Vaccination and Travel Information for Kuwait

KUWAIT

 Information current as at: February 2009 by The D2 medical centre No 1 Fitzwilliam street Upper Dublin 2 Ph 6314500. The experts in travel vaccines Dublin 2.



Climate: Kuwait shares European weather patterns but is hotter and drier. Summers (April to October) are hot ( 30-40 ° Celsius in Kuwait City ) and humid with very little rain. Winters (November to March) are cool ( 10-50 ° Celsius in Kuwait City ) with limited rain. Springs are cool and pleasant.
Capital City: Kuwait
Altitude: 30 metres above sea level
Main Cities: Al Jahrah, Ash Shuwaykh, Bubiyan, Qasr.
Population: 2,111,561 note: includes 1,159,913 non-nationals (July 2002 est.)
Land Area (sq km): 17,820
Currency: Kuwaiti dinar (KD)
Languages: Arabic (official), English
Religions: Muslim 85% (Sunni 70%, Shi'a 30%), Christian, Hindu, Parsi, and other 15%
Economy: Oil and refined products, fertilizers



 The D2 Medical advises all travellers to be 'up-to-date' for:

CHOLERA Immunisation is neither required nor recommended.
DIPHTHERIA We recommend the initial childhood series of vaccinations in the first five years of life, with booster doses at ages 11 years, 45 years, and 65 years. Travellers are recommended to have the vaccine 10 yearly esp. if travelling to developing countries, or where there may be a risk of contracting the disease.

HEPATITIS 'A' Immunisation is strongly recommended but not compulsory.


HEPATITIS ‘B’ Immunisation is strongly recommended for travellers who will be in the area for 1 month or more.
Transmission of Hepatitis B is through sex or contact with contaminated blood, needles and syringes.

MENINGOCOCCAL MENINGITIS Immunisation for travel to Kuwait is not required; however it is required for all visitors to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj and Umra. A certificate of immunisation is required issued not more than 3 years and not less than 10 days before date of arrival.


POLIO Adults who are travelling to areas where poliomyelitis cases are occurring, or where the contracting the disease is possible, and who have received a primary series with either IPV or OPV should receive another dose of IPV before departure. For adults, available data do not indicate the need for more than a single lifetime booster dose with IPV.



RABIES Immunisation is recommended for travellers who will be staying in rural areas for 1 month or more at a time, or all those planning an extended stay in remote regions of the country.


TETANUS We recommend the initial childhood series of vaccinations in the first five years of life, with booster doses at ages 11 years, 45 years, and 65 years. Travellers are recommended to have the vaccine 10 yearly esp. if travelling to developing countries, or where there may be a risk of contracting the disease.

TUBERCULOSIS (TB) Immunisation is not compulsory, and is not routinely recommended for adults.
Children should be immunised at any age.
A skin test is available if immune status is in doubt, and this is recommended pre- and post- travel for those going to ‘at risk’ regions.


TYPHOID FEVER Immunisation is recommended for travellers who will be living in rural areas for 1 month or more.


YELLOW FEVER No vaccination requirements for any international traveller.

Kuwait by Night


Malaria is not present in any area of this country.




GENERAL
The health care system continues to develop, with many government and private medical facilities now available in Kuwait. Medical care at government-run clinics and hospitals is provided at low cost to residents of Kuwait. Private physicians and hospitals charge fees for services, and some do not accept local health insurance. Many hospital and clinic services do not compare to western standards, and staff often have limited experience or training. Laws and procedures governing health care can be complex.

Visitors are recommended to carry original identity documents ( such as passport ) at all times, as photocopies may not be accepted. Potential job seekers should be aware that those testing HIV positive whilst applying for their residence visa are detained prior to deportation. There is no appeal process. Taking a blood test shortly before travelling to the UAE would therefore be advisable.

HEALTH, ACCIDENTS AND INSURANCE
Accidents and injuries are the leading cause of death among travellers under the age of 55. Most are caused by motor vehicle and motorcycle crashes; and to a lesser degree, drowning, aircraft crashes, murders, and burns.

Heart attacks cause most fatalities in older travellers, but infections cause only 1% of fatalities in overseas travellers. Generally, infections are the most common cause of travel-related illness.

Travellers are advised to obtain, before departure, travel health insurance with specific overseas coverage. The policy should include a medical evacuation benefit. Check for any exclusions that are part of the policy, and keep in mind that many insurance policies have terrorism exclusion clauses. The d2 Medical recommends that the policy also provide 24-hour access to an assistance centre that can help arrange and monitor delivery of medical care, and determine if air ambulance services are required.

                                                                                                                                                          DR JOHN J RYAN MEDICAL DIRECTOR

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