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UK hospital introduces disposable, sterile hijabs for Muslim staff

The idea was first put forward by junior doctor Farah Roslan—a hijabi—who recognized the need for disposable sterile hijabs during her training at the Royal Derby Hospital.

UK hospital introduces disposable, sterile hijabs for Muslim staff
Cover Image Source: Getty Images

With just weeks to go until the end of this decade, there are a lot of lessons we can—and should—carry into the new decade. From the #MeToo movement to the astronomical success of Black Panther to the increased call for equality in the workplace, the past few years taught us the importance of inclusivity and how impactful it can be. Keeping in line with this message of inclusivity, a hospital trust in the UK recently set a glowing example for others when it introduced disposable sterile hijabs for its staff to use in operating theatres.



 

According to BBC, the idea was first put forward by junior doctor Farah Roslan—a Muslim—who recognized the need for disposable sterile hijabs during her training at the Royal Derby Hospital. Speaking to the publication, Roslan revealed that she'd come up with the idea after infection concerns regarding her hijab, which she would wear throughout the day. "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," she said.



 

 

Roslan, who works in Lincolnshire, added that the invention was the result of needing to find a middle ground between "dress code due to faith" and her "passion" of being inside an operating theatre. In her search for a solution, she turned towards Malaysia, the country of her birth. Taking inspiration from the multiracial country where 60 percent of the population are Muslims, Roslan came up with a design and began testing appropriate fabrics.



 

"I'm really happy and looking forward to seeing if we can endorse this nationally," she said while crediting her mentor Gill Tierney for her support. Speaking of the Colorectal Surgeon, who originally introduced her to surgery, Roslan said, "Miss Tierney has allowed me to pursue my dreams. She is an inspiration to female leaders in healthcare, especially theatres. She has inspired me a significant amount."



 

 

Stating that the trust is believed to be the first to introduce the headscarves in the UK, Tierney said, "We know it's a quiet, silent, issue around theatres around the country and I don't think it has been formally addressed. It hasn't cost much and hopefully, the effect will be enormous." The University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Trust revealed that the new headscarves have been made available for use since December and that while it is hoped items can be introduced nationally, the decision would up to individual trusts.

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