“Qatar is free from locally acquired malaria. All cases we have in the country are imported, meaning they have been acquired abroad. For those planning to travel to countries that have known malaria cases, it is very important to take preventive measures, including avoiding mosquito bites by using insect repellent, covering the arms and legs, and using a mosquito net. It is also important to consult with an experienced healthcare professional who can advise if malaria prevention tablets are needed,” said Dr Hussam Al Soub, Senior Consultant at HMC’s Infectious Diseases Unit.
Sources in Qatar said that HMC has treated more than 125 cases of malaria in travellers who have acquired the disease abroad. “People who have resided in Qatar and other malaria-free countries for a long time may have lowered immunity to malaria and are thus vulnerable to serious illness,” Dr Al Soub said. “People planning to travel to endemic areas should consult their doctor or visit a clinic that offers anti-malarial medication, such as the Travel Clinic at HMC’s Communicable Disease Center. It is important to speak with a travel specialist to ensure you take the right anti-malarial tablets and the right dose. It is also essential to finish the full course of medication.”