Doctor Mohamed Abdel Qader Aboria, public health consultant, was the guest of this week’s episode of the radio program “Nonviolence as a Lifestyle” within the project ” “The Palestinian Consortium for Non-violence: towards a regional movement on Non-violence ” implemented by the Pal-Think for Strategic Studies and FXB France.
At the beginning of this episode, Dr. Aboria reviewed the latest developments in terms of the Corona pandemic globally and locally during the last five months since the occurrence of the virus. He referred that while the world has not reached a treatment or vaccine for the virus, it is still the best way to combat “Covid-19” by taking health precautions and committing to social distancing, personal hygiene and everything recommended by the World Health Organization and the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
He added that anxiety has spread all across the world impacting specialists and the public for several reasons, including the lack of access to a vaccine for the virus, the quarantine imposed on citizens, and the economic deterioration that struck most sectors, noting that there is a state of complacency among the Palestinian public regarding the commitment to prevention guidelines, which raised the importance of return to educate and promote healthy behaviors and rethink the practices citizens do. In addition, Dr. Aboria indicated that there has to be a well-studied evaluation for the followed strategy concerning the issue of the corona virus and how to ensure that intimidation and panic are not existent amongst citizens, taking into consideration to abide by medical instructions.
In light of the preoccupation of the fragile health system in the fight against corona, Dr. Aboria pointed out that the level of health care provided to the groups most in need for it decreased such as cancer patients, kidney failure patients and children who have blood diseases and people with special needs and they have thus become marginalized, stressing the importance of paying attention to these patients and providing health care to them while they are in their houses because their immunity is weaker and therefore they are more likely to develop corona and get infected than others.
Following the episode, Dr. Aboria stated that personal and community mental health is one of the foundations of health and has a great importance in strengthening immunity, especially since stress and anxiety affect the immune system and weaken it in the normal person, indicating that psychological support is an ethical and religious duty imposed on the head of every family through dealing with this matter in a positive way. In this context, he highlighted that citizens ought to look at the corona who recovered not to look at how many got infected, keeping in mind that hundreds recover as a result of their adherence to healthy behaviors, proper nutrition and instructions declared by responsible authorities.
On the societal level, he clarified that it is necessary to work on spreading educational and awareness messages to the community through social media platforms and media institutions, and to spread strategies on anger management and track a process on how to get rid of the consequences of psychological pressure, and work to protect children and more vulnerable groups from the repercussions of stress by abating the degree of tension through holding recreational days, drawing and dialogue with parents and specialized consultants.