Rise in C-section births alarming

Updated 25 April 2016

Rise in C-section births alarming

RIYADH: The rate of babies delivered by Caesarean section in Saudi Arabia is growing alarmingly with the nationwide increase reflecting an upward trend in these cases in recent years.
A cross section of medical experts expressed concerns Saturday over the fact that caesarian delivery cases surged by 67 percent in the country last year.
A similar trend was noticed in the first quarter of 2016 with experts saying that the reasons behind the surge are preventable.
“The main reason is that pregnant women have become lazy; they don’t move and they are not aware of the benefits of walking or exercising during pregnancy,” said Dr. Ahmed Marzouq, a gynecology and obstetrics specialist at the Health Ministry.
He said that women opt for caesarean births due to “laziness”; they do not want to go through the natural birth process. Obesity also plays a major role in childbirth and also contributes to the increase in laziness especially among pregnant women.
According to figures released by the Saudi Diabetes and Endocrinology Society, 70 percent of the Kingdom’s local population is classed as obese.
“All these factors are contributing to the significant increase in the C-section delivery rate in tertiary health care centers,” said Tayyaba L. Al-Harbi, a gynecologist at a local private hospital. Al-Harbi said the importance of exercise should be taught to every prospective mother, especially in a country like Saudi Arabia where physical movement of women is somewhat restricted.
This notion has been further substantiated by a study conducted by the Lancet medical journal, which found that Saudi Arabia’s population is the third most slothful in the world with 68.3 percent of adults failing to do any exercise. “Only in Malta and Swaziland are adults even more inactive than in Saudi Arabia,” said the study, while referring to the need to need to generate awareness about exercise and sports both among men and women.
Similar views were expressed by Layla Abdul Razak, another gynecologist, who said there are health hazards associated with C-section deliveries. “The threat that comes with it should be taken into account since it is medically proven and suggested that it is not suitable for mothers to undergo three or four caesareans because of the complications that come with it.”
Lily Chaerian, an Indian nurse, working at a private hospital for 15 years, said: “Every now and then, deaths are reported during C-sections if the cases are complex.” She said private hospitals have been performing more C-sections than the government hospitals. She, however, noted that the surging trend in caesarian cases is noticed in all Gulf countries, where social and family lifestyles are identical.

Discover Bahrain's Indigo Restaurant’s rooftop riches

Enjoy Asian-Mediterranean flavors at Bahrain’s five-star boutique hotel. (Supplied)
Updated 23 August 2019

Discover Bahrain's Indigo Restaurant’s rooftop riches

MANAMA: You wouldn’t expect to find a palatial and tranquil rooftop restaurant smack in the middle of Bahrain’s oldest and busiest commercial center, the Manama Souq. Yet just a few meters from the iconic 70-year old Bab Al Bahrain lies Indigo Restaurant, the in-house eatery of five-star boutique hotel The Merchant House.

From the moment you step into the restaurant foyer, this fine-dining establishment promises respite from the summer heat, traffic snarls and mayhem of the capital city down below. Once seated, take a moment to appreciate the stately décor. With plenty of floral furnishing, flora, and foliage in aureate lighting, it’s like sitting in a greenhouse (without the heat). Add in the rustic wood furniture and striking artwork (by local Bahraini artists) and Indigo Restaurant is an ideal venue for both a casual evening sipping mocktails with friends or a celebratory three-course meal with that special someone.

Large French doors open onto an expansive terrace with mist machines, a trickling pool, backyard lighting, and no-fuss seating. It’s a fairytale setting worthy of staging a production of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

The menu is a fusion of Asian and Mediterranean food, so patrons can expect a lot of fresh, seasonal ingredients paired with piquant Asian flavors. Take, for example, the restaurant’s best-selling appetizer, the Beef Rib Samjang — cherry wood-smoked beef rib served with Korean-style sweet-chili sauce atop crisp, Belgian endive. The appetizer comes with a side of the pipirrana salad — a Spanish classic. A simple goat-cheese salad is elevated with marinated figs, lavash crisps, and a Japanese-style yuzu hazelnut dressing.

To create such distinctive flavors, executive chef Robert Shipman draws on his two decades of experience in southern Europe and, later, with chef Nobu Matsuhisa (of the acclaimed Nobu Restaurant in Dubai and the more recent Nobu Jeddah pop-up). Shipman specializes in Asian cuisine and is renowned for his Greek-Japanese fusion meals in Cyprus. He also brings flavors from the Maldives, Ibiza, and Morocco to Indigo’s menu. Alongside cured and raw meats and sushi, the menu also features a small selection of burgers, including classics like mushroom and Wagyu burgers. The pasta and risotto offerings — tagliatelle Napolitana, risotto funghi, and prawn tagiatelle — are kept strictly Italian.

Shipman says he defers to restaurant patrons for a winning menu. A main that has won the popular vote is the sesame and nigella seed crusted and sautéed hammour. The crunch of the outer crust compliments the soft meat of the fillet and the accompanying bok choy and Moroccan chermoula sauce lend bitter and sweet flavors.

Although the flavor pairings remain more or less the same — meat slow-cooked with balsamic sauce, garlic, and thyme — Shipman’s 18-hour lamb shank stands out from those on other menus in the region. The lamb comes apart effortlessly, giving you a mouthful of meat soaked in balsamic sauces, buttery-soft herb polenta, and dry cherry. It is an ambrosial main.

A summer night calls for a light desert, and the frutti di bosco hits the right spot with assorted forest berries, airy honeycomb crisp, crème de Violette marshmallows, and a dollop of passion cream to offset the tartness of the berries. The Kaffir lime panna cotta with fresh mango sauce, and the yuzu white chocolate cheesecake with walnut halva also come highly recommended, but there is only so much one can devour in an evening. Still, the fresh flavors and the summer garden are enough incentive to come back for more.