UAE summer holidays: Why it is essential to take pre-travel medical consultations

Contacting the travel medicine clinic before the departure date is essential, ideally four to eight weeks before leaving the country

Imagine the stress you would face after months of meticulous planning, booking, and organising your vacation, only to encounter a health complication in a foreign land without medication or insurance. According to medics in the UAE, it is highly likely that people may experience travel-related illness during their holidays. Prioritising a pre-travel consultation with a travel medicine clinic is important as healthcare professionals reiterate that any physical discomfort can jeopardise holiday plans. Some UAE hospitals even have dedicated travellers’ clinics that provide preventive medical care. Dr Ahmed Hashim Ahmed Mohamed, General Practitioner, Burjeel Hospital, Abu Dhabi, said: “Traveler’s health clinic at the hospital is established under the family medicine department and specialises in travel medicine. The clinic provides preventive medical care, including vaccinations against tropical diseases like yellow and typhoid fever. The doctors also prescribe medications to prevent diseases like malaria.

“The patients/clients seeking services in the clinic are mainly international travellers who embark on trips abroad for leisure, business, and visiting friends and family. Such clinics are established to carry out individual clinical risk assessments based on the needs of the patients according to their travel plans.”

When travellers consult with doctors prior to their journey, medical professionals can provide valuable advice on various precautions to mitigate health risks related to infectious diseases, parasitic infections, and environmental hazards specific to the area of travel. Contacting the travel medicine clinic before one’s departure date is essential, ideally four to eight weeks before leaving the country.

“Provide copies of your immunisation records, including the International Certificate of Vaccination (yellow card). This will expedite your clinic visit and reduce your necessary vaccines. During the pre-travel consultation, the doctors will thoroughly assess health risks specific to each country in your travel itinerary, considering exotic infectious agents, altitude sickness, and heat exhaustion. A review of your medical and immunisation history, with health promotion and illness prevention advice, will also be carried out,” Mohamed adds.

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