Editor’s Note: The following interview was conducted by Yahya Echattoui. Also, you can check Shifaa’s website by clicking on the following link: Shifaa.ma
Rabat, Morocco- As a member of The Moroccan Times family, one fully embracing its spirit, looking forward to contributing to any act that may benefit humanity is a parcel of my mission. In this very spirit, I conducted the following interview with one of the most influential surgeons in Morocco, Dr. Aymane Boubouh.
Dr. Boubouh is a surgeon, an entrepreneur, a traveler, a writer, an amateur photographer, an award-winning blogger, and a content creator.
What is Shifaa.ma and what is the rationale behind creating such a platform in Morocco?
The first basis is that I tried to put together my experience as a surgeon, blogger and content creator to that of my friend’s experience, Mr. Mehdi Bennaciri, a CEO of a media production company and a visual content creator. We thought our friendship and our 15-year-old experience, each in his respective field, can be used to create a medical media platform to raise awareness, for the benefit of people.
The second element is that there is a lack of such initiatives in our region, let alone in our country as most of the consumed medical content is taken from regions that neither have the same language nor the same characteristics. The idea came two years ago, well before the Covid-19 outbreak, and during this time we have been looking for the right team to kick-off and then lead the project.
Later on, our friend Faycal Faiq joined us and we worked together for a long period with an aim to launch a website that aims to raise medical awareness, with the utmost goal of helping people understand various health problems. In fact, the need is very high now with the spread of Covid-19, and the most important measure to be taken in the current juncture is prevention.
What are the main benefits of your initiative?
Indeed, there are a lot of benefits! Most of the diseases that harm human beings come from bad habits people adopt. People may lack enough information about those health problems. For example, some people may have disease symptoms and may just ignore them. As a result, they may harm their health state in the long run. In this case, all the ignored symptoms and bad lifestyles result in harming one’s health. This said our mission is to make reliable information available to people so that they can protect themselves from many bad habits and health problems.
How do you verify and proofread your content?
In addition to my friend and I, the founding members, we are joined by a team of doctors from different stripes of medical specialties. So, everything we post is verified at different levels and our content is double-checked by a doctor from the concerned field. In Shifaa, we believe that every doctor should talk about her/his specialty. That is why our guest doctors who feature on our Instagram Live events are doctors from targeted fields.
Will this initiative focus only on debunking the spread of Covid-19’s fake news?
No, of course Not! Our gaze is set on a battery of matters. We were planning to launch Shifaa two months from now, but the current juncture urged us to preemptively launch it. The main reason behind this preemptive decision is to contribute to raising public awareness, adding to the efforts led by the Moroccan Ministry of Health and others. However, we don’t only focus on debunking fake news. We tackle all aspects of a disease lifecycle; from defining health problems to sharing ways of prevention and curing, even though this latter point is not there yet, but we keep hope alive!
How can people help your initiative?
People can help in different ways. First, everyone can participate because this initiative is open to all doctors, health professionals, medical students, translators, journalists, content creators. In short, everyone can contribute. Second, everyone can help by sharing the provided content with those who are interested or those who care about protecting their health, or just people who aim to spread medical awareness. Finally, even financial aid can help this initiative grow, as we are also looking forward to collaborating with any organization or any person who is willing to support Shifaa.