Doha: As the summer travel season approaches, people traveling to countries where vaccinations and other preventive measures are required are encouraged to visit the Hamad Medical Corporation Communicable Disease Center Travel Clinic ( HMC).
The clinic operates as a “one-stop-shop” for travelers to Qatar and also provides highly specialized advice and treatment to those returning from overseas trips who suspect they may have a travel-related illness.
“The trip itself is an experience we usually enjoy and a chance to explore different cultures and relax. Once you decide to travel outside Qatar, it is wise to make an appointment with Travel Clinic to discuss your general health and vaccination needs depending on your travel destination,” said Dr. Mohamed Khattab, Senior Infectious Diseases and Travel Medicine Consultant.
The World Health Organization recommends getting travel advice and especially vaccinations four to six weeks before the travel date.
“We advise people to come to us four to six weeks before the travel date, as it takes 10 to 14 days for vaccinations to build up the resistance power in the body. And some vaccines require multiple doses,” Dr Khattab told The Peninsula.
“Some vaccinations are simply recommended while others are mandatory if you are traveling to specific countries. We recommend all travelers to be up to date with the routine schedule of childhood vaccinations and boosters,” he said. added.
Vaccinations provided at the Travel Clinic include recommended vaccines against measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), cholera, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, poliomyelitis, hepatitis A and B and the annual flu vaccine. Some additional vaccinations against yellow fever, rabies and diphtheria may also be required for travel, depending on the country visited.
“We also ask travelers to take appropriate preventive measures, such as having clean food and water, as well as protecting themselves from mosquitoes. People with chronic conditions should take all necessary medications while travelling,” Dr Khattab said.
“Anyone with persistent diarrhoea, rashes and fever are advised to attend the travel clinic without delay,” he added.
The clinic operates by appointment and patients will be able to call in and book by calling 40254003 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday to Wednesday and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday to make an appointment.