The BinSina team speaks to clients, educating them on the importance of outdoor activity. Image Credit: Supplied

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact on everyone. From mental and physical well-being to economic hardship, the pandemic has directly altered lives around the world. The healthcare industry has worked hard to respond to the challenges, and what has emerged is a “care-model” that has helped community residents to keep themselves and their families safe.

A patient-oriented role

Pharmacies are very much a part of this care model, and at BinSina we have realized the current needs of UAE residents and have moved from a product-oriented role to a patient-oriented one. Being one of the oldest healthcare providers in the UAE, we are now looking towards the future based on what we've learned from the pandemic.

The pandemic has driven home the most important lesson of going alfresco – or spending time outdoors. Our team speaks to clients, educating them on the importance of outdoor activity. The UAE is blessed with parks, wadis, beaches, the beautiful desert, mountains, and countless places to walk, run or meditate. It has the sun all year round. Walking, running, having picnics and barbeques outdoors with social distancing measures in place, going for a hike, biking, camping outdoors – all have discernible benefits for physical and mental health.

Benefits of being outdoors

Studies have repeatedly shown us that being outdoors helps in pushing up Vitamin D levels, an important factor to build immunity. Epidemiologic studies are suggesting it may have protective effects against everything from osteoporosis to cancer to depression to heart attacks and stroke. You can make all the Vitamin D you need if you get outside a few times a week during these summer days and expose your arms and legs for 10 to 15 minutes.

Training outdoors or simply going for a walk or sitting by the sea can also elevate your mood. According to researchers at the University of Essex in England, exercising in the presence of nature has added benefit, particularly for mental health. Their investigations into "green exercise," as they are calling it, dovetails with research showing benefits from living in proximity to green, open spaces. In 2010 the English scientists reported results from a meta-analysis of their own studies that showed just five minutes of green exercise resulted in improvements in self-esteem and mood.

Being outdoors also help us to heal faster. Our trained healthcare specialists are encouraging community members to get regular exercise that can reduce feelings of depression and boost energy levels. Additionally, cycling, running, and walking outdoors also tends to be more strenuous because of wind resistance, compared to a climate-controlled indoor environment.

However, if spending time outside is not an option for you there are supplements our pharmacists can recommend helping you fulfill your Vitamin D needs.

Happiness to customers

BinSina Pharmacies is dedicated to bringing happiness and joy to our customers. To that end, we are investing in activities and events that recognize and reward our customers. We believe in improving the customer experience and journey in our stores and across all our digital channels. In addition, we have a robust plan of bringing the latest of health and beauty products from around the world.

During the holy month of Ramadan, Binsina collaborated with Beit Al Khair society to distribute 100 iftar meals daily to those in need. We also partner with charities to facilitate donations and charity drives in our pharmacies.

Role of the community pharmacist

At Binsina we are extending the roles of community pharmacists, who have now become community healthcare advisors. Today BinSina has more than 120 pharmacies across the UAE with a plan for opening more than 30 stores by the end of this year and across the wider GCC.

We make certain that our pharmacies are geographically distributed to be closer to you across all areas of the UAE. You can always visit your local BinSina pharmacy to speak with a professional trusted pharmacist who will assist you in improving your well-being. In addition, residents can also call 800BINSINA or WhatsApp us on 0502137343 for immediate advice in times of distress.

Our 800BINSINA number is answered by a trained pharmacist who can speak with you and advise you on any health concern issue, ensuring your safety and immunity. Their delivery network covers all the UAE so any recommendations made by the pharmacist can be quickly delivered to those in need.

BinSina has also partnered with UAE-based health provider TruDoc 24/7 during Covid-19 to provide residents with round-the-clock access to medical consultation and services across all platforms. “This has provided residents with immediate access to licensed healthcare professionals as well as the opportunity to receive medical advice for non-emergency situations.” from the comfort of their own homes.” We will also be launching a virtual clinic in Mall of the Emirates soon, powered by Trudoc, where customers/patients can virtually talk and consult with a doctor with the assistance of a trained nurse on site.

We are constantly educating UAE residents to keep themselves safe and healthy by:

Regularly and thoroughly clean hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and infect you.

Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately into a closed bin and wash hands. Wear face mask

Clean and disinfect surfaces frequently especially those which are regularly touched, such as door handles, faucets, and phone screens.

Avoid crowds by maintaining social distance.

Take immune-boosting supplements and drink plenty of water.

Follow a healthy diet and exercise regularly

Our health experts in our pharmacies have also been advising residents to get their vaccine doses as soon as possible. BinSina is grateful to the government and health authorities of UAE, for providing residents with the opportunity to be vaccinated for free in numerous health centers.

Soufiyan Shemisa

Soufiyan Shemisa is the General Manager, Customer and Retail Innovation, BinSina Pharmacies