Dr. Ahlam Saleh Bin Breik:”I decided to study medicine the day my younger sister died because of diarrhea in front of my eyes.” [Archives:2007/1013/Front Page]

January 4 2007

SANA'A, Jan. 1 ) Every year, Yemen Times selects one person whose efforts in making Yemen a better place are commendable and deserve praise. YT person of the year 2006 is a lady from Hadramout. She is a role model in dedication and commitment to bettering the society. Dr. Ahlam Saleh Bin Breik is a physician and a nutrition specialist based in Al-Mukala., where she as born in 1958. Although coming from a conservative society in Hadramout, Dr. Bin Breik did the unusual and traveled to Aden to avail her M.B.Ch.B from the University of Aden in 1983. She then continued her pursue of knowledge and got an M.Sc. degree in Applied Nutrition from the National Institute of Nutrition in Hyderabad, India in1988. Then in 2005 she availed a fellowship from the Sudan Medical Specialization Board.

Why we chose Dr. Ahlam Bin Briek this year was because of her endless giving to her society and her commitment to helping people. Through her work, and even through other activities she has helped enhancing her community's awareness regarding reproductive health, nutrition and medical issues.

When Ahlam was 12 years old she found a new dream about her future. It was a time where there were no female doctors in Hadramout, and a time where health awareness was very low. Her younger sister had died in front of her because of diarrhea, and her mother was admitted to the hospital because of reproductive health problems relating to her pregnancy.

Reflecting on her first day in college she said:

“I remember the first day when I joined the college of medicine. During my meeting with the dean, Prof. Abdullah Hattab, he asked me why you want to study medicine? I told him I wanted to treat patients. He asked again: Only to treat patient? I said yes. He insisted, what else? I could not answer. So he told me: I hope that you think about preventing spread of diseases in the society.

From that moment I kept it in my mind, and with the course of time I realized that prevention and treatment can not separated. This is why; along with my profession as a physician, I became active in many social and awareness activities.”

Read full interview next issue.