Bad health habitsPractice what you preach [Archives:2003/683/Health]

November 6 2003

Ismail Al-Ghabiri
“Smoking is dangerous for health”… we keep hearing this statement over and over again through various media and during our daily routine. But does it really hold any significance to us?
This question was triggered by looking at the reality of our health conditions because we do find many contradictions to the ideal dreams we have. In fact one could even get depressed analyzing the situation and by coming across certain annoying scenes. One could visit a doctor and see a neat sign on the wall saying: “Smoking is harmful for your health” and just right next to the doctor’s stethoscope lays carefully a bulging pack of cigarettes. This is a common scene of preaching what is not practiced, just like how you find the cream of intellectuals and medical researchers discussing the latest negative effects and harms of Qat while chewing it.
Not only at a personal level but also the government policies in advertising disappoints exactly the same way one would get disappointed with the huge advertisement in the street for a cigarette brand leaving very little space for a small line hardly visible at the bottom describing the harms of smoking.
The same goes with the chemicals and insecticides that are poured uncontrollably on the fruit and vegetable plants and Qat trees that eventually are munched by people many times without even washing, consequently leading to hazards in their bodies.
The wise decision of the president to prevent chewing Qat among the military staff some time ago proves that such a procedure can well be implemented in other disciplines especially among intellectuals and medical staff. Yet it seems we will have to wait much longer before the intellectuals in our Yemeni society take a relatively brave initiative.
It takes one swift of the wand to allow Yemen to establish a new good medical system that would transfer it into a modern healthy society and enable it to join the line of advanced countries. Yet this dynamic move is dependant on the cooperation between all concerned sides and the availability of strong dedicated will to make a change. And of course all that will not happen until and unless people are aware they are going the wrong direction and start standing for their health and their selves rejecting all that is negative and wrong.