Muscat: If you are planning to go abroad, then the Ministry of Health advises you to visit your nearest primary health institute, at least ten days before your departure, for a health check-up which will help you avoid infection on foreign trips.
The Minister of Health, Dr Ahmed Al Saidi, announced the launch of a travel medicine service at health institutions across the Sultanate.
"Travel medicine is concerned with the health of a flyer during and after the journey. Ideally, a person should visit a hospital four weeks before his departure or not less than ten days before he is flying out as some vaccines need at least ten days to start showing their effect," said Dr. Fathiya Al Qassabi, senior consultant and family physician, Head of Primary Healthcare Affairs at Primary Healthcare Support Services Directorate at MoH.
The travel advice will take into account any existing health conditions as well as advising on medicines or vaccines needed for the destination. Travellers are also given
general advice on food intake and precautions to be followed.
"The travel medicine service is available at all healthcare institutions in the Sultanate, whether complexes or health centres and private hospitals," Al Qassabi said, adding,
"For example, malaria drugs are available as are vaccines for many diseases, such as yellow fever, meningitis and flu. In addition, brochures containing general guidelines for health can be picked up”.
"The service has been launched to monitor the health of tourists and prevent infection," Dr. Al Qassabi said. She added, "Efforts are ongoing to provide vaccines for other diseases and we are working hard to ensure the efficiency of the health sector in providing travellers with integrated and necessary advice."
She confirmed: "The most important thing is to raise community awareness about the importance of seeing a doctor long before travelling. It will boost traveller safety and the service is offered to all citizens and residents of the Sultanate."
"For the safety of you and your family, travel medicine has become an important requirement, and every traveller must go to the hospital for check-ups," she stressed.
Dr. Fathiya Al Qassabi said: "Recently, the World Health Organization issued a global call for the need to pay attention to travel medicine, because as people move more freely with the expansion of the air network, the threat of diseases and epidemics also rises . Therefore, if a traveller does not take precautions, he will be exposed to infection and will pass it on to others."