News headlines

Excerpts from UAE Dailies

Medicine’s link to heart attacks being probed

ABU DHABI — JAN. 29: The Executive Board of the Health Ministers’ Council for the GCC states are probing into the link between consumption of an anti-inflammatory drug and reported cases of heart attacks and sudden deaths.

Diclofenac, the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication, is registered in the UAE since 1990 as a  medicine that could be obtained without medical prescription.

The drug which is used to reduce pain in conditions such as arthritis or acute injury is available in the local market in the form of ampoules as well as tablets.

“We will investigate the connection between using Diclofenac injection and cases of heart attacks and sudden deaths reported in some countries of the region,” Ahmed Al Khateeb, Director of Group Purchasing at the Council told Khaleej Times yesterday.

Khateeb was taking part in the preliminary meeting of the GCC Committee on pharmaceutical product tenders for 2007 held in Abu Dhabi yesterday.

He said the issue was under investigation and added that no definite relation has so far been found between the use of drug and the reported cases of mortality.

According to medical experts, people who take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (other than aspirin) such as diclofenac may have a higher risk of having a heart attack or a stroke than people who do not take these medications.

About the value of tenders for purchasing of drugs in 2006, Khateeb said the amount was more than $400 million.

“Foreign companies that took part in the tenders represented 70 per cent while Arab and Gulf establishments contributed 30 per cent”, Khateeb said.

Nassir Al Bidoor, Assistant Under-Secretary for External Relations and International Health at the UAE Ministry of Health, unveiled a plan to unify prices of drugs purchased collectively in the GCC states. He said a bar code will be introduced for medicines purchased under the GCC group purchasing system with the aim of unifying prices of these pharmaceutical products.


Restaurant fire creates panic

DUBAI — Jan. 29:Heavy smoke that billowed out from the kitchen of a restaurant on Shaikh Zayed road spread panic among the staff and customers yesterday.

The civil defence fire fighters and the police rushed to the site within a few minutes and  evacuated the restaurant.

Rob Musa, one of the diners at the restaurant, said he saw heavy smoke billowing out from the kitchen while he was eating with his friends.

When we enquired with the kitchen staff, they said there was nothing to worry, he said adding that diners left the restaurant following heavy smoke.   

Waleed Al Haj, owner of Zaatar Wa Ziet, said the restaurant has an alarm system and automatic water sprinklers installed in all 18 branches.

“We alerted the civil defence authorities as soon as the smoke was noticed and fire alarms were activated.” he added.

“There were no causalities and still we don’t have any idea about the estimated losses,” he said.


Traffic safety drive hailed

ABU DHABI — Jan. 29:Brigadier Hassan Ahmed Al Husni, Director of Information and Public Relationships at the Abu Dhabi Police G.H. and Secretary-General of the Emirates Traffic Safety has hailed the National Traffic Safety Campaign (NTSC) sponsored by Her Highness Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak, President of the Family Development Foundation and Chairperson NTSC.

The campaign dubbed ‘Our Safety, Our Responsibility’, set to be launched on February 25, reflects Shaikha Fatima’s keenness on enhancing family safety and developing its economic, social, and cultural level, Al Husni added.

The campaign, Al Husni went on to say, comes in line with the instructions of Lt-Gen Shaikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Interior, who always pays much interest in the work of civil foundations, institutions and societies for enhancing security and safety.

The minister, Al Husni maintained, has always kept in touch with the procedures of the campaign and called upon achieving its objectives.

The campaign does reflect the ministry’s role in activating community security bodies and supporting cooperation between the Ministry of Interior and community institutions, which basically aims at protecting people’s lives and properties. The campaign also plans to enhance teenagers’ traffic safety awareness to help protect them against road dangers.

Meanwhile, a workshop on ‘Family Role in Enhancing Traffic Safety Culture’ is being organised in cooperation with the Arab Organisation for Traffic Safety and the Arab Woman Organisation.

The workshop will provide training to those interested in health and safety and to be experts in traffic safety in the whole region, Al Husni disclosed.

As many as 50 women are expected to participate in the workshop.

They are nominated from among members of the Arab Woman Organisation, the Arab Organisation for Traffic Safety, the UAE Woman Federation and the UAE Traffic Safety Society.

The French Institute for Traffic Safety Researches and Studies will issue training certificates to participants, Al Husni pointed out.

The workshop will mainly focus on communication technologies, family awareness, family role in enhancing traffic safety, sociological, psychological, and economic consequences of traffic accidents, training, measurement and evaluation techniques, strategies of traffic education and culture, practical applications and case studies.

A number of experts, specialists, and researchers will run the workshop, Al Husni concluded.


Suicide bid by 14-yr-old foiled

DUBAI — Jan. 29: A 14-year-old boy, identified only as B.J, who tried to commit suicide by jumping from the fourth floor of a building located in Al Nahda yesterday morning, was rescued by the personnel of the Hard Task and Rescue Department of General Department of Operations of Dubai Police.

Lieutenant Abdulla Al Naqbi, duty officer at the department, said that the Operation Room of Dubai Police received information about the suicide bid at around 3am. The rescue  personnel rushed to the site and entered the youth’s flat.

The personnel found that the teenager had bolted the door from inside but one of the officers managed to convince the youth to open the door and come out.

Dubai Police had sought help from the Dubai Civil Defence, which spread out an inflatable cushion to break the fall under the window of the youth’s apartment from where he had intended to jump.



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