Focus on travel medicine as vacationers get set to fly
LANI ROSE R DIZON
DOHA IF you are to travel abroad in six to eight weeks you should be visiting a travel clinic, according to Associate Consultant of Internal Medicine at Al Ahli Hospital Dr Abdolilah Baxarawi. One such clinic is functioning at the hospital since September.
Addressing the media on Monday, Dr Baxarawi said, “Some of the most common travel-related diseases during this season are malaria, hepatitis, and typhoid which are most common in several countries in Asia.
“Travellers to Southeast Asia and the Far East are also most at risk of getting Japanese Encephalitis.
Vaccinations against the disease are available at the clinic.
“Vaccination against typhoid fever is also recommended for people travelling to certain areas of Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
Yellow fever can also be prevented by a vaccine which gives immunity for around 10 years. The vaccination may be necessary for travellers to certain regions in Africa, South America, Central America, and the Caribbean”.
He also said that while no vaccine is currently available for malaria, which is particularly common in Sub-Saharan Africa, drugs are available to help reduce risk of infection.
Rabies, which is usually spreads through the bite of an infected animal, also has a vast majority of cases in Africa, Asia, and South America, and post-exposure vaccinations are effective if administered promptly.
“Prevention is always the best medicine, and can certainly make your travel much more enjoyable. We advise travellers to visit our clinic at least six to eight weeks before flying, to allow enough time in completing required vaccination programme”, he said.
According to Al Ahli Hospital Medical Director Dr Abdul Azim Abdul Wahab Hussain, the hospital’s travel clinic has seen over 500 patients since its opening.
Currently, the clinic provides pre-travel counselling, immunisations (around 20 types of vaccines included), and health advice to those travelling outside Qatar. The clinic also offers post-travel health screening, plus full treatment of illnesses.
The Hospital will host a public lecture on travel medicine on June 25 to educate the residents travelling during their vacation to take proper precautionary measures to prevent being infected by travel- related diseases.
The lecture will start at 7pm at the Al Ahli Hospital Block-B Auditorium and will also feature the services and immunisations offered by the hospital’s travel medicine clinic.
The public lecture is free of charge. Interested individuals are requested to pre-register at 44898797 or email email@example.com.