Omani doctor receives Harold Johnson Award-Oman

June 7, 2021

Dr Arwa bint Zakaria al Riyamiyah, senior consultant haematology at the Sultan Qaboos University Hospital and director of the haematology programme at the Oman Medical Specialty Board (OMSB), received the Harold Johnson Award from the International Society of Blood Transfusion (ISBT).

In comments to Oman News Agency (ONA) Al Riyamiyah said that the study was conducted in cooperation with the members of the ISBT’s advisory board and represents the Middle East region on a study about the impact of coronavirus on the employees of blood banks in the world countries in the first months of the pandemic.

A total of 283 blood bank employees from the age group 40 years and under including 124 physicians, participated in the study, she said adding that the study results showed that 41 per cent of the participants declared that the tasks assigned to them increased during the pandemic as employees contracted Covid-19 while most employees applied social distancing in their institutions and 46 per cent applied social distancing at their homes.

Al Riyamiyah said that 55 per cent of the respondents admitted that protective equipment is not made adequately available for them at the workplace and more than half of them said they are worried that family members get infected with the virus due to the nature of their work and the lack of protective equipment.

Regarding the psychological and social impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Al Riyamiyah said that the study showed that half of the participants experienced increased tension due to different factors including those associated with work such as staff shortage and concerns that they or their family members get infected with the virus, lack of adequate support and attention for their children while they are working, the dependence on distance learning as well as the financial impact of the pandemic and the difficulty in getting basic supplies for their families.

Al Riyamiyah has become the first Omani woman to receive the Harold Johnson award. She focuses on blood transfusion research and has conducted nearly 60 scientific researches in haematology and blood transfusion fields. She also presented working papers at several regional and international conferences.

Al Riyamiyah was selected to serve as an ambassador for the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) as the first Arab woman ambassador to be chosen to represent the AABB in international events. She was also chosen as chairperson of the advisory board of the International Society of Blood Transfusion (ISBT) in 2018.


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