Browsing 'hmc' News

Abdulla Almesleh/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

With strong winds and more swirling dust and sand forecast over the weekend, doctors in Qatar are urging residents to take steps to protect their health.

In a post on Facebook yesterday, Hamad Medical Corp. (HMC) said dust particles like the ones floating in Qatar’s air can be particularly harmful to the respiratory system.

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Photo for illustrative purposes only.

They could also make things worse for people with sinus allergies and respiratory infections, HMC said.

It added:

“Those most at risk of contracting respiratory infections, including infants and young children, the elderly, people with a history of asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, individuals with heart disease, pregnant women and those who work outdoors, such as construction or delivery workers, are advised to be particularly cautious.”

Advice

To stay safe, HMC offered these tips:

  • Avoid going outside when winds are high or if there is low visibility, which is when dust levels can be particularly harmful.
  • Keep windows and doors closed.
  • When outside, cover nose and mouth with a mask or damp cloth to decrease the amount of dust particles you inhale.
  • When driving, keep car windows closed, and opt for air conditioning instead.
  • Avoid rubbing your eyes. If possible, use protective eyewear such as airtight goggles. If your eyes become irritated, rinse with water. Be especially careful if you wear contact lenses.
  • Start using antihistamines before symptoms begin if you are prone to bad allergies.

Weather report

According to the Qatar Meteorology Department (MET), windspeeds will hit a peak of 48 knots (89km/hour) inshore today.

This will cause low visibility in most areas due to blowing dust.

Raja Raman/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The wind will gradually start calming down on Saturday, but the all-clear to go into the sea won’t be until at least Monday.

Temps will remain in the low 40s, which is average for this time of year, forecasters added.

How have you been coping with the weather? Thoughts?

HMC

Communicable Diseases Center

Qatar residents who are preparing to go on trips or have returned with travel-related illnesses can now visit a new “one stop shop” center for treatment and advice.

The country’s first travel clinic was just opened by Hamad Medical Corp. (HMC) at its new Communicable Disease Center (CDC).

It will provide patients free vaccinations, offer tips to avoiding falling ill while abroad and care for those who come back sick.

Carlos Reusser Monsalvez/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The clinic will operate on an appointment basis on Mondays only for now. Travelers can book a slot by calling 40254003 between 7am to 7pm.

Safeguarding against illness

In a statement, the CDC’s Medical Director Dr. Muna Al Maslamani said:

“It is important for travelers to be up to date with their vaccination and have their medical care optimized before they travel, particularly when there is a heightened risk of becoming sick in the country they are visiting.”

HMC did not mention any specific illnesses, but officials have previously said they are taking measures to protect residents against bird flu and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

In the fall, Qatar also launched a vaccination drive for children after experiencing a new outbreak of measles.

The CDC also specializes in illnesses such as Tuberculosis (TB), hepatitis, influenza, leprosy and HIV.

CDC

The CDC officially opened in November, and is situated next to the new Hamad Bin Khalifa Medical City, a QR2.4 billion medical complex in Rumaila (central Doha).

The hospital has 65 single bedrooms, which can be converted into isolation units in the case of serious pandemics.

Kathea Pinto/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Each of the rooms has specially designed air filtration and ventilation systems to help patients whose immune systems have been compromised.

The CDC also offers outpatient clinics. Services include pre-marriage counseling and education for people who have infectious diseases.

Thoughts?

HMC

Liver recipient Ashraf Zaid and donor (his nephew) Usama Zaid, with HMC Medical Director Dr. Yousef Al Maslamani.

Surgeons at Hamad General Hospital have successfully performed the nation’s first liver transplant from a living donor.

Usama Taher Zaid donated a piece of his liver to his uncle in November, saying: “The love and compassion bestowed on me by my uncle following the death of my father prompted me to give him the gift of life.”

The 26-year-old spent about a week in the hospital following his eight-hour surgery.

The recipient, 58-year-old Ashraf Zaid, was diagnosed with cirrhosis in 2014 while living in Qatar.

HMC

HMC Transplant team

When he found out he needed a transplant, he traveled to his home country of Egypt in search of a donor, as his son was not a match.

In a statement, he said:

“While in Egypt, I received a call from Hamad General Hospital advising that a donor was found and I had to return to Doha. Upon arrival in Doha, I was surprised to find out that the donor was my nephew.”

Zaid’s surgery lasted about 12 hours and involved two weeks of recovery time, Hamad Medical Corp. (HMC) said.

Expanding care

Qatar has been improving its organ transplant offerings in recent years, in a bid to discourage medical tourism abroad for safety reasons.

Currently, living donors can give a kidney or part of a liver (usually to a relative), or organ donations can be made after death.

Organ Donation Research Consortium

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

At the moment, Qatar transplants livers and kidneys and is also working on procedures for pancreas transplants.

The growing population means there is a waitlist for people in need of kidneys and livers.

Signing up to be an organ donor takes only a couple of minutes and volunteers can now hand you an organ donor card on the spot.

Ethical process

Qatar’s organ donation model is based on the Doha Donation Accord, which was established in 2010 and endorsed by GCC Health Ministers in 2011.

According to that agreement, all residents are eligible for access to transplant services and organs donated to wait-listed patients “without regard for citizenship, religion, gender, ethnicity, or financial status.”

The accord also outlaws the use of financial incentives for the recruitment of potential donors.

@thequint / Twitter

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

An unusual aspect of Qatar’s system is that patients on the transplant waiting list are allowed to bring to the country relatives who may be good matches but who don’t live here.

These donors would be provided with airfare to Qatar and accommodation here. There is also free of charge transplantation and donation.

Thoughts?