plant growing
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Why is it important to protect our environment?

A clean environment is essential for healthy living (“Increased interest on environmental issues noted among UAE residents”, Gulf News, June 2). Human activity is causing environmental degradation, which is the deterioration of the environment through depletion of resources such as air, water and soil. Some of the adverse effects due to human activities are global warming, pollution, climate change, wildfires, rise in temperature and more. This increases the risk of cancer, asthma, heart diseases and many other ailments in human beings.

Today, environmental awareness is very important. In today’s generation children are more interested to stay indoors and play video games or spend time on social media. I believe that it is our individual and collective responsibility to protect and to preserve our environment.

Environmental awareness is to understand the fragility of our environment and the importance of its protection. Promoting environmental awareness is an easy way to help create a brighter future for our coming generations. So, on World Environment Day, celebrated on June 5, let’s join hands in order to protect and to preserve our Earth.

From Mr Jerin Sam Jojy

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Should you get tested for vitamin D?

I was born in Dubai and grew up there, prior to moving to Canada (“COVID-19: Doctors urge residents to have their Vitamin D levels checked”, Gulf News, May 28). I am a medical doctor and faculty member at two universities.

Countries with colder climates such as Canada are familiar with the need for vitamin D due to limited sun exposure, long before COVID-19 made us stay indoors. While I agree with the recommendation of having sufficient levels of vitamin D, there needs to be a distinction between maintaining vitamin D levels and getting checked or tested for it.

The article notes the Dubai Health Authority’s study in 2017, which estimated a 90 per cent of UAE's population having a vitamin D deficiency. Thus, if that is already known and studied then there may be no need to increase testing or recommend broad testing for everyone. The focus should shift on testing only for those with specific conditions such as bone disease, kidney disease and other ailments.

In Canada, we are increasingly focusing on “choosing wisely”, which is ensuring that those tests that are needed and would be beneficial to a patient's management, are conducted, and those tests that may not be beneficial or will not change their management, may not have to be done. The latter can put unnecessary strain on our health system, resources and costs.

Having a test result would likely not change a doctor's recommendation of managing vitamin D.

Excess testing could also sometimes lead to extra treatment with high doses of vitamin D that could also be harmful. Studies have shown high doses of vitamin D can cause damage to the kidneys and other organs

Everyone should aim to get the daily-recommended amounts of vitamin D. Those that have certain medical conditions such as bone diseases and conditions that can impact their ability to get or utilise vitamin D should only consider vitamin D testing.

From Mr Farhan M. Asrar


Fresh groceries
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E-commerce supermarkets in India

During the lockdown in India, the traditional distribution channels of companies through distributors, wholesalers, retailers and consumers, have broken down completely. Due to the lockdown and the closure of traditional markets, these traders are unable to open their outlets.

In countries where supermarkets are popular, like in the US, Europe, Latin America and Middle East, consumers buy their requirements of essential products from these self-service stores.

Two interesting developments have taken place during this phase. First, many companies have started distribution units and vans to deliver their products directly to the homes of consumers. Consumers can book orders for their essential products directly online and the company vans deliver the products to their homes.

Second, some of the supermarkets have diversified into home delivery of essential products. They are thus becoming e-commerce outlets with online booking portals. They accept orders online and then deliver the goods directly.

After the lockdowns are lifted, I think the former distribution channels, mainly the wholesalers and retailers, will bounce back to life. However, companies who have pioneered in distributing their products directly to the consumers and the supermarkets, which have diversified into online bookings, should continue building on these new initiatives.

From Mr Rajendra Aneja

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