United Arab Emirates, Dubai, July 21, 2013: In line with its strategy to expand the traveller clinic services across the geographical areas of the emirate, the DHA has opened the second branch of its traveller clinic in Al Barsha Primary Healthcare Centre.
DHA has a traveller clinic in Al Mankhool area in Dubai which provides comprehensive medical counselling and requisite vaccinations to people who travel abroad.
The clinic was established in 2007 and the authority has seen a steady rise in the number of people since the inception of this specialised service.
Dr Ahmed Ibrahim bin Kalban, CEO of primary health sector at the DHA said: “We opened a new clinic in the Al Barsha Primary Healthcare Centre as it is conveniently located and provides easy access to residents of newer areas of Dubai including Jabel Ali. This is a new centre, has the latest equipment, state-of-the-art facilities and ample parking.”
He said the traveller clinic has become increasing popular with the community due to an increase in awareness levels about healthcare precautions before travelling. “Geographical proximity of Dubai to other countries has resulted in high volume of travel, makes this service increasing important to protect the health of the community.
“We have seen a significant increase in the number of customers that avail our services. In 2011, we received 11,813 customers as compared to 17,230 customers in 2012, a 46 per cent increase in one year. The Mankhool traveller clinic receives a maximum of 80 patients per day. Given the rise in numbers, we decided to expand this service.”
In terms of the services provided at the clinic Kalban said: “At the DHA travel clinic we provide vaccinations, medication and we advice travellers about the precautionary measures they should take when travelling abroad. This is especially applicable for people who visit high endemic areas where there is a higher risk of contracting communicable diseases.”
He said the clinic follows the protocols of the Centre for Disease Control and provides the latest information on health requirements for travel to 200 destinations.
Dr Fatima Al Attar, head of preventative services at the Dubai Health Authority said that the DHA travel clinic is a WHO certified registered yellow fever immunization centre in Dubai. The centre also provides vaccinations such as hepatitis B, influenza vaccine and malaria medication. She said: “ It is important that people visit us at least four weeks before they travel because some of the vaccines take a few weeks to become effective. We provide customised health travel solutions to individuals as per their requirement and this includes advice on food and hygiene.”
She said it is mandatory to have certain vaccines before visiting certain countries. For examples: All pilgrims that visit Saudi Arabia for Hajj require a meningococcal vaccine
Al Attar said “A significant percentage of our customers are travellers who require a medical fitness certificate which states that they are free of any communicable diseases and thus are eligible to travel abroad. This certificate is required by certain embassies.”
She added that the Al Barsha clinic is operational from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. during the Holy month of Ramadan.