THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: For many the buzzing world of social media is not just entertainment, but also an avenue to learn a few tips for better living. The response to a Keralite doctor’s healthcare tips on facebook is testimony to this.
Ashley Mulamoottil, an ophthalmologist and chief physician of Mulamoottil Eye Hospital, Kozhencherry, has over one lakh fans on facebook who subscribes to his posts on health and eye care.
‘’Social media is an easier way to reach out to the people, especially the new generation,’’ says 40-year-old Ashley. The Cambridge-educated physician’s posts are simple in language and do not confine to eye care. “Healthy living is my priority, and of course, eye care is an important part of it,” he says.
“People rarely give attention to eye care which will have harmful effects on their quality of life,” says Ashley. Some techie followers were in for a surprise when Ashley posted that the laser pointers used for PP presentations could damage their eyes. The precautionary measures suggested by the doctor were received with hundreds of ‘likes’ and ‘shares’.
At times his posts on clinical experiences has led to ‘healthy’ debates on the web. Once Ashley posted the incident in which a boy with decreasing eye sight was brought to his clinic. The boy, who lifted heavy weights at the gymnasium, started losing vision after the blood vessels to his eyes ruptured and bled. “The post ignited a serious discussion among my facebook friends over the unhealthy practices in gymnasiums,” Ashley said with a smile.
Ashley’s venture into the online world was however for a different mission. An ardent advocate of eye donation, Ashley found the social media an ideal platform for his campaign. “Quite often I come across blind persons who could get vision through corneal transplantation. Unfortunately, owing to the non-availability of cornea, I could help only a few,” he said.
“It is estimated that around one lakh eye donations are required to fight corneal blindness in India. But the irony is that we cannot manage to get even five percent of corneas though 8 million deaths occur in this country every year and 16 million eyes go wasted burying,” says Ashley.
Ashley has also posted videos on eye care on facebook and YouTube. The topics dealt in the videos, range from talks on various diseases affecting the eye to exercises and simple tips for eye care to surgeries.
“The YouTube videos received an encouraging response with people asking me to upload videos on several new topics,” says Ashley. Ashley has also brought out a DVD on the videos following requests from his followers on facebook and YouTube.
At present the physician has embarked on a mission against plastics. “Plastic is a silent killer of eye sight. Hot food packed in plastic containers can lead to blindness and infertility,” he said.