Travel medicine clinics to benefit tourists

MUSCAT, SEPT 15 – The Ministry of Health on Sunday launched travel medicine clinics as a medical service in the primary healthcare institutions in the Sultanate. On this occasion, Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed al Saeedi, Minister of Health, emphasised on the necessity of providing extension and therapeutic services to travellers wishing to travel to countries with diseases and outbreaks that are not existing in the Sultanate at the present. The event was held under the auspices of the minister of health at Hotel Muscat Holiday, Al Khuwair, on Sunday.

While calling upon all citizens and residents to benefit from this service, he said that they will be informed of the diseases and epidemics spread in the country of destination in addition to prevention and treatment methods. “If any symptoms occur after returning, one should visit the health centre for checkup,” he said. Director-General of Primary Healthcare Dr Saeed al Lamki said that the service would ensure that primary care physicians and nurses are equipped with knowledge to provide high quality pre-travel advice and service like malaria prophylaxis and immunisations and advice on other risks.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health represented by the Directorate-General for Disease Surveillance and Control as well the Directorate General of Primary Healthcare have jointly collaborated to establish a Travel Medicine Service in the Sultanate by organising a five-day training workshop.
The workshop, run by experts from the College of Travel Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in Glasgow, UK, trains 60 healthcare workers from doctors and nurses in primary healthcare institutions from all governorates of the Sultanate in Travel Medicine Service.
The implementation of the Travel Medicine Service is designed to enhance national health security by preventing any infectious diseases or outbreaks associated with the travel of Omanis or non-Omani outside the Sultanate and meeting the requirements of joint external assessment and comprehensive healthcare.
Notably, preparation for the establishment of the Travel Medicine Service has been under way since 2014.
A consultative mission was carried out from international specialists in travel medicine and the Oman Travel Medicine Conference held from February 14-15, 2015, as a part of preparation for the establishment of the Travel Medicine Service at the primary healthcare health centres in the Sultanate.
One of the most important recommendations resulting from the consultancy mission and the Travel Medicine Conference was the necessity of develop a practical strategy for the service of travel medicine in the Sultanate.
There is an importance of raising awareness among citizens and residents to visit travel medicine clinic in the primary healthcare centres for medical consultation before travelling and after returning.