UAE Ministry of Health warns against travel to Madagascar

The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention has warned against travel to the Republic of Madagascar after the reported outbreak of pneumonic plague in the African country.

In collaboration with the Health Authority - Abu Dhabi, Dubai Health Authority and the General Civil Aviation Authority, the Ministry has taken all necessary preventive measures to instill awareness in this regard, said Dr. Fatma Al Attar, Deputy Chairman of the National Committee for International Health Regulations, Ministry of Health, affirming that there are no pneumonic plague cases in the UAE.

The ministry and health authorities in Abu Dhabi and Dubai will issue circulars to all medical officers about the plague, including methods of diagnosis, prevention and isolation of patients, if any, as well as follow-up measures and care for the infected.

Madagascar's health authorities are checking all those departing from the country's ports to ensure they are not carrying the diseases and all suspected cases are prevented from leaving and given all necessary medications, she said.

"There are not direct flights between the UAE and Madagascar, except for indirect trips run by local and international carriers via Kenya and Ethiopia," the official said.

The ministry calls upon all those wishing to travel to Madagascar to report to the travel clinics affiliated to the ministry and get updated on all developments related to the disease in Madagascar and other world countries concerned in order to get the right vaccines and necessary medical instructions.

"The ministry has already prepared medical awareness leaflets that are being distributed aboard flights and trips coming from countries affected by the disease, including the suggested preventive measures that should be taken," said Dr. Al Attar, remarking that medications for the plague cases are provided for free.

Public health security and prevention of diseases measures lie at the heart of the UAE National Agenda and are prioritised in its strategy to prevent the society from all diseases in collaboration with state departments concerned, said Dr. Al Attar, affirming that the Ministry is closely following up all global health-related developments and adhere to the WHO recommendations aimed at ensuring public health and security.

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