Exit screening has been implemented by the Health Ministry of Madagascar for all passengers at the airport in Antananarivo in order to curtail the spread of the plague worldwide.
UAE residents have been warned to avoid travel to Madagascar following a large outbreak of what is believed to be pneumonic plague.
Dr Fatima Al Attar, Vice-President of the National Committee for International Health Regulations and the Control of Pandemics, said that the ministry is now working to prepare awareness leaflets that can be distributed during flights to those coming back from Madagascar and other countries where the disease may be present, highlighting information and advice on the disease, its symptoms and how to obtain medical treatment, reports Khaleej Times.
Almost 600 of the reported cases in Madagascar were the pneumonic form, which is spread human-to-human and is more unsafe than bubonic plague spread by fleas, it said. The pneumonic form may be treated by the use of drugs if however, it could cause death if not administered within 24 hours.
The ministry has also taken all necessary preventive measures to raise awareness about the issue.
Medications for plague cases are provided for free. She also highlighted the role of Traveler Health Clinics in the provision of health advice and safety requirements when traveling to Madagascar and the strengthening of shipyard and rodent control procedures, particularly in ships coming from these affected areas. World Health Organization is also providing guidance for the tracing and treatment of contacts of people who are suspected to have been infected. The awareness effort also looks towards giving people surrounding by an infected person with preventive treatments to ensure non-contamination.
Al-Attar stressed that health security and risk prevention and pandemics is a national priority in the UAE and Falls in line with its strategy to protect society from diseases through strengthening the global health regulations and applying them in the UAE.