Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Crack down on illegal pesticide outlets in Dubai

23 Nov 2010, The Gulf Today
About 110 litres of prohibited pesticides have been seized in Dubai, in addition to heavy fines being imposed on 119 erring pesticide warehouses and agricultural establishments for non-compliance with civil specifications.
Several vehicles were also booked for selling date palm plants without permission from the authorities, according to Dubai Municipality (DM), which carried out a massive inspection campaign jointly with the Department of Economic Development (DED).
Officers at DM's public parks and horticulture department have confiscated the unlicensed pesticides and destroyed them at the disposal site for hazardous waste at Jebel Ali.
A fine of Dhs6,000 has been issued to owners of the establishments for running warehouses without a valid permit from the municipality, said a DM spokesperson.
"The 'illegal' warehouses, with low-quality pesticides and imitation fertilizers were refilled in plastic containers, and were mainly found in Karama area as the inspection covered a total of 642 such establishments including flower stalls, nurseries, fertilizer plants and horticultural pesticide traders," he added.
According to him, the warehouses in Karama area were caught for filling agricultural pesticides and liquid fertilizers from the original containers to other plastic containers of different sizes.
"Ten pesticides (Vindona) in one litre containers; 71 insecticides (Mouseblan) in packets of 100 gms; 93 refilled pesticide containers with no labels to indicate capacity of the packages; an eight litre of target cockroach gel; and three rolls, each one with 620 empty plastic containers with a total of 1,860 containers were included in the seizure," elaborated a DM statement.
It added, "The unlicensed street vendors were found random-selling date palm plants, taken from unknown sources, in residential areas such as Oud Al Muteena, Al Khawaneej, Al Mizhar, Al Aweer, Al Hibab, Al Warqa and Al Barsha. About 76 palm trees were offered for the illegal sale."
"Nine vehicles, used for sale of the date palm plants in these areas, were also seized by the inspectors. The owners were warned for unlicensed horticultural activities in addition to fines imposed by the DED."
The offenders were trapped in a drive to prevent the spread of horticultural pests in the emirate, while stopping practices of bogus establishments in offering pest protection to consumers.
The Municipality has urged the public not to deal with illegal pesticide traders, in view of the hazardous impact of inferior types of palms that help spread of agricultural pests, especially red palm weevils.
"The farmers should only rely on palm pants traded by specialised and licensed companies," said municipality.
(Photo used for illustrative purpose only)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Indians ‘cyber-socialise’ to connect with family back home

17 Nov 2010, The Gulf Today

EID Al Adha turned out to be an auspicious occasion for many Indian expatriates living in the UAE to meet, greet and improve their relationship with their near and dear ones scattered across the country.
Happy holidaymakers were seen taking group photographs using small cameras and mobile devices after offering special Eid prayers early morning.
Several people were busy making friendly visits to places of their dear ones, while many expatriates were seen attached to their cell-phones making a round of calls to their kin back home and vice versa. Eid falls on Wednesday in India.
A lot of expatriate bachelors and the younger generation were hooked on to their laptops or PCs chatting with their friends.
Cyber-geeks were bombarding social networking sites with Eid messages and details with pictures about their outdoor activities and line-up of celebrations during the day.
The others simply sent out bulk Eid texts or colourful graphic cards to friends and all those who were in the mailing-list. Smart-phone users were also found flying high with multi-communication functions on their devices.
“Cyber socialising or chatting has become immensely popular due to its convenience and cost-effectiveness. Many people have converted from their traditional communication modes to the cyber socialising tools,” observed Nisar Sayed, an Indian media personality and managing director of Asia Vision Advertising agency in Dubai.
“But, the latest communication modes and options on social networking sites lack the spirit of intimacy and power of verbal communication or joy of a face-to-face greeting,” he pointed out.
“I always prefer to wish Eid greetings on the phone and pay visit to my relatives and friends’ homes,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Yasmeen Ul Mulk, a tele-imaging expert and managing partner of the Global Hawk Tele Medicine Services, said, “The greetings on the Eid day cannot be limited to the traditional methods of communication, as many people are unable to follow that due to their busy schedules even on holidays.”
“The warmth of maintaining your friendship can be attained through the cyber world too, if you sincerely make your efforts to catch them up online in the middle of your work,” she opined.
“I managed to say hello and share Eid feelings through my emails, chatting and posting messages on Facebook and Twitter, even though I was busy with my project to be completed soon,” added Dr Yasmeen.
According to Salahudheen Vazhakkad, an insurance network professional who constantly travels across the Gulf countries, a synthesis of modern and traditional methods is the better solution when it comes to Eid greeting of the expatriates in this part of the world.
“It’s obvious that many people will be unable to have face-to-face or verbal greetings. I used to ring up a list of close people, send out texts or emails to those in my professional circle and post Eid greetings online for buddies on my social networking circle,” he concluded.

It may not rain on Eid day, dusty wind expected

16 Nov 2010, The  Gulf Today

SHARJAH: Eid day could be cloudy and cool, but rain or thunderstorm is unlikely, officials at Dubai Meteorology office said on Monday.
A spell of modest to heavy rain, coupled with thunderstorms and hailstorm, lashed different parts of the UAE on the eve of the Eid Al Adha. 
Tuesday will have “slight to moderate” winds that could also raise dust and affecting visibility, the weather office says. 
The National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) warned public to be extremely vigilant while engaging in outdoor activities, which involves risks owing to unstable weather conditions.
“Hazardous weather patterns of exceptional severity are forecast. The public should keep abreast of the weather situation and comply with safety measures.” Sharjah received 4 mm water as the rain lasted for about two hours in the afternoon on Monday. Hailstorm was also reported in some parts of the emirate.

Showers across UAE on eve of Eid

16 Nov 2010, The Gulf Today

A spell of heavy and modest rain, coupled with thunderstorms and hailstorms, lashed different parts of the UAE on the eve of the Eid Al Adha.
Meteorology sources revealed that 4mm of water fell in the emirate of Sharjah as the rains lasted for about two hours in the afternoon on Monday.
Numerous motorists complained about Sharjah’s traffic situation saying that they were stuck in jams for hours as water clogged many parts of the city.
Retail traders in Rolla and other commercial areas of the emirate also faced disruptions in business due to the sudden climatic change and downpour.
A duty forecaster at Dubai Meteorology office told The Gulf Today that further chances of rain or thunderstorm are unlikely for Eid day.
However, the skies over the mountains will be blanketed by towering clouds with a decrease in temperatures on Tuesday afternoon.
“Slight to moderate winds have also been predicted, which may cause dust or sand blowing over some open-land areas sometimes, thereby reducing horizontal visibility at times. But the sea will be moderate in general, becoming rough at times,” he added.
The weather officer elaborated, “The thunderstorm witnessed in and around the Sharjah Airport and the surrounding areas originated from the mountainous region of the emirate. A hailstorm was also reported in some parts of the emirate during the rain.”
“The downpour continued in border areas of the UAE since morning itself, especially in the areas of Al Ain closer to Oman,” he indicated.
The National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) warned the public to be extremely vigilant while engaging in outdoor activities, which involves risks owing to unstable weather conditions.
“Hazardous weather patterns of exceptional severity are forecast. The public should keep abreast of the weather situation and comply with safety measures.”
“The rain witnessed in parts of Ajman on Monday was heavy and badly affected brisk businesses for the Eid at the central vegetable and meat market of the emirate,” said Saidul Abideen, a foodstuff retailer in the market.
But Qadeer Siddiqui of Salt and Pepper Restaurant in Sharjah said that the impact of the rain for over two hours time had a good result for them. “An unusual rush of customers, who sought shelter at our restaurant, increased the business during the rain.”
According to Shafeek Sha, Eid celebrations could have been badly affected had the rain continued for more than two hours. “Most areas of the city were already clogged in water leaving me worried.”
“Smooth movement of vehicles was affected by the downpour and motorists were forced to face bumper-to-bumper traffic situation for a long time, even though the rain didn’t last long,” he observed.
Rameez R said, “I would have headed out driving for the thrill in the rain, but then again, Sharjah roads fail! I need to get my hands on the four-wheel drive.”
Industrial Engineer Mustafa Yusuf, called it on Twitter, “sweet rain in Sharjah. Although the weather was lovely, the wind was stronger.”
Mariam Ali also tweeted on the heavy rain, lightening and thunder she witnessed on the Sharjah airport road.
Fathima Molly said she woke up to sound of rain for the first time after her family shifted to Sharjah. “The drizzle was amazing over the Buhaira Corniche for me and my kids, husband and sister.”
Another cyber geek responded to the rain as being a respite for the emirate, after two major fire incidents.
(Pic by Prashanth Mukunthan) 

Beach-goers asked to follow safety standards during Eid

15 Nov 2010, The Gulf Today

THE civic body in Dubai has alerted beach-goers during the Eid Al Adha days to adhere to safety measures so as to avoid disasters while celebrating the occasion.
This is in view of the significant increase in the number of visitors to the city’s open beaches, especially during the weekends, since the beginning of winter in November.
The authorities are equipped to ensure protection of the heavy turn out of beach-goers, especially those who come for swimming and relaxation, during the Eid holidays.
The Dubai Municipality (DM) on Sunday has called upon swimming enthusiasts to avoid swimming after sunset or in unstable weather conditions.
Alya AbdulRahim Al Harmoudi, head of the Coastal Zone and Waterways Management Section at the DM, advised swimmers to stay away from dipping near the breaking waves or rock barriers due to the strong currents near these areas in the season.
“All beach-goers should properly plan their trips, checking out the status of the sea or weather forecasts,” she said.
She suggested the public check the DM’s coastal zone monitoring web portal, which displays real-time data on the status of the sea and meteorology, as well as aerial snapshots that show the developments in public beaches.
Al Harmoudi asked families and youth groups to abide by the conditions for swimming only in designated areas and to not go out further.
“In many of the open beaches, areas for swimming have been identified through floating buoys and ropes,” she noted.
“The visitors should also preserve the coastal environment and not leave garbage and leftovers of food on the beaches. DM has provided waste containers at all public beaches,” she added.
The Municipality recently set up about 50 new safety information signboards at different beach sites across the emirate, in order to enhance the procedures to better safeguard the lives of thousands of holidaymakers.
According to Al Harmoudi, the signboards educate beach-visitors of different nationalities and of different age groups about the methods of using the public beach and the safety measures to be taken.
“The umbrella-shaped signboards, designed to match with the coastal environment, have been put up in popular beaches including Al Mamzar Creek, Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim, Al Sufouh and Dubai Marina,” she elaborated.
She pointed out, “The instructions clearly mention banned practices such as barbecuing, smoking shisha, lighting fires, overnight camping and taking animals to beaches.”
“This is to protect the coastal environment from pollution and to not disturb people who visit the beach with the aim of recreation or peace of mind,” she added.
(Pic by Nisham Manaf)

Survival of the diabetics

14 Nov 2010, The Gulf Today

ESTABLISHED by the International Diabetes Foundation and the World Health Organisation, Sunday Nov. 14 is globally observed as diabetes day - dedicated to raising awareness about the condition.
On the occasion, specialists shared their insight with The Gulf Today on how residents can continue to their live to the fullest - even with diabetes.
One expert, specialised in diabetes treatment, explained that diabetes is a condition where the quantity of glucose in the blood is too elevated.
The condition, also known as hyperglycemia, occurs when the body doesn’t produce sufficient insulin or produces no insulin or the patients’ cells do not respond properly to the insulin that the pancreas produces, added Dr Ghada Aoun, specialist endocrinologist at Medcare Hospital in Dubai.
“This results in excess glucose building up in the blood, eventually passing out of the body as urine. So, even though the blood has plenty of glucose, the cells are not getting it for their essential energy and growth requirements,” she added.
People with diabetes must know that as long as they follow their doctor’s advice and manage diet and exercise properly, they can still eat anything, but of course, in moderation.
Speaking on the occasion of World Diabetes Day, Dr Aoun presented a mandatory agenda about the dietary habit for diabetics and pre-diabetics.
“Having high-fiber foods which are rich in complex carbohydrates, will improve digestion, stabilise blood sugar levels and make the diabetics feel satisfied after meal,” she advised.
Meanwhile, the list of foods to be controlled includes sweets, simple carbohydrates like sugar, all baked items made of white flour, soda pops, fatty foods and salt, she said.
“Have six small meals a day consisting of three main meals (One meal approximately every 3 hours) and two or three snacks,” advised Dr Aoun.
However, pre- diabetics can eat small portions of simple carbohydrates like desserts, white bread, rice, jams, and controlled amounts of butter or margarine.
“Simple carbohydrates are digested quickly, thus raising the blood glucose levels suddenly. As it rises suddenly, it also goes down suddenly within one to 1.5 hours,” she elaborated, pointing out the dangers of diabetics eating the wrong kinds of foods.
“The unstable glucose level increases hunger and dizziness, increasing the chances of the patient going into a coma as low glucose level affects all body organs and their functions,” warned Dr Aoun.
She advised diabetics and pre-diabetics to control simple carbohydrates to keep the blood sugar levels in normal range. “Hypoglycemics have limited freedom to eat simple carbohydrates like pasta, white rice and white bread, but a hyperglycemic has to be on constant alert.”
Meanwhile, Medha Bhaskaran of Modern Pharmaceuticals also shared simple but essential steps in dealing with diabetes.
“Apart from eating regularly by having smaller and more frequent meals at regular intervals, diabetics should also exercise regularly after discussing with their doctor the type of exercise they should be involved in, such brisk walking, swimming or jogging, which could be adapted as a best routine,” she said.
According to her, patients should also examine their blood glucose regularly to be aware of the kind of food and activity affecting their levels.
“Diabetics must end all their ties with the habit of smoking, as diabetes is already a serious disease with high risk of heart disease and stroke. Smoking may complicate the patient’s condition with high blood glucose levels, and the nicotine in cigarettes can increase heart pulse rate and the carbon monoxide reduces oxygen in the blood,” she warned.
Patients always should strictly follow their doctor’s guidelines in taking medications. “Ensure that you only take medicines that are prescribed to you by your doctor, and with the right doses and at the right time.”
“Stress, whether physical, mental or emotional, should also be eradicated as it can raise the blood sugar levels. Stress hormones like epinephrine and cortisol are known to raise blood sugar in boosting energy when your body needs it,” Bhaskaran elaborated.
“Try to effectively manage day-to-day things along with engaging with relaxing activities. If you just can’t avoid stress, try to learn some measures that can help you relieve stress like taking time out to breathe some fresh air or have a good talk with a loved one,” she advised.
Bhaskaran invited attention to another matter of significance - educating people around the patients. “Don’t keep your condition a secret. Letting your family and close friends know about it enable them help you watch out for your health. Any possible tragedy could be avoided if your loved ones are informed of the signs for dangerous high or low blood glucose levels.”
It’s important for diabetes patients and their dear-ones to also follow-up on health reports and changing treatments about diabetes, as the process may help them understand their condition better through the help of various sources, she explained.
Bhaskaran also advised diabetics to join a health group, be it a weekly group gatherings or online forums where diabetics can interact and gain knowledge from other’s experiences. “Sharing different thoughts and raising questions will ultimately aid you grab better solutions to manage diabetes.”
(Pix used for illustrative purpose)  

Nearly 409,500 diabetics in UAE suffer from nerve pain

12 Nov 2010, The Gulf Today 

About 26 per cent of diabetics in the UAE suffer from the risk of nerve pain making it a leading and costly healthcare problem for the UAE, warn pain management experts ahead of World Diabetes Day, which falls on Nov.14.
According to them, diabetic nerve pain is a major challenge for the UAE with around a quarter of diabetics at risk of the complication. This number rises to 50 per cent for those who have had diabetes for more than 10 years.
Dr Mohamed Saada, consultant neurologist at Zayed Military Hospital in Abu Dhabi, said that the condition, a painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy, affects more than 400,000 people having type-2 diabetes in the UAE, although research reveals that not all patients report their symptoms.
“Diabetes is reported to affect up to one fifth of the UAE’s adult population, which was estimated to have hit 8.19 million in May 2010. This means that right now around 1.6 million people in the UAE suffer from diabetes,” he added.
“Approximately 409,500 of these diabetic patients could be suffering from nerve pain and needing treatment,” noted Dr Saada.
According to him, the complication occurs due to damage to the nerves as a result of raised and uncontrolled blood glucose levels seen in diabetics.
“It presents as either a burning pain, numbness or tingling in one or more of the limbs. The pain can be very severe with some patients not even able to tolerate the weight of their bed sheets on their thighs,” he said.
“The pain associated with the diabetic neuropathy varies in severity depending on the type of nerve damage caused. The pain can be localised to the feet or can spread up the legs to the knees and to the waist and trunk. It can involve one limb or all four limbs and sometimes there can be facial or back pain,” he elaborated.
“However,” Dr Saada pointed out, “despite suffering severe pain, many patients fail to seek medical help due to cultural conventions that frown on voicing concerns over pain. As a result, only around 10 per cent of patients with painful diabetic neuropathy seek medical help.”
Dr Ammar El Salti, Consultant anaesthetist and pain management expert at the ZayedMilitary Hospital in Abu Dhabi said, “The local population fails to come forward for treatment due to social constraints, even when diabetic nerve pain is having a detrimental effect on their quality of life.”
“Chronic pain causes physical disabilities, as well as sleep disturbances, insomnia and mood disturbances, eventually plunging into anxiety and depression damaging the quality of life,” he warned.
According to him, pain-sufferers also have to take time off work which costs the country’s economy millions of dollars.

Mobile slaughterhouse to ease Eid special services in Dubai

12 Nov 2010, The Gulf Today

Aimed at easing the heavy turn out of customers to sacrifice animals on the occasion of Eid Al Adha, the Dubai Municipality (DM) has launched a mobile abattoir which offers slaughter services at selected areas of the emirate.
The touring facility to slaughter animals in compliance with Sharia requirements, will provide butchery outlets with services of highest hygienic and safety standards during the Eid period. It has currently been stationed near the park in Al Quoz-1.
Hussein Nasser Lootah, director general of the DM, said that the facility has been developed to carry out sacrifice services mainly to the people residing in Al Barsha, Zabeel, Umm Sequim and Jumeirah areas meeting the rush for the service.
“The mobile abattoir will ease the high pressure on slaughterhouses of other areas during the Eid days. However, the mobile facility will provide services only to small sacrificial animals- sheep or goats,” he added.
“The mobile abattoir is equipped with modern devices and sufficient space operated by butchers, assistants, cleaners, equipment maintenance workers and supervisors.”
According to Lootah, the facility also will provide testing services for the sacrificial animals. The municipality has streamlined all other abattoirs in the emirate provided the required manpower ready for action.
“The civic inspectors will also carry out inspection procedures at the slaughterhouses before Eid to ensure hygienic requirements, and completion of maintenance works of all devices and equipment,” he said.
“Preparations have been completed deploying more administrators, supervisors, veterinary doctors and workers at all the existing abattoirs to accommodate maximum number of animals of all kinds, with separate slots for small, medium-sized and large animals,” said a DM spokesperson.
“The customers can receive the best possible conduct of work done with sanitised knives, cleaning materials and disinfectants at all branches of the abattoirs in Al Qusais, Bur Dubai and Hatta. The other abattoirs will be ready for the slaughter of any quantity of animals of all kinds in record time without delay,” he elaborated.
“The slaughtering services will start from 7.30am until 5pm throughout the four days of Eid. The abattoir tariff depends on the type and size of the animals. However, it levies a nominal fee for slaughtering the sacrificial animals of individuals,” said the DM official.
“The rates to slaughter medium-sized animals will be Dhs40. It’s Dhs15 for goats, Dhs30 for calves, Dhs45 for a big cow, and Dhs60 for a small camel. But Dhs65 will be charged from individuals for charity organisations,” he added.
The civic body also urged the public to avoid slaughtering outside abattoirs, and to not rely on wanderers or street butchers to safeguard public health safety.
(Pix for illustrative purpose only)

Dubai warns against unlicensed pest control operators

10 Nov 2010, The Gulf Today

THE civic body in Dubai warned members of the public on Tuesday against falling prey to bogus advertising by unlicensed pest control establishments.
This is in view of numerous complaints about the rampant increase in publicity material distributed by such pest control companies who are not ratified by the Dubai Municipality (DM).
A senior civic official has cautioned that while such illegal pest management companies offer solutions to get houses rid off insects, rodents, termites and other pests, they actually expose residents to high risk by using highly toxic pesticides or ones that are not licensed locally.
Hisham Abdul Rahman Al Yahya, head of public health in the Pest Control Section of the DM’s Public Health Services Department, alerted that such advertisements are deceptive.
“Such companies sticking their ads on the doors of flats and in corridors of residential buildings or inserting leaflets through the gaps of doors are a nuisance to those living in residential complexes,” he added.
Al Yahya called upon the public to verify whether such companies are licensed with the Municipality to operate in the Emirate.
“Information on licensed establishments is available on, the web portal of the DM’s public health services department. Residents can also ring up toll-free on 800-900 or to the public health pest control section on 04-3474448,” he elaborated.
“The DM will send a list of licensed companies or will provide the caller with the information required on any company whose services the caller wishes to avail of,” he said.
“The DM’s public health pest control section issues a special card to the workers of licensed pest management firms to enable them to practise the profession legally,” Al Yahya pointed out.
He advised the public to demand the pest control firm’s representatives to produce the Municipality card before allowing them entry into their homes to render the service, “failing which, residents can complain to the department, and stringent action will be taken against the violators.”
He also urged the public to report cases of suspicious advertisements by pest control teams. “Also, the pest management companies should ensure the health safety of their staff members,” he added.

19.6 % of UAE residents suffer from diabetes

9 Nov 2010, The Gulf Today

IN wake of statistics that reveal that about 19.6 per cent of the UAE residents suffer from diabetes, the health ministry has prepared a comprehensive action plan to combat the disease and to build up a health conscious diabetes-free generation.
The strategy plan to fight diabetes will provide complete medical care for the patients, especially to protect residents in their tender ages. Cases of type II diabetes among residents has reportedly shot up alarmingly in recent years, indicated a senior health official.
Dr Mahmood Fikri, executive director for Health Policies at the MoH, said that the action plan will ensure latest medicines and development of specialised medical centres to cater to the needs of the diabetics in the country.
“The ministry also will establish a specialised centre for scientific, genetic and epidemiological researches in the field of diabetes,” he added.
Chairman of the National Diabetes Committee quoted the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) statistics, which said that the UAE ranks as the first Gulf country and second country in the world in terms of prevalence of diabetes.
“The rate of diabetes among the residents is increasing and currently it has been estimated at 19.6 per cent,” he revealed.
The national diabetes prevention committee at the Ministry of Health (MoH) on Monday introduced prevention methods and treatment for diabetes for students across the country in tandem with the Ministry of Education (MoE).
Around 150 teaching and nursing staff from the educational and medical districts all over the UAE participated in a workshop organised by the MoH at Dubai Women College to equip them with strategies to protect school students from diabetes. The session focused on health education and scientific basis for nutrition for diabetic students and the prescription of physical activity for patients with diabetes.
Dr Fikri elaborated, “The preventive programmes to be applied at schools are expected to be witnessing positive results among the student community to change their food habits and practices and protect them from obesity, which increases the dangers of type 2 diabetes and future cardiac disorders.”
“The action plan includes legislations and programmes to fight diabetes with healthy meals and physical education to protect them from chronic diseases due to diabetes,” he pointed out.
“The most common form of diabetes in the region is Type II diabetes, so school nurses, teachers, students and parents are advised to adopt the methods of diet and exercise to tackle the disease,” said Dr Fikri.

11 vet drugs rejected by MoH; 48 approved

8 Nov 2010, The Gulf Today 

At least 11 veterinary medicines were rejected registration at the Ministry of Health (MoH) due to non-adherence to regulations, according to a senior official.
Dr Amin Al Amiri, Executive Director for Medical Practices and Licenses at the MoH, said, “Out of the 59 new veterinary products, 48 were approved, six medicines were rejected and registration of five medicines had been postponed to get approval from international organisations.”
“Registration of five other veterinary products has also been postponed,” he added.
“The special committee for veterinarian medicines, and technical sub committees, evaluated the medicines and their compliance to the conditions of the health ministry,” noted chairman of the veterinarian medicines committee.
“About thirteen industrial locations were approved and seven were not given approval, in the analysis for the registration of manufacturing points,” elaborated Dr Amiri.
“A team of inspections from the ministry will visit locations of 10 industrial units to study their compliance with global manufacturing conditions and regulations,” he said.
“The registration procedures depends on certain standards and guidelines when approving veterinarian products based on studies that are submitted and approved by global health authorities,” he pointed out.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Blue November to beat diabetes

3 Nov 2010, The Gulf Today

THE federal health body of the UAE is on a warpath against the alarming prevalence of diabetes among the residents of the country.
As researches and studies indicated that cases of diabetes are enormously increasing in the emirates, the Ministry of Health (MoH) has planned to orchestrate a line-up of in-depth community education programmes and active global debates on the menace of diabetes.
The health ministry is currently staging a month-long nationwide anti-diabetes drive, coinciding with the World Diabetes Day, which falls on Nov.14.
All strategic locations in the UAE will be illuminated in blue colour from Nov.11-18, as per international guidelines to spread rays of knowledge about the dangers of diabetes, according to a senior health official.
Dr Mahmood Fikri, executive director for health policies at the MoH, said that the country’s first international conference on the complications of diabetes will be conducted on Thursday at Rashid Centre for Diabetes Research (RCDR) in Ajman. 
“The global medical symposium will discuss the issue of gastric emptying that mainly contributes to the stressful complications of diabetes in the region, especially in the UAE,” he added.
“Recent studies have revealed that delay in eating sufficient quantity of food often reduces the chances of curing the complications due to diabetes, but also adds to the suffering of the patients.”
“The conference will review the correlation between diabetes and empty stomach for the Gulf’s diabetics, as well as the latest medical solutions to improve their health status,” pointed out chairman of the national diabetes committee.
“Meanwhile,” he said, “the month-long drive to fight diabetes will raise potential awareness among the community members about the fatal consequences of the chronic lifestyle disease that mainly pop up as a result of incorrect health behaviours and habits.”
“Numerous activities are taking place to implement the MoH’s strategies to battle against the disease during the last quarter of the year. The diabetics will be educated on special care to prevent damages to their feet and eyes,” he pointed out.
“All the activities are focused on teaching the general public to adopt new healthy lifestyles and the importance of having healthy meals and engaging in regular physical exercises to avoid risks of diabetes,” Dr Fikri elaborated.
He urged the public to conduct regular tests to measure their blood sugar percentage and receive early treatment to avoid disastrous complications. 
According to him, several free tests will be conducted for school students during the month. Teachers and nurses of public schools will be given training on Nov.8 at Dubai Women’s Union hall on the methods to save children from diabetes.
“An anti-diabetes march will be staged on Nov.11 by the MoH, in association with Ajman University and Gulf Medical University, beginning from the RCDR in Ajman and moving towards Ajman City Centre. Different health establishments will showcase their anti-diabetes programmes at a large health tent set up by the MoH,” he informed.
“The ministry will also supervise free blood sugar tests for the public provided to the visitors of shopping malls and health centres in Dubai. The diabetes early detection and awareness campaigns will continue in Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain, and Al Fujairah shopping malls,” Dr Fikri added.
“Meanwhile, the global awareness initiative ‘Changing Diabetes Bus’ will arrive in the UAE on Nov.6 and will carry out about 7,500 early diabetes screening tests as it tours across Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The bus will be touring in the emirates until Jan.4”
“A series of medical conferences has also been designed to disseminate results of anti-diabetes strategies to help doctors, nurses and technicians learn the new trends in curing the disease,” he noted. 
“The international conference at the RCDR in Ajman, in tandem with Lund University in Sweden, aims at providing the best treatment methods for diabetes patients and transferring knowledge quality for government and private sectors to improve the health services in the UAE,” he added.
According to him, the conference will also discuss nutrition interference and its impact on gastric emptying, and role of radiology in examining gastric movement as a main tool in nutrition. 
“The MoH has also approved five credit hours for continuous medical education (CME) for the doctors and other medical professionals participating in the RCDR diabetes conference,” said Dr Fikri.
(Pic for illustrative purpose)  

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

GHT eyes 12 diagnostic centres worth Dhs150 m

The Gulf Today, 2 Nov 2010

DUBAI: Global Hawk Telemedicine (GHT), the healthcare arm of the UAE-based multinational conglomerate Mulk Holdings, has announced unveiling of 12 multi-speciality diagnostic and tele-imaging centres to be built at an estimated investment of Dhs150 million, across the GCC and other parts of the world.
The advanced tele-radiology and imaging services provider Global Hawk Telemedicine (GHT) awarded multiple contracts to global medical technology solutions providers Neusoft and Philips, according to the group’s officials.
Dr Nawab Shafi Ul Mulk, director of the GHT, “The project for the dozen super speciality centres, named as Global Hawk Imaging and Diagnostic Centres (GHIDC), is one of the largest expansion plans ever seen in the region’s healthcare scenario.”
“Out of the 12 state-of-the-art tele-imaging centres, each worth Dhs10 million, eight centres will be opened in the next two years in the UAE, the KSA, Oman and Qatar. One centre will be set up in Malaysia and the other two are planned to establish in IndiaÕs Bangalore and Jaipur,” he added.
According to him, the first imaging and diagnostic centre among the series is under construction and will be operational in Jumairah in January 2011. The group expects revenue worth Dhs400 million by 2012 from the Gulf and Indian markets.
“All the GHIDCs will be evolved on a concept of one-stop radiology service point with facilitated with the expertise of Western board radiologists and the GHT’s tele-radiology subspeciality consultations,” indicated Dr Mulk.
“The GHIDC in Dubai will be headed by Dr Torr Matson, renowned radiation consultant and author of numerous radiology and MRI books and consultant of Abu Dhabi royal family. Dr Mulk and Dr Yasmeen Ul Mulk, female Imaging expert and managing partner of the GHT will form the core team of radiology professionals,” he revealed.
“The world’s giant medical products supplier Neusoft and Philips will associate with the GHT for supply, installation and maintenance of a sophisticated range of radiology and imaging systems at the centres across the globe,” he said.
“The systems include the latest device CT-PET, MRI, Mammography, Bond-Densito Metre, 4D Ultrasound and X-Ray imaging machines. The CT-PET system, branded after the GHT, will be the first one introduced by a diagnostic centre in the UAE,” he elaborated.
Shaji Ul Mulk, Chairman of Mulk Holdings, said, “The group plans to target the ever-growing global demand for economical and quality medical products with initial focus on the Middle East and Indian markets and expand later into the stronghold of Mulk Holding’s worldwide territories.”
“Our purpose is to emerge as a major healthcare player in the region by 2015. All the healthcare programmes are patroned by Dr Sheikh Majid Saeed Rashid Al Noaimi, Director General of Ajman Ruler Office, and Business Partner of Global Hawk Imaging and Diagnostics and Mulk Holdings,” he added.
“The latest mammography unit at the GHIDCs will be facilitating early detection and treatment for the alarming cases of breast cancer in the UAE,” said Dr Yasmeen.
“Global standard services for various undetected female malignancy cases will be available at the centres,” she added.
After the contract signing ceremony, the Middle East Regional Sales Director of Neusoft Mohamed ElGabry said, “All the imaging systems of international specifications are certified by the US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) and the CE-European agencies.”
“The Mulk-branded products are being manufactured using the latest American healthcare software and technology,” said Aili Diao, Neusoft’s Middle East General Manager.
V Kalyana Sundaram, Regional Sales Manager of Atlas Philips, said, “There is a vibrant global requirement for quality radiology imaging products at reasonable investment, and the demand is expected to increase at 240 per cent by 2015.”
Jacob Tharakan, CEO of Atlas Healthcare, said, “The GHIDCs will also showcase the GHT’s world-class radiology imaging devices, manufactured by Neusoft and Atlas Philips. The concept will help all the associates to penetrate the regional market rapidly.”
“A range of new Mulk-branded home care products also will be launched by the end of this year, introducing international specialty healthcare in the doorsteps of every home in UAE and India,” announced Dr Mulk.
“The first prototypes will be released in Arab Health 2011, as the products range is aimed at facilitating the patients with direct link to hospital and clinics, insurance providers and foreign consultations at the convenience of their residences,” he elaborated.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Dubai removes 7,205 ton waste in four days

The Gulf Today, 1 Nov 2010

A massive volume of litter estimated at 7,205 tonnes was removed in four days from different parts of Dubai, revealed the civic body.

A total of 61 abandoned vehicles were removed from different parts of the city during the UAE’s largest clean-up operation “Clean up the World 2010,” carried out by Dubai Municipality (DM) across the Emirate between Oct.26 and 29.
A total of 73 pieces of bulk garbage such as furniture, air-conditioners and refrigerators were also collected, according to a senior DM official.
Hassan Makki, Director of Waste Management Department at the DM, said that bachelor accommodation locations in Al Quoz, Nadd Al Hamr, Al Khawaneej, Al Aweer area behind Defence camp and Al Qusais labour camp were mainly targeted in the drive.
“Huge amounts of waste were removed from industrial areas, Jebel Ali Port Free Zone area, Jaddaf Fishermen’s Village, Jumeirah-1 Fishermen’s Village, Ras Al Khor Natural Sanctuary and Heritage Village,” he added.
“Among the city’s leisure destinations, Jumeirah and Umm Suqeim open beaches, Hatta Tourist areas, Diving Beach and Creek, Nadd Al Shiba and desert area in Wadi Al Amradi were sanitised,” pointed out Makki.
According to him, as many as 30,170 volunteers from several government and non-government organisations, community groups, schools and private firms joined hands to clean up the city’s streets.
“Indian and Filipino communities in Dubai sent in the largest number of volunteers in cleaning Jaddaf and other areas. Other communities also made their contributions,” he said.
“About 33 companies had lent machinery for towing away vehicles abandoned by owners in different parts of the city,” he added.
The 4-day clean-up campaign was launched on Oct.26 at Jumeirah Beach Residence by Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director General of the DM.
“23,792 volunteers from 402 private companies, NGOs, community groups, associations, clubs, and hotels, and 17 government departments cleaned up beaches, streets, open areas and several key sites,” noted Makki.
“In addition, 6,378 students from 45 government schools and colleges and 37 private schools and universities participated in the campaign,” he added.