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Excerpts from U.A.E. Dailies

Indian Consulate to offer free distress counselling

Dubai: 08 May :The Indian Consulate is set to start psychological counselling services on designated days.

“We wanted people who are qualified to do so, to come forward. Now some people have.We are still working out modalities but expect that the service will start soon,” Yash Sinha, the Indian Consul-General said.

Emirates Today had earlier reported that the Indian Consulate had called for volunteers from within the community, who are trained in counselling.

The cell will operate in a manner similar to the legal panel in the consulate, which was set up a few years ago with more than 20 lawyers volunteering their time once a week.

“The legal cell is popular. People are aware that there is help available if they need it. The counselling panel can be set up in a similar manner,” said the consul-general.

The Indian Community Welfare Committee (ICWC), the consulate’s welfare arm, said there are several cases in which counselling is sought. “There are marital disputes, family issues, problems related to alcoholism or individual cases that we sometimes come across,” said K Kumar, convenor of the ICWC.

Social workers have expressed concern over the number of suicides by Indian nationals in the past year. According to consular officials, the number of suicides in 2005 in Dubai and the northern emirates rose to 84, compared with 64 in 2003, and 69 in 2004. The number of Indians in the area is said to be near one million.

K Shamsudeen, who runs an organisation for expat workers, said: “We get more than 20 calls of distress per week. Of course, they are not all suicidal but they do need a shoulder to cry on.

“Everyone is so busy… that no one has time for any one else’s problems. With a simple intervention we have seen that the next time the person calls, there is a change in their tone.”


Over 1,000 labourers suffered heatstrokes in past two years

ABU DHABI — 08 May:More than 1,000 sunstrokes and heat exhaustion cases — varying between acute and mild — were reported among labourers in the capital over the past two years, according to medical sources.

Two deaths were attributed to sunstrokes and heat exhaustion during the same period, with the majority of cases reported during the months of July and August.

Medical sources say the seriousness of sunstroke and heat exhaustion cases have declined in the past year following the decision of Labour Minister, Dr Ali bin Abdulla Al Kaabi, to ban companies from forcing labourers to work between 12.30pm to 4.30pm during the months of July and August. Official labour sources said the decision, which aims to protect workers from health hazards posed by working under the harmful rays of the scorching summer afternoon sun, greatly contributed towards reducing the number of cases.

They said cases dropped dramatically to two cases per day in 2005, compared to up to ten per day in 2004. A spokesman for Abu Dhabi's Central Hospital said 218 labourers were admitted to the Emergency Unit in July 2005 to get treatment for sunstroke and heat exhaustion.

Another 150 workers were admitted in August. “The situation was observed to be better in terms of seriousness of sunstrokes and health exhaustion as time schedule for workers was changed and observed by some construction companies," commented the hospital's spokesman.

He added in 2004, more than 600 labourers were admitted to emergency unit to receive treatment after getting health exhaustion and sunstrokes. He said in serious cases, workers were suffering dehydration, high fever and unconsciousness.

"Most of the mentioned cases were treated and discharged on the same day of admission," he noted. A medical expert warned serious complications of sunstrokes and heat exhaustion might cause patients haemorrhage and they might also slip into coma.

"Sunstrokes and heat exhaustion might be fatal if they were acute and caused patients haemorrhage," the spokesman warned.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Labour has adopted measures to ensure labourers, particularly outdoor workers, are well protected against sunstrokes and heat exhaustion. Fines have been doubled for companies violating the directive that mandates a four-hour afternoon respite. Private firms found breaching the Ministerial Decree face suspension.

A Labour Ministry spokesman said the move aims to reduce work-related accidents.

Companies must now submit a formal report to the Ministry every three months detailing all work-related accidents. These reports will help the Ministry to determine the frequent types of accidents and try to eliminate them, added the official.


Drive launched for safety at swimming pools

Abu Dhabi: 08 May: The General Directorate of Civil Defence will launch a campaign for safety at swimming pools by imposing stricter rules and regulations.

According to the Civil Defence, all the swimming pools in the city and its suburbs will be inspected for safety measures and safety gear used.

The campaign is being launched in cooperation with Abu Dhabi Municipality and Agriculture Department, following a tragic accident, in which a six-year-old boy drowned in a swimming pool of Navy Marina Club in Abu Dhabi's Tourist Club Area.

Civil Defence sources said the new measures will include requirement of special permissions for constructing swimming pools, such as in private homes, hotels, schools and clubs.

The measures also include trained life safety attendance and availability of safety gear as well as emergency contacts with the Civil Defence and hospitals.

A source said the campaign will ensure that only licenced swimming pools with all the safety measures and safety gear, including basic first aid equipment will be allowed to operate.

Triple bypass patient ignored family advice

Dubai: 08 May: A 52-year-old construction manager created local history when he went against his family's advice to become the first patient in the UAE to undergo a triple heart bypass that joins chest arteries with a wrist artery.

N.J. Bajwa went to NMC Specialty Hospital in late February, complaining of chest pains for unstable angina.

When doctors suggested he undergo the Total Arterial Revascularisation Triple Bypass Surgery on Beating Heart, which involves rerouting blood flow through rejoined mammary and radial arteries while the heart is beating, he agreed.

Back to normal

Now Bajwa is doing well and almost back to normal, more than two months after undergoing the procedure.

"On the third day after the surgery, I was cycling on the exercise bike in the [hospital] gym. I was discharged on the fifth day," he told Gulf News after the press conference to announce the feat.

"My friends and family are shocked that I can recover so fast after undergoing a heart surgery," he added. He said he was glad he decided to stay for treatment in the UAE, instead of following his family's advice to go for treatment in India. "I would not have recovered so fast otherwise," he said.

Dr Girish Chandra Varma, the chief cardiac surgeon at NMC Specialty Hospital, said the procedure was a cheaper and safer alternative to the conventional open heart surgery, which requires surgeons to stop the heart.

Low risks

"Because we do not stop the heart for the procedure, we lessen the risk to the heart, kidney and the brain. The cost is also lower because we don't need to use the heart and lung machine to keep the blood pumping," he said.

He added that the surgery cuts down recovery time by three to five days.

Dr Varma said the benefits of this procedure was that it provided the best and long-lasting surgical treatment for patients, through its use of radial and mammary arteries.

"Live arteries mean they can get nutrition from inside the arterial wall, and mammary arteries will not get fat deposition," he said, adding that it was not a miracle cure for heart disease.

However, despite the obvious benefits, he said the procedure was not as common or popular as conventional triple bypass because the beating heart surgery was "technically demanding".

Lima-Radial Y reroutes blood flow to heart

Total Arterial Revascularisation Triple Bypass Surgery on Beating Heart (Lima Radial Y) involves joining mammary arteries with a radial artery from the wrist. Mammary arteries, also known as thoracic arteries, run through the chest and torso, carrying blood to the pectoral muscle and breasts.

The surgeon then reroutes blood flow to the heart through this new conduit of mammary and radial arteries. This is all done over a beating heart, which keeps pumping blood to the rest of the body. The conventional method is to stop the heart, depending on a heart-lung machine to provide oxygen to the organs.




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