Dr. Nighat Arif - Treating Women Where They Are

Dr. Nighat Arif

BBC, NHS

From The Conference September 01, 2023

“What happens when you don’t have the words to describe the symptoms?”

In the last installment of the ‘Doing Equity’ session, Dr. Nighat Arif, the resident doctor of BBC and ITV presents an uplifting talk that reiterates the importance of raising awareness and in normalizing discussions of female health within the Black and Asian communities in the UK. From menstruation to menopause as well as breast cancer – she states that there are still a lot of stigmas and shame attached to talking about these health concerns. Which is made even more complicated with the language boundaries as well as the unavailability of words in the different ethnic languages.

“Why is that women who look like me and sound like me are not being listened to?”

When she gets together with women from these communities, such as at a mosque, she often hears stories about how doctors assume that menopausal symptoms don’t apply to them. Specifically, the mental symptoms of menopause – such as brain fogs, being forgetful, etc.- are often ignored and the women are given antidepressants instead.

So how does one address this gap of knowledge in female health that exists not only in the Asian and black communities in the UK, but also in other cultures in the world? What steps can one take to normalize this important discussion in inclusive ways? One of Dr. Nighat Arif’s creative answers to this is through her use of TikTok alongside the use of memes and gifs to reach out, educate, and engage in not just English, but also Urdu and Punjabi.




Length 13:03
Total views 263
Theme 2023
Tagged with 2023 Doing Equity