By Farah Hamdan
The University Health Center at American University of Sharjah (AUS) is working to raise awareness about medical issues that may occur on campus, said Dr. Lubna Yousif, Director of University Health Services at AUS.
“Some students underestimate the importance of preventative health,” said Dr. Yousif. “Many visit the clinic only when they are sick, but they could benefit more if they learned preventative measures against some of the things that could affect their health. We encourage them to attend the Health Center’s activities.”
According to Dr. Yousif, the center staff want to raise awareness about health issues in general, but make a special effort to inform students about World Health Organization (WHO) announcements regarding new health threats.
“For instance, when the WHO provided information about the Zika virus last summer, we used digital media to get the message out,” said Dr. Yousif. “We also created Arabic and English brochures that were distributed around campus. The leaflets were designed to raise awareness, explain how the virus could be transmitted and illustrate ways to prevent infection.”
According to Dr. Yousif, the center has three general practitioners and six nurses who work in rotation to ensure that 24-hour emergency cover is available to the AUS community. The team primarily deals with short-term emergency issues, minor injuries, and aiding faculty, staff and students with acute and chronic conditions. Any severe injuries or emergencies are transferred to the nearby University Hospital, or any other local hospital depending on the insurance provider.
Emergency services are covered overnight, as well as on holidays and weekends. Health Center personnel are also on hand at community events organized by various departments, such as Global Day, Commencement and sporting events.
“The Health Center team is always standing by,” Dr. Yousif emphasized.
The center also offers preventive treatments such as free vaccinations for flu and measles, some of which are provided by the Ministry of Health’s Preventive Medicine Department. She added that the center also works with the UAE Ministry of Health to organize events such as blood donations campaigns.
“Blood donations tend to bring out many students, with announcements made via email and social media to the entire AUS community,” Dr. Yousif said. “We always have a good response to the blood donation drive. It’s always a successful campaign.”
The next blood donation campaign on campus is scheduled for November 14-15 at the Health Center.
The center also offers awareness campaigns about breast cancer, diabetes and other health issues.
In additional to these services, Dr. Yousif said the center has two in-house counselors, who are available to the AUS community. They are flexible with their working hours for the convenience of AUS community members.
Dr. Yousif noted that the busiest time of the year for the University Health Center is during registration periods, when the new students arrive for physical examinations and registration of insurance plans. She invited members of the AUS community members to make good use of the services of the Health Center at all times for treatment, for preventative services as well as for counselling services.
Farah Hamdan is a student at American University of Sharjah.
Visit www.aus.edu for more information about American University of Sharjah