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Editorial Team

Editorial Note

Editor: Dr. Biji Thomas George Associate Editor: Dr. Yousef Abdel Mohsin El Qabbany Issue Manager: Shyju Joseph Magazine Coordinator: Anu Joseph Design & Layout Dantis Mathew

Stress is a part of life, and always has been. Sometimes we feel that the modern generation has more stress to deal with than our forefathers, with our deadlines, targets to be achieved, consumerism and social competition. The tendency of bigger people to bully the smaller ones happens every day - at school, work and in the streets. This adds to the stress and leads to psychological and, sometimes, even physical health issues. Dr Nishat Shams has given us an outlook on bullying as a behavior and how to cope with it. One of the joys of life is our children. When they are happy and healthy, of course. When they are born deformed or with abnormalities they can add to our stress and frustration. There are things we can do to increase the chances of having a healthy, happy baby. Our new Senior Consultant in the department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Dr. Bernd K. Wittmann, advises couples planning to have a baby on the do’s and don’ts, even before pregnancy. The recent rains and changes in climate also herald a new wave of respiratory and water borne illnesses. The first and foremost precaution we can take is proper hygiene, especially washing our

Issue: 04

hands properly. We carry a small how-to on proper hand-washing procedure.

P.O. Box 198,PC 101, As Seeb Sultanate of Oman Tel: +968 24557200, Email:


Don’t miss out on our interesting quiz this time, not to mention the new events in Starcare Hospital for this month. Keep caring..

Dr. Biji George Editor


BULLYING Dr. Nishat Shams MBBS, MS, PhD Psychotherapist

The use of bibliotherapy has gained increasing support over the past few years as an effective intervention to help children cope with stressful life events. Bullying is a behavior commonly experienced by children and

In bibliotherapy, the children read different books about

adolescents, which may start as early as preschool, increases

famous personalities and identify themselves with fictional

throughout elementary school, and peaks in middle school.

characters and learn their coping skills to face aggression.

Bullying is defined as a specific type of aggression in which

Bibliotherapy can assist children in building confidence and

behavior towards others is intended to harm or disturb,

self-esteem. It attempts to normalize a child's world by

occurs repeatedly over time, and involves an imbalance of

offering coping skills and reducing their feelings of isolation,


reinforcing creativity, and problem solving. It also gives

The other kind of bullying, that is getting a lot of attention in

parents an opportunity to discuss the issues with the children.

modern times, is Cyber bullying. It must now be considered as

In conclusion, remember these points when dealing with bullying:

part of the spectrum of bullying behavior. Children who are bullied exhibit increased health problems, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and, in extreme cases, suicidal tendencies compared to non-victimized peers.

1. Teaching children ways to avoid being bullied is likely to be more effective than attempting to teach them to cope with or to reduce bullying behavior from their peers.

adjustment skills and have decreased academic performance.

2. Teaching problem-solving skills and positive interaction skills is more helpful than methods that make rules and give punishment to discourage bullying.

Some children try to cope by taking revenge or by ignoring

3. Bullying can also be an adult problem.

Additionally, bullied children tend to have poorer social

the bullying person, but this strategy is ineffective and results in increased victimization. Children who respond to bullying by seeking advice from others experience fewer internalizing problems and decreased victimization.

SO YOU PLAN TO GET PREGNANT Pregnancy planning- as important as planning to purchase a car !

DR. BERND K. WITTMANN Sr. Consultant MD, FRCSC and continued for the first 3 months of pregnancy. There is A recently married couple is planning to purchase their first

increasing evidence that this will not only decrease the risk of

car, and is spending many hours choosing the brand, the

NTD, but also of other abnormalities. This scenario serves to

model, the color and the extras. They research on-line, visit

illustrate that couples who are thinking about a pregnancy

dealerships, and after several test drives buy their very special

should plan ahead of time. One way to do this is to book a pre

car. However, somewhere in between, a pregnancy is

pregnancy counseling session with their physician in order to

suspected, and, excited about the prospect of a baby, the

be aware of the steps required to prepare for the healthiest

couple arrives at the clinic with a positive home pregnancy

possible pregnancy.

test. The pregnancy is confirmed by a laboratory test, and

At this visit, a thorough history will be taken and, if indicated,

calculation of the dates establishes a 7 week pregnancy. At

an examination will be performed. The family history will

this stage the baby is already 1 cm long, the heart is beating,

reveal the possibility of medical and genetic diseases, and

and all the important structures are forming. Review of the

reproductive problems. A personal history, especially of the

medical and family history of both parents is normal, and

woman, will identify diabetes, hypertension and other

they live a healthy lifestyle. Premarital laboratory tests

medical conditions which are specific risk factors for the

performed for thalassemia and sickle-cell anemia were

mother and baby in the pregnancy and afterwards. If medica-

normal, and both were immune to rubella and hepatitis B.

tions are used for a specific disease, then adjustment or

The mother is of average weight, on a normal diet with low

change to a different drug may be required. Lifestyle, diet,

caffeine intake, and not taking any iron or vitamin supple-

social and environmental risk factors must be evaluated, and,

ments. The pregnancy is progressing well, however at the first

if necessary, modified. For example, being overweight in

ultrasound examination at 3 months, the baby appears to

pregnancy is associated with multiple risk factors, and

have an abnormality.

extreme weight loss just before pregnancy can also have a

This situation has occurred many times over the years, and

negative effect on the pregnancy. Information on all previous

head and spine abnormalities (neural tube defects - NTD)

pregnancies of both prospective parents must be collected. If

have been considered unavoidable. Research over the last 30

in the past there was a complication of the mother or baby, or

years has shown that in many cases the abnormality can be

a surgical delivery, then documentation from the hospital file

prevented through the use of a vitamin, FOLIC ACID. As

and a copy of the operation report should be obtained. This,

many women are on a diet which is deficient in folic acid,

together with all the other information should be reviewed

supplementation for all women of child bearing age has been

with the couple, and a plan of management for the pregnancy

recommended worldwide. However, to be most effective, the

developed. A recurrence of past problems is often prevent-

folic acid supplementation (Canadian recommendations - 5

able, and a successful pregnancy can usually be achieved if we

milligrams/day) must be started 1 month BEFORE the

dedicate at least as much time to the planning of the


pregnancy as we do to the purchase of a car!



Hand-washing: ‘Dos’ and Don'ts Hand-washing is an easy way to prevent infection. Understand when to wash your hands, how to properly use hand sanitizer and how to get your children into the habit. Frequent hand-washing is one of the best ways to avoid getting sick and spreading illness. Hand-washing requires only soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer — a cleanser that doesn't require water. Find out when and how to wash your hands properly. When to wash your hands As you touch people, surfaces and objects throughout the day, you accumulate germs on your hands. In turn, you can infect yourself with these germs by touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Although it is impossible to keep your hands germ-free, washing your hands frequently can help limit the transfer of bacteria, viruses and other microbes. Always wash your hands before • Preparing food or eating • Treating wounds, giving medicine, or caring for a sick or injured person •Inserting or removing contact lenses Always wash your hands after: • Preparing food, especially raw meat or poultry • Using the toilet or changing a diaper • Touching an animal or animal toys, leashes, or waste • Blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing into your hands • Treating wounds or caring for a sick or injured person • Handling garbage, household or garden chemicals, or anything that could be contaminated — such as a cleaning cloth or soiled shoes In addition, wash your hands whenever they look dirty. How to wash your hands ? It is generally best to wash your hands with soap and water. Follow these simple steps: • Wet your hands with running water. • Apply liquid, bar or powder soap. • Lather well. • Rub your hands vigorously for at least 20 seconds. Remember to scrub all surfaces, including the backs of your hands, wrists, between your fingers and under your fingernails. • Rinse well. • Dry your hands with a clean or disposable towel or air dryer. • If possible, use your towel to turn off the faucet.

Keep in mind that antibacterial soap is no more effective at killing germs than is regular soap. Using antibacterial soap may even lead to the development of bacteria that are resistant to the product's antimicrobial agents — making it harder to kill these germs in the future. How to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer ? Alcohol-based hand sanitizers, which don't require water, are an acceptable alternative when soap and water aren't available. If you choose to use a hand sanitizer, make sure the product contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Then follow these simple steps: • Apply enough of the product to the palm of your hand to wet your hands completely. • Rub your hands together, covering all surfaces, until your hands are dry. Antimicrobial wipes or towelettes are another effective option. Again, look for a product that contains a high percentage of alcohol. If your hands are visibly dirty, wash with soap and water. Kids need clean hands, too Help children stay healthy by encouraging them to wash their hands properly and frequently. Wash your hands with your child to show him or her how it's done. To prevent rushing, suggest washing hands for as long as it takes to sing the "Happy Birthday" song twice. You might place hand-washing reminders at your child's eye level, such as a chart by the bathroom sink that can be marked every time your child washes his or her hands. If your child can't reach the sink on his or her own, keep a step stool handy. A simple way to stay healthy Hand-washing doesn't take much time or effort, but it offers great rewards in terms of preventing illness. Adopting this simple habit can play a major role in protecting your health. Article adopted from “By Mayo Clinic staff”

Starcare in

NEWS New GP’s in ER

Dr. Balsam Sahib Ridha

Dr. Aseel A. Altaee, Specialist Obstetrician & Gynecologist delivering a lecture to the ladies on ‘Breast Cancer’ at Shell Oman office at Wattaiya.

Dr. Midhat A.Ali

A token of appreciation from Oman Medical College for the quality sessions attended by their Pharmacy graduate interns at the Starcare Pharmacy.

Starcare Hospital participated in the 1st International Medical Tourism Exhibition & Conference – IMTEC Oman 2013.

Win your Gift QUIZ CORNER

Answer the below questions


There is a light bulb in a room which can be lit by one of the three switches placed outside. It is not lit now because all the switches are off. There is only one chance to visit the room. How can it be determined which of these switches is connected to the light bulb ?


Anne, Olivia and Jenita are daughters of Mr.Jack, Mr.Brown and Mr.Ran. Four of these people are playing badminton doubles. Mr.Ran’s daughter and Mr.Jack are partners. Anne’s father and Mr. Brown’s daughter are also partners. There are no father-daughter combinations. Who is Anne’s father ?


Miss Anne has eleven kids in her class. She has a bowl containing eleven apples. Now Miss Anne wants to divide the eleven apples to the kids, in such a way that an apple should remain in her bowl. How can Miss Anne do it ?

Send in your answers at and the winner will get a GIFT VOUCHER.

*Conditions apply

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Visit:, E-mail: Contact: +968 24557200, GSM: +968 98252030, P.O.Box: 198, PC 101, As Seeb, Sultanate of Oman

Disclaimer This magazine does not attempt to endorse or promote any information presented. Please keep in mind that information about health matters changes constantly as new studies are performed and new treatments are discovered. Consult your physician or other health professional for your health related advice.

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Starcare Hospital Health magazine Issue_04

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Starcare Hospital Health magazine Issue_04