: Emirates News Agency