UK Adopts Disposable Hijabs For Female Muslim Doctors

A Malaysian surgeon-in-training in the United Kingdom has developed a disposable hijab for female Muslim health workers to use.

Dr Farah Shaheera Roslan, a Malaysian surgeon-in-training in the United Kingdom has developed a disposable hijab for female Muslim health workers to use.

The Royal Derby Hospital said it was the first hospital in the UK to adopt the disposable hijabs introduced by Dr Farah Shaheera Roslan. This invention garnered commendation from many, including Malaysia’s Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah

“Nothing is impossible if we put our minds together, continue to innovate and embrace the Islamic values in surgery. Everything starts with our sincere intention to make a big difference to progress in surgery and healthcare,” he said in a Facebook post

Inspired by her homeland, Malaysia, Roslan worked with her mentor, surgeon Gill Tierney, to design and introduce the disposable hijab which would be appropriate for infection-controlled settings, such as in the Operating Room or working with those patients who are in isolation due to the pandemic.

The issue of female nurses and doctors being forced to choose between their beliefs and their work has been an ongoing yet overlooked issue. “We know it’s a quiet, silent, issue around theatres around the country and I don’t think it has been formally addressed,” Gill Tierney told the BBC.

The two worked with University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Trust to unveil their disposable hijabs and the NHS Trust has become the first hospital to offer disposable hijabs for healthcare workers. According to Tierney, the disposable hijabs have not “cost very much,” but are going to have an “enormous” effect for the women who will wear them.

“I’d been using [the same headscarf] all-day which obviously wasn’t clean and ideal. I didn’t feel comfortable taking it off and I was pulled out from the theatre, respectfully, due to infection control,” recalled Dr Farah Shaheera Roslan.

The disposable hijabs, the Trust says, have been made available to nurses and doctors this month, and Roslan added that she hopes to introduce the design nationally.

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