Planning to travel? Dubai issues safety tips; residents urged to get vaccines

Dubai - Pre-travel vaccinations must be taken at least one month prior to journey.

(File photo used for illustrative purpose)
(File photo used for illustrative purpose)

By Web Report

Published: Sun 20 Dec 2020, 3:16 PM

Last updated: Sun 20 Dec 2020, 3:21 PM

The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) is urging those planning to travel to take the necessary pre-travel vaccinations at least one month prior to their journey.

The pre-travel health services are available across all DHA Primary Healthcare Centres. Services include pre-travel counseling, risk assessment, vaccinations and medications.

Dr Alia Mohammad Al Dallal, consultant family physician and acting director of specialised programme services department at the DHA’s Primary Health Care Sector, said: “In terms of the Covid-19 vaccine, people who intend to travel should first seek their healthcare provider’s advice so that they can assess their medical condition, allergies if any, and pre-existing health conditions.”

There are some other mandatory vaccines residents need to take if travelling to certain countries.

“There are mandatory vaccines such as yellow fever vaccine for African and South American countries. Yellow fever presents the greatest health risk for visitors to South America and Central Africa.

“When patients visit us, we discuss the places they intend to travel, length of stay, their health, current prescriptions and vaccine history. After a detailed consultation, we recommend vaccines and educate them about other travel precautions based on their destination.”

Since vaccination requirements vary by country and some require second doses, it is important to visit a travel clinic at least one month prior to travel. “Often, travellers need more than one vaccine, so planning is recommended,” said Dr Al Dallal.

Covid safety

The doctor also stressed on the Covid safety precautions that residents need to take.

“Travellers may need to undertake a Covid-19 test prior to travel ... They need to correctly time this test so that it is valid at the time of travel. They should also follow all the necessary precautionary measures such as wearing a mask, maintaining social distance and frequent hand washing.”

In addition, travellers should have a first-aid kit at all times and carry routine medications like painkillers and antihistamines.

Dr Fatima Al Marzooqi, family medicine physician, said: “Most food and water-borne illnesses arise from contamination during food preparation or from contaminated water sources. Practising safe eating and drinking habits are essential in minimising the risk of contracting food and waterborne diseases while travelling.”

Al Marzooqi also advised residents to purchase travel insurance to help cover the costs of health emergencies.

Al Marzooqi said the clinic also provides prophylaxis medication such as anti-malaria tablets to traveller’s if they are going to a country where there is a high-prevalence of the disease.

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