Qatari residents worry about rise in HIV/AIDS cases


Dr Ahmed Kamal Naji, Director of the Medical Commission, speaking to a local daily sees that the increase in the cases carrying the fatal virus is due to the influx of workforce into the country due to the economic boom.

To avoid possible spread of communicable diseases by the newly arrived employees, employers have to take them for the medical check within three days of their arrival. Many families who recruit domestic workers fail to do so. This can be dangerous as this section of workers have direct contact with family members especially children.

Recruiting agencies are supposed to conduct health tests in medical centers accredited by the Medical Commission and GCC in the employees’ country of origin. This procedure is not obligatory but this can save the cost of repatriating people found to be unfit for working here, Naji added.

"To face the menace the state is electronically linking accredited medical centers at manpower exporting countries with The Medical Commission and the Ministry of Interior (MOI)," he disclosed.

Dr Hamid Sharbak, Head of Medical Committee at the Commission, noted that despite the awareness campaign calling sponsors not to delay in taking employees for medical check, many are not responding.

Sheikh Hamad bin Jabor bin Jassim Al Thani, Qatar National Committee for Aids Prevention deputy chairman, speaking at the opening of the three-day HIV/Aids workshop had urged stakeholders and concerned parties to see the relatively low prevalence of HIV in Qatar as an advantage and look for the best way to combat the disease as most countries afflicted with AIDS are those who were late to confront it.


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