Don’t use this medical cream, UAE residents warned
The Abu Dhabi Department of Health has just decided to pull another product from the shelves of pharmacies and supermarkets.
The “Claradone Ointment Povidone Lodine” which is produced by Medpharma, is used as a disinfectant.
Those prone to bed ulcers, bacterial skin infections, and superficial wounds have been warned against using the medical cream.
The product with barcode 7171 has been pulled by the manufacturer as there were issues related to quality.
Timely surgery in UAE saves 4-month-old from imminent brain damage
Doctors in Ras Al Khaimah successfully performed a life-saving surgery on a four-month-old infant recently. The Nigerian boy had suffered fluid accumulation within the brain with progressive swelling of the head when admitted to the hospital.
Doctors conducted a brain surgery to save the little boy from stunted developmental growth, loss of physical and mental activities, and possible death.
Abdullahi David was flown from his native country to Ras Al Khaimah with complaints of the disease. Because of deteriorated brain function, he had lost the ability to smile, an action he was able to perform effortlessly earlier.
David’s parents had sought RAK Hospital after consulting various hospitals in Nigeria where no one was willing to perform surgery on a small infant due to narrow scope of success and, potentially, death.
“The surgery itself was not complicated, but the fact that patient was just a few months old presented a number of challenges,” explained Dr Tinku Jose Kurisinkal, consultant neurosurgeon at RAK Hospital who led the procedure.
“Baby David was suffering from what is known as congenital hydrocephalus, a condition where fluid accumulates within the brain, either because of a blockage or the body’s inability to absorb the water.”
Ordinarily, this cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) protects the brain from mechanical injury, provides nourishment, and carries away waste; however, an excess amount could potentially result in developmental disorders, he added.
“In order to divert the fluid, a plastic tube was surgically implanted from the brain to create an alternate path from the head through the neck into the abdomen. Given the very young age, the procedure was quite a difficult task and credit goes to the surgical team for their clinical acumen,” he pointed out.
“The procedure was further complicated since giving and maintaining anaesthesia in a new-born posed a challenge, but our team of anaesthetists managed it smoothly. Extra precaution had to be taken to prevent infection and avoid post-operation complications,” said Dr Kurisinkal.
“The surgery lasted for about 90 minutes and, upon recovery from anaesthesia, the baby regained consciousness and the smile was back on his face.”
The baby was prescribed short-term anti-seizure medication to prevent any post-surgery seizures, and within days, his parents were able to take him home, he said.
“As per a recent research, the incidences of congenital hydrocephalus are highest in Africa and Latin America -145 and 316 per 100,000 births, respectively.”
Dr Raza Siddiqui, CEO at Arabian Healthcare Group and executive director at RAK Hospital, said the department of neurosurgery is quite adept at handling extremely complicated and critical cases with precise and accurate diagnosis and timely surgical intervention. “This case is an example of how RAK Hospital is emerging as a preferred destination of medical tourism, particularly for performing complicated surgeries.”
Take vaccines one month before travel: Experts
Health officials are encouraging families who are planning to travel during the summer holidays to ensure that they take necessary pre-travel vaccinations at least one month prior to their journey to ensure the effectiveness of the vaccines.
Officials from traveller’s clinics in the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) as well as the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) say that the services are free for Emiratis and available at an affordable price for expats.
“Our clinics and centres are giving these vaccines at half the price compared to the private and other government sectors,” said Dr Fatma Al Attar, family medicine consultant and head of Travellers Clinic team at the ministry.
She said that the prices of vaccines were lowered on a special order and after a study presented to the Minister of Health and Prevention.
Dr Fatma said vaccines are given free to children under five. “We wanted to make it affordable and ask people to take care of their health,” she said.
“It is important to educate travellers on the health risks that they may be exposed to when visiting other countries. They should visit screening centres before leaving the country so that they may take necessary vaccinations as a precautionary measure,” she added.
She said that many travellers do not realise the importance of the medical aspect of travelling, which is essential and important when choosing their destinations. “It is important to take vaccines such as pneumococcal and for malaria.”
The DHA has two traveller’s clinics inside the Nad Al Hammar and Al Barsha primary healthcare centres which are provide pre-travel medical services such as vaccinations, risk assessment and travel advice.
“Since vaccination requirements vary by country and often require second doses, it’s important to visit a traveller’s clinic at least one month prior to travel,” said Dr Fathiya Sarkal, deputy director of DHA traveller’s clinics.
“Often travellers need more than one vaccine. We still see families who come to us a week or a few days prior to the travel,” she said.
“We inform them that we cannot be sure of the effectiveness of the vaccine unless it is administered at least a month to minimum two weeks prior to the date of travel and we recommend that they postpone their travel dates. Therefore, to avoid all such hassles our advice is to understand the importance of pre-travel vaccines and medical advice and incorporate this when they plan to travel,” said Dr Fathiya.
Travel vaccines depend on the place of travel. For example, yellow fever presents the greatest health risk for visitors to South America and Central Africa.
“When patients visit us, we discuss the places they intend to travel, length of stay, their health, current prescriptions and vaccine history. After a detailed consultation, we recommend vaccines and educate them about other travel precautions based on their destination,” she said.
“There are mandatory vaccines such as yellow fever vaccine for African and South American countries and meningococcal vaccine for pilgrims.”
Travellers should use common sense in knowing which foods to eat and avoid, especially in places where there is a prevalence of food and water borne diseases. She also advised purchasing travel insurance to help cover the costs of health emergencies.
For location of ministry clinics, travellers can call 80011111. To contact DHA branches, call 04-5023701 in Nad Al Hammar and 04-5023301 in Al Barsha.
Prevent illness and injury
>Not all diseases can be prevented with vaccines or pills. There are simple but important precautions you should take to avoid getting sick abroad:
>Wear EPA-registered insect repellent to prevent mosquito bites, which can spread serious diseases.
>Reduce your exposure to germs by washing your hands often with soap and clean water (if available) or use hand sanitizer (made with at least 60% alcohol).
>Be careful about what you eat and drink. Contaminated food or drinks can cause travellers diarrhoea and other diseases.
>Avoid stray, wild, or frightened animals. In addition to the risk of rabies, all animal bites carry a risk of bacterial infection.
>Pack a travel health kit with your health items and supplies, including your prescription and over-the-counter medicines.
No consultation fee
At the MoHAP Travellers Clinic, a non-local resident who holds a valid health card issued by the ministry shall be exempted from the value of the consultation fee for the purpose of vaccination (Dh150).
The fee for issuing the international vaccination card (Dh20) shall be paid unless the person has received the card in advance, and the fee of doctor’s consultation for purpose of vaccination (Dh150) should be paid in case the non-citizen takes the vaccination from any private health facility, even if he has a health card.