THE one who is afraid of the truth hurries to unwittingly deny the content of his words, ending up with indirect acknowledgement of the same truth; hence, if some of what gets published is untrue, denying it is not the truth.
This is due to the fact that it is not possible to hide patients from their surroundings, or close the hospital in the face of other patients and not even conduct isolation’s and deny it.
In this regard, whom should we believe? Is it the official spokesperson of the Health Ministry — Ahmad Al-Shatti, who is responsible for everything published about the ministry and told us about the news published yesterday under the title, “The spread of scabies in the country but does not reach the level of epidemic?” Or should we believe Undersecretary Dr Mustafa Reza who hurriedly denied the report saying, “Whatever has been circulated about this issue is untrue?” What we published was documented information we had in our possession.
This is our information and our input. We published it in the interest of the public. Despite all this, we wish the words of the undersecretary are true and there are no cases of scabies in the country. Without any doubt, someone is trying to avoid bearing responsibility for this matter; considering what was published was the truth without any ulterior motive apart from serving public interest and making people aware of the disease.
However, the hasty denial of the concerned authority underlined avoidance of acknowledging the truth, even partial acknowledgement.
Therefore, in pursuit of correct information, does the Health Ministry allow a delegation of journalists accompanied by neutral pharmacists to visit its medicine storage to see if there are medicines for scabies? Can this visit happen without intimidation or pressure on journalists or pharmacists? Will the ministry show the records of patients in all hospitals, and not the two hospitals which were mentioned in the report? Will the ministry hide the patients who were treated in those hospitals or can it prevent them from issuing statements?
Scabies is just like any other disease. There are causes and it is not shameful to be concealed. Courage to reveal the truth in some neighboring countries was one of the factors which prevented the spread of diseases; but concealing the truth to avoid legal or constitutional accountability does not mean the disease is non-existent.
Nonetheless, some of the spiteful ones, who are poaching us even in the figments of their mind, know very well that they are dodging the truth for nothing but malevolence. All we can say to them is: The rhetoric you are using will not save you from accountability.
Those who supported terrorism in Arab countries, such as the Muslim Brotherhood Group and others who are accustomed to attacking us, will never attempt to portray themselves as mindful of the nation — trustees of the oath, if they only knew how great that oath is. We are not breaking the law in publishing the truth.
In fact, we do not cower and flatter to serve individual interest. Given that that the judiciary has become the norm, we beg to ask: Will those who went to court deny consideration of the truth when presented with every document which proves what we published? Does the problem lie in publishing the truth or hiding behind the media button, instead of solving the health problem which threatens the lives of people?
The report is not about one or two cases; it is about the fact circulating in Kuwait — among doctors, specialists, nurses and patients — before we published it. Therefore, instead of engaging in media altercation with us, kindly embark on the process of containing this disease which has started to spread in neighboring countries and ours. This is due to the fact that you are responsible for the people of this country, yet you mistreat them whenever you hide the truth. If the truth is published, people will start taking precautionary measures, save you and the entire health agency.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times