News headlines


Nurse’s husband in state of shock

RAS AL KHAIMAH — APRIL 14:The husband of the Indian nurse who committed suicide on Thursday and left behind her two-week-old boy, is in a state of shock. He doesn’t know how to care for the infant.

The 28-year-old Sumitha Jose had hanged herself from the ceiling fan of her flat here even as the infant kept crying in the adjacent room.

The widower, Siraj K. Joseph, according to a family source, is in no position to get the infant — who needs immediate medical care — treated in a hospital due to his dire financial conditions. Some of his relatives have suggested him to send the infant to India.

Earlier, police sources had confirmed that the woman had committed suicide. A family source told Khaleej Times that the woman had been under intense post-delivery depression. She had become very nervous after delivery and was in a bad physical condition for the last few days.

One of her colleagues said she was a good and hard-working nurse. The 28-year-old was working at Saif Hospital for over two years and had been on maternity leave.

At the time of the incident, her husband was in the hotel where he works. He had been calling his wife several times but when she didn’t respond, he rushed to the house, only to find her hanging from the ceiling fan.


Women recount harrowing experience at Kish Island

Just 30 minutes from Dubai, and at a minimum Dh500 for a return ticket, Kish Island has remained one of the most sought after destinations for those in the UAE, mainly workers, going for a visa change.

But as the cliche goes, ‘you get what you pay for’, the story is no different here. From nerve-racking charter plane rides to poorly maintained accommodations or the ill-mannered hotel staff, the list of complaints that Kish visitors, mostly from Dubai, bring with them, could be endless.

It may be recalled that Khaleej Times had reported last week of the case of Thai national Umaporn Kuasom, who had gone to Kish Island on April 4 for a visa change and returned to Dubai the following day ‘traumatised’ by her experience in Espadana Hotel. She alleged someone tried to forcibly enter the room she was sharing in with five other woman guests.

Kuasom had also alleged that the front-desk personnel had harassed her by holding back her passport and grabbing her wrist as she was about to take the staff’s photograph using her mobile phone.

Upon returning to Dubai, she complained to the concerned travel agency, Al Jazeera and Qeshm Travels, about the treatment meted out to her by the hotel staff at Kish, but the agency is yet to come out with a clear-cut reply. A representative of Qeshm Travels only said the ‘issue is still under investigation.’

Malou Garcia, a 25-year-old Filipina who was on the island for nearly a week while waiting for her UAE employment visa to be processed, said she had gone through a somewhat similar experience in Farabi Hotel at Kish Island, where she stayed from April 5 to 10. “There were 10 women in our room with only one bathroom. Although the room was cleaned every day, the housekeeper did not change the bedsheets and pillow cases,” she began.

Two of her roommates, she narrated, had been transferred from the villa section of Farabi Hotel after some people tried to forcibly enter their room. “Although the hotel building had a security guard at the entrance, the hotel management did not assign a security patrol to roam the villa section, especially at night,” Garcia said, adding: “The villa section, which was behind the hotel building, was poorly lit too.”

When asked if she would still consider Kish Island if she needed to go for another visa change, she replied in the negative. “I shall choose any other destination because I feel Kish Island is not secure enough,” she pointed out.

A travel agency executive who spoke to Khaleej Times said Kish Island continued to attract visa change tourists despite the poor hotel and airline services mainly because of the financial aspect.

“Among the three visa-change destinations, Kish has been the most popular because it is more developed. Qeshm in Iran and Khasab in Oman are still remote areas. While we encourage people to go to Muscat, Salalah, Manama or Doha, the demand for Kish remains the highest because it is cheaper than other destinations within the Gulf,” he said.

On a daily basis, a travel agency can receive as much as 30 visa change applications for Kish, mainly from people from countries like India, Pakistan, and the Philippines.

Nasir Butt, Counter Supervisor at Gulf Sun Tourism, a Dubai-based travel agency that processes visa change arrangements, said they had no direct coordination with hotel operators in Kish but relied mostly on information given to them by Kish holiday package promoters like Qeshm Travels.

“After a recent complaint from a client who was ill treated in Kish, our management has decided to stop accepting bookings for Kish until the services in the hotel are improved,” he said.

Flight services between Dubai and Kish Island has been very good with airlines like Kish Air, Aria Airlines and Qeshm Air operating more than one flight daily. Iran Air will soon operate two weekly flights on the Dubai-Kish route soon, industry sources said.


Cheaper junk food is aiding faulty lifestyle, says expert

‘Junk food is cheaper than fruits,’ say health experts, citing poor eating habits and modern lifestyle as the major cause for the increasing number of heart disease among UAE residents, including children.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, Dr Suresh Nair Krishnan, Specialist Registrar at the Cardiology and Cardiothoracic Centre at Dubai Hospital, said, “While the health sector continues pushing for adaptation of healthy eating habits, there is no support coming  from the economic decision-makers. ”

He said that adolescent obesity can be a cause for disease in later stages of life. “Obesity can cause disease such as diabetes, which can eventually damage the heart,” he said, adding that it was also a leading cause of increase in heart disease in the UAE.

The expert also called for a strategic approach that includes aggressive primary and secondary prophylaxis, damage control during a cardiac event, adequate management of the symptoms of pending decomposition, effective treatment of the hospitalised patient and a programme for palliative and terminal care. “Optimal management represents an academic challenge and requires considerable expertise and well structured multi-disciplinary teamwork,” he said, adding that the challenge was to translate over sophisticated knowledge into an efficient care delivery system. 

“Proper exercise can cut down the need for medicines by cutting down blood cholesterol and stress levels,” explained the doctor.

He also said that though heart diseases were caused due mainly due to genetic factors, lifestyle, smoking, diabetes, hypertension, increased body weight and mass, high cholesterol and, especially lack of exercise were major contributing factors in the increase.

Dr Krishnan stressed the need for a cardiac rehabilitation programme in the UAE. “We need to have a multi-disciplinary style of management of the matters of the heart,” he said.

Dr Quraitulain, Specialist Registrar at the Cardiology and Cardiothoracic Centre at Dubai Hospital, said that an awareness programme was held two years ago to push schools and parents to adopt a healthy lifestyle. “But this needs to be a continuous process,” she adds.




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