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Expat Investor : November 2007
November 2007 EXPAT INVESTOR 15 VISIT www.expatinvestor.com Request more information Read updated news Links to advertisers Fast Facts -- WHEREVER YOU ARE IN THE WORLD HEALTHCARE Recent research commissioned by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) showed there are 8,100 Britons currently living in Qatar. All residents of Qatar (whether they are expatriates or local residents) must have a valid health card in order for them to receive low cost, government run medical treatment and medication. The card will cost each family member QR200 and is valid for one year. After the first year there will be a QR100 charge for renewal of the health card. You and your family members will need to apply for this as soon as you get to Qatar and you can do this at your local health clinic. Once the card has been applied for, all applicants will receive a receipt which can be used until the card is received, which could take up to one month. If you are planning on working in Qatar your company Qatar health issues Fast Facts 99420 Fast Facts 99421 may pay for the costs and apply for you on your behalf. If you are planning on living in Qatar for 30 days or more you will need to complete a physical examination. This examination will include an HIV, tuberculosis test and an X-ray. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office states: "Potential job seekers should be aware that those testing HIV positive whilst applying for their residence permit are detained, then deported. There is no appeal process. Taking a blood test shortly before travelling to Qatar to take up work would therefore be advisable." www.netdoctor.co.uk recommends that you have the following vaccinations before you travel to Qatar: Typhoid -- 10 days before. Hepatitis A -- two weeks before. Diphtheria -- three months before. Tuberculosis -- three months before. Hepatitis B -- two months before. Rabies -- one month before. All travellers are also advised to ensure that tetanus and polio vaccinations are up to date. Vaccination recommendations may change from time to time, so it is important that you check with your GP well in advance of your departure date. There are several hospitals in Qatar and the polyclinics contain good dentists, although charges for these are high. Currently there is no reciprocal health agreement in place between the UK and any Middle Eastern country. This means that the UK government won't fund the medical treatment or medication of its citizens while they are in one of these countries. The water in Qatar will need to be filtered before you drink it. This can be achieved by purchasing water filter equipment but you may wish to buy bottled water as an alternative to this. Dairy products are generally safe to eat, although meat and fish will need to be well cooked to prevent illness. During the summer time it is important you protect against the sun's harmful rays by wearing protective clothing such as hats and that you wear sunscreen. Dehydration can also be a threat, so it is vital that you drink plenty of fluids to prevent this. There are usually sandstorms in spring and winter, and the winter months are cooler with occasional rainfall. WHO currently estimates there may be 50 million cases of dengue infection worldwide every year. Dengue is a flu-like illness spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Whilst it is a nasty infection, thankfully it rarely causes death. Flu-like illness spread by mosquitoes now has global presence The global prevalence of dengue fever has grown dramatically in recent decades. According to the Wo rld Health Organisation (WHO) some 2,500 million people -- two fifths of the world's population -- are now at risk from dengue. Dengue is now endemic in more than 100 countries in Africa, the Americas, the Eastern Mediterranean, South-east Asia and the Western Pacific. It is most common in cities and can also be found in rural areas, but AXA PPP Healthcare profiles Qatar. In this regular column on medical conditions, Torben Staehr, Medical Director, BUPA Copenhagen, explains dengue fever. rarely in mountainous areas over 4,000 feet. The mosquitoes that transmit dengue live among humans and breed in such places as discarded tyres, flower pots, old oil drums and water storage containers close to houses. It's worth taking note that, unlike the mosquitoes that cause malaria, dengue mosquitoes tend to bite during the day. The symptoms vary but usually start with a high fever, rash, severe headache, pain behind the eyes and muscle and joint pain. Nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite are also quite common. A rash usually appears three to four days after the start of the fever and the illness can last up to 10 days, but complete recovery can take as long as a month. Most dengue infections result in relatively mild illness, but some can progress to dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF). With this condition, the blood vessels start to leak and cause bleeding from the nose, mouth and gums and the liver is affected. Without prompt treatment, the blood vessels can collapse, causing shock (dengue shock syndrome). DHF was first recognised in the 1950s during the dengue epidemics in the Philipines and Thailand. Today, however, DHF affects most Asian countries and has become a leading cause of hospitalisation and death among children in several of them. There is no specific treatment for dengue. Anyone infected should simply ensure that they get lots of rest and drink plenty of fluids. DHF is usually treated by replacing lost fluids, but some patients may also need transfusions to control bleeding. With regards to prevention, there is no real vaccine to prevent dengue. The best advice is to avoid mosquitoes when travelling to areas where dengue occurs. With this in mind, it's important to use mosquito repellents on your skin and clothing and wear long-sleeved shirts and long trousers where possible. Avoid heavily polluted areas and, when indoors, stay in air-conditioned areas wherever possible or use mosquito bed-nets.