Ramadan 2022: UAE healthcare workers gain strength from fasting

Ramadan 2022: UAE healthcare workers gain strength from fasting

Several healthcare professionals continue to work while fasting during the Holy Month of Ramadan with much enthusiasm and compassion. Speaking to the media, Naushad Mohammad, South African expat from Durban and director of emergency services at VIP Health Care Ambulance Services, Dubai, underlined the power in helping patients in need.

"Be it 2 am in the morning or at sunset when I have to end my fast, I am on the job 24 hours. If my drivers are busy, I volunteer to drive the ambulance because to us, the patient is a priority," the 42-year-old medical professional said.

Mohammad has been working as a paramedic since the age of 20. Currently he is heading an ambulance service with a fleet of 25 ambulances along with a medical and non-medical staff of 65 personnel. Regardless of fasting, he continue to do his challenging job to ensure the wellbeing of every patient.

"During Ramadan, I look at this as a test of my patience, forbearance and compassion. I never say no to anyone. Recently, I had a call at 2 am when a man called to transfer his mother from the hospital to the airport. I agreed to fulfil this need because, in our organisation, this is what we do. My wife and four kids, who have to deal with my long absences and call to duty at irregular hours, have cooperated with me always," he said.

During the days of fasting, Mohammad takes extra care of his health to allow his body to work rigorous hours at the job. He spends ample amount of time in the gym, doing weights and cardio to stay fit. Furthermore, he ensure to keep himself hydrated during suhoor and iftar. He also avoid oily, high-sugar snacks and completed at least five hours of sleep in an intermittent fashion when there is no call.

“Over the last 22 years in this profession, I have trained myself and the biggest satisfaction to me is doing my job well,” he added.


Never missed a day of fasting

Filipina nurse Maria ‘Ameena’ Romina L Reyes converted to Islam in 2009. Since then, she had been diligently keeping her fasts during Ramadan. The 51-year-old nurse hails from the Mindanao district of the Philippine. She came to Dubai in 1999 and began working as a nurse in a government hospital. As of now, she is working as shift-in-charge at the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit of the Canadian Hospital. Married to an Iranian expat, she has a daughter.

Talking about her inclination towards Islam, she said: "When I joined as a nurse at one of Dubai’s government hospitals in 1999, I had a chance to experience the culture at close hand. I converted in 2009 and since then, I make sure that even if I am on duty, I never miss a single day of fasting, praying and reading the Holy Quran with my family."


Working during fasting hours

During the holy month, she ensures to eat right at the right time in order to have adequate energy to serve her duties.

"During Ramadan, I go to bed by 11 pm. I have a proper meal when I end the fast during iftar time. This is usually while we are on duty and the hospital provides us food during Ramadan. Once I am done, I reach home, shower, rest have a snack and go to bed by 11 pm. Then I am awake again by 3.30 am for suhoor and prayers," she explained.

As a shift in charge in the NICU ward at Canadian Hospital, she is constantly on her toes to get the job done and take care of patients in need.

From closely monitoring pre-term babies to completing necessary paperwork and attending phone calls, she works hard to complete her responsibilities. In between breaks, she tries to catch some short power naps.

For her, Ramadan is an opportunity to learn the true virtues of patience and service to others.

"I look at my work during the holy month as an opportunity to practice the teachings of Islam in a first-hand manner," Maria added.


Learning to be calm

Egyptian expat Dr Hesham Gad is the medical director and specialist in internal medicine at the International Modern Hospital, Dubai. For the 60-year-old, there is no slowing down of patient traffic during Ramadan.

He said that as a doctor, he finds more work done during Ramadan with increasing number of patients coming to the clinic. Patients visit the clinic with complaints of fever, food poisoning, diarrhoea, nausea and issues common during festival times.

Dr Gad stated that he continuously work beyond the reduced hours to treat patients. During the holy month, he works with calm and patience while fasting. For him, Ramadan teaches the maintenance of work-life balance with grace.

"I feel this is an important part of who I am while I am contemplating on the Almighty, I cannot afford to get angry no matter how provocative hunger and thirst may be as triggers. Even though I might be hungry, dehydrated, or tired while attending to a patient, I have trained myself to attend to the needs of my patient," the medical professional added.

He underlined the importance of being in control with your emotions during this holy month as the festivities teaches the value of such virtues during Ramadan more than in any other period.

Dr Gad makes sure that his suhoor is brief but balanced which allows him to give 100 percent to his work. Waking up early, he has his pre-dawn suhoor meal which usually consists of high protein, natural sugars and water.

He shared his secret recipe from his hometown Alexandria which is adding fresh dates to an omelette.

"It is a very nutritious dish and I make sure I include, nuts, fresh vegetables and fruits and water in my pre-dawn meal," he added.

Ramadan also means family time. Therefore, Dr Gad catches up his favourite TV shows with his wife and four kids.

“We often are awake until midnight. I catch a couple of hours of sleep after suhoor, a power nap in the afternoon and at least five hours in the night. This way I make sure that I am not sleep-deprived," he added. 

SOURCE: Gulf News

LINK: https://gulfnews.com/uae/ramadan/more-patience-for-more-patients-how-these-healthcare-workers-in-uae-draw-strength-from-ramadan-1.87123101

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