Travel Clinic now open twice a week

 28 May 2017 - 1:31

Travel Clinic now open twice a week
File picture of Hamad Medical Corporation's Communicable Diseases Center in Qatar.

By Fazeena Saleem / The Peninsula

Services at the Travel Clinic at Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Communicable Diseases Center (CDC) are now available twice a week for travellers, says a senior official.

The clinic operated only on Mondays in the interim and is now open on Wednesdays as well to meet the increase in demand, Dr Muna Al Maslamani, Medical Director of the CDC, told The Peninsula.

It provides travellers with counselling, vaccinations and other preventive information on Mondays between 12 noon and 3pm and on Wednesdays from 8am to 11am. It also provides assessment and medical care for travellers returning with travel-related infections.

Any required vaccination is free for all and the clinic charges standard fees required to be paid at any HMC facility for consultation.

The clinic provides counselling for different types of travellers including adults and children, pregnant women, old people and those with chronic illnesses.

“This is a unique clinic and we provide comprehensive services. Our aim is to protect the health of travellers by providing clinical care along with specific advice and information for each traveller. Specialised physicians will do a thorough assessment of the traveller’s physical and health condition as well as travel details. We also provide specific advice and counselling to travellers who plan to undertake activities such as diving, mountain climbing as well as cruising. Vaccines for preventable diseases are given depending on the country they travel to,” said Dr Al Maslamani.

“We started with one clinic in February and due to the increased awareness created through social media and other channels we have an increased demand and recently opened the second clinic,” she added.

The clinic operates on an appointment basis and patients will be able to call and book by calling 40254003 from 7am to 7pm.

Dr Al Maslamani encourages pilgrims going for Umrah and travellers visiting overseas countries where vaccinations and other preventive measures are required, to visit the travel clinic prior to travel.

“The World Health Organization recommends getting travel advice and especially vaccinations four to six weeks prior to the travel date. However, we advise people to come to us at least two weeks before the travel date as this time is required for the vaccinations to develop the resistance power within the body,” she said.

The vaccinations provided at the Travel Clinic include recommended vaccines for measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, polio, hepatitis A and B and the yearly flu shot. Some additional vaccines for yellow fever, rabies, and diphtheria may also be required for travel, depending on the country being visited.

The clinic functions as a ‘One Stop Shop’ for travellers in Qatar and also provides highly specialised advice and treatment for those returning from overseas trips who suspect they may have a travel-related illness.

“Any person having conditions such as persistent diarrhoea, rash and fever is advised to visit the Travel Clinic without delay,” said Dr Al Maslamani.