Study breathes new optimism into Sharjah Baby Friendly Emirate Campaign

Sharjah: A wave of optimism is sweeping the medical fraternity, after stunning revelations that the number of asthmatic babies can be drastically reduced by up to 62 percent through a simple, free and healthy solution of breastfeeding.

Researchers discovered that breastfeeding greatly reduces the risk of asthma among infants aged 2-6 years. In more positive news, it was found that the longer a baby is exclusively breastfed, the greater the protection from asthma. This gives mothers an irresistible motivation to feed their babies exclusively on breast milk, without supplementing it with artificial formula.

While this incredible asthma protection was evident in all infants up to the age of six, it was found to be particularly beneficial for toddlers older than 3 years. On this note experts recommend that for optimal health benefits, mothers should exclusively breastfeed for six months, then introduce complimentary home-made feeding while continuing to breastfeed for two years. This news is an enormous boost to the efforts of the Sharjah Baby Friendly Emirate Campaign, as it is the latest in a long line of health benefits attributed to breastfeeding.

Director of the Executive Committee for the Sharjah Baby Friendly Emirate Campaign, Dr Hessa Khalfan Al Ghazal, expressed great delight at the findings: “Breast milk never ceases to amaze us. Just when we think we have discovered all the health benefits of breastfeeding, researchers discover even more advantages. This should reassure every mother in Sharjah who has been having second thoughts about whether to choose breastfeeding over artificial formula.” Dr Al Ghazal was quick to add that it is never too late to change for mothers who had previously started on artificial milk: “The research emphatically shows that the anti-asthma health benefits increase with each month that the baby is breastfed. Therefore even if the mother had previously started on artificial milk, the months of breastfeeding starting from now can make a massive difference.” The benefits are not restricted to babies, as it will lead to fewer adults growing up with asthma. Sufferers who have experienced the excruciating agony of breathing difficulties will appreciate the benefit of breathing normally, which the rest of society takes for granted.

UAE-Egypt agreement to establish specialised centre for heart surgery at the University of Ain Shams

Abu Dhabi: UAE and Egypt has signed an agreement to establish a specialised centre for heart surgery at the University of Ain Shams.

The centre will be equipped with the latest medical instruments to facilitate free cardiac operations for needy groups made possible by the Zayed Giving Initiative and the Emirates World Humanitarian Hospital.

The agreement comes within the framework of the humanitarian campaign launched under the patronage of HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairperson of General Women’s Union and of the Family Development Foundation, to provide the best therapeutic, surgical and preventive services for children and the elderly in various countries around the world.

The Specialty Center for Heart Surgery at the University of Ain Shams is the second centre being established in Egypt, where the Sheikh Zayed Heart Centre was opened at the Sheikh Zayed Specialised Hospital in July last year in Zayed City

UKAS Accreditation for ADFCA Veterinary Labs

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority’s (ADFCA) veterinary laboratories in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain have gained accreditation from the UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service). This has been given as per the ISO/IEC 17025-2005 and the Integrated Management System (IMS), which has been implemented in ADFCA since February 2011.

Mohamed Jalal Al Reyaysa, Director of Communication and Community Service at ADFCA, said that the UKAS officials who had visited the Animal Wealth sector’s laboratories for verification were all praise in their preliminary report for the implementation of Integrated Management Services and high standards of performance in them.

“Three modes of laboratory analyses were submitted for consideration for accreditation, chemical analysis for toxicity in animal feed and two analyses related to microorganisms: isolating salmonella bacteria from animal tissues and experiments on microbial resistance to antibiotics,” he explained.

“The accreditation of the laboratories was preceded by a phase of intensive upgrading of the laboratories’ capabilities through technological advancements, staff training and documentation of analyses. Accreditation by the UKAS is a significant recognition for our laboratories, whose staff and management have been working hard to bring their operational standards on par with the best in the world. It is indeed a matter of great pride for ADFCA in general and the Animal Wealth sector in particular,” Al Reyaysa concluded.

Dubai Health Authority to screen 70 thousand employees in government departments

Dubai: The Dubai Health Authority aimed to conduct health screenings for employees of all government departments as part of its diabetes campaign, which was launched in 2009, under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Majid Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority.

The campaign aimed at fighting diabetes is taking place in collaboration with Sanofi Gulf and in its fourth year, said a top DHA official.

Dr Mohamed Farghaly, Head of Acute and Chronic care, Primary Health Care Sector at the DHA said the screening will include checking of blood sugar, blood pressure, body mass index, checking of carbon monoxide levels of smokers etc.

He said the authority has already screened employees in six government departments and so far 11,800 employees have been screened and the ongoing campaign aims to screen 70,000 employees.

He said that since the inception of this campaign in 2009, DHA and Sanofi have targeted all 14 primary healthcare centres and have already reached out to a number of sections in society including school children in order to inculcate the importance of healthy lifestyle among the future generations of our society.

Dr Farghaly said that the aim of the campaign is to conduct mass awareness initiatives to ensure early detection especially in cases where people are pre-diabetic because if they follow a healthy diet and exercise pattern they can prolong or even reverse the chances of developing diabetes. For diabetics also this campaign is important to ensure they are educated on how to manage the disease effectively.” He said in addition to the diabetes awareness and screening program the DHA is also focussing on healthy heart awareness programs and has started the Safe@heart program in cooperation with AstraZeneca Gulf.

As part of the program, the campaign will take place across all 14 primary healthcare centres and DHA hospitals this year and patients will be screened to assess the actual age of their heart and those patients who need further tests and treatment will be referred to a DHA PHC.

He explained that the aim of the two programs is early detection of diabetes and heart disease, He said, “Studies have shown that if a person walks for 30 minutes daily and reduces his body weight by 7 to 10 percent, he can reduce the changes of developing diabetes by 58 per cent. So for us, early detection is key against our fight to combat diabetes and heart disease.

Pakistani doctors, Embassy join hands to setup virtual health facility

Abu Dhabi: The Pakistan Embassy has discussed an idea to establish a virtual health facility to better serve the countrymen living in the UAE.

The proposal came as a group of Pakistani doctors practicing in the Emirates were invited by the embassy in Abu Dhabi to discuss ways to help compatriots.

Dr. Adeel Ajwad Butt, Chairperson Department of Medicine at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, who was leading the group exchanged ideas on how to assist the Embassy with its plans to better serve its citizens.

Commenting on the idea to establish virtual clinic, Ambassador Jamil Ahmed Khan said: “This will be a breakthrough initiative as new technologies have enabled us to create such services to better serve our people efficiently and without having to incur huge cost.” The envoy also offered to facilitate partnership between medical practitioners’ associations in the UAE and Pakistan with a view to bring the cutting-edge medical specialization to Pakistan using new communications technologies including video conferencing.

DM clinic offers free medical check-up for labourers

Dubai: As part of Holy Ramadan activities, the Dubai Municipality Clinic and Medical Services Section launched a range of community activities in cooperation with the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing through the 11th Ramadan Forum, which be held from 24 July to 4 August.

The drive is aimed at spreading awareness on the importance of healthy living. The clinic’s participation in the Ramadan Forum at Al Tawar tent includes an integral medical program for medical check up and awareness on epidemic diseases and sugar.

Distribution of 200 sugar-testing device and medical check-up will be conducted with the participation of private sector.

The awareness and medical check-up for diseases of joints and breast cancer will be organized in cooperation with the Supreme Council, Sharjah, Gulfnet, Garhoud Hostpital and Analin.

In addition, six lectures are organized namely ; Medical Miracles in Quran by Dr. Munir Hamad, Medical Benefits of Fasting by Dr. Bassam Masri, Blood Donation by Dr Amin Al Amiri, Lung Diseases by Dr. Bassam Mehboob, a religious lecture by Ahmed Osman, Diabetes in Ramadan by Abdul Razzaq al-Madani.

Dr. Munir Hamad, Senior Doctor at Municipality Clinic said that a blood donation campaign will be organized on 26 July by the Ministry of Health and other campaign by the Health Authority on 4 August, in addition to a campaign to educate young people to quit smoking.

Among the most prominent initiatives launched by the municipality during the holy month is the treatment of fasting people to support labourers from low-income group on 24 July to 4 August, in the Ramadan tent for workers in Muhaisnah area, Dr. Munir said.

The medical program in tent for workers contains awareness classes on epidemic diseases and tests of diabetes and pressure in addition to the distribution of 300 diabetes testing device,’ he added.