‘Clinic drugs ineffective’ - Little faith in health sector

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 5: A majority of voters in this week’s online poll conducted by Arab Times, looking at winter infections, felt that the medicines prescribed by the clinics are ineffective.

About 33 percent of the voters held this opinion. From the interviews, Arab Times found that a majority of people lacked faith in the health sector, and believed that at least for some diseases expatriates get second-grade medicines.

However, there were mixed reactions, and there were some respondents who praised Kuwait’s healthcare system. They felt it’s hard to find such high quality care at such a subsidized rate anywhere else in the world. “Let’s not forget that Kuwait doesn’t levy heavy taxes on anyone like in some of the most advanced countries. Yes, there is a health insurance, which is not a lot.”

Thirty-one percent of the voters said that winters always bring worries for parents as children fall sick easily during this period. For children with bronchitis or other respiratory illnesses, which are not uncommon in Kuwait, the onset of winter is the beginning of a train of serious health problems. Parents said that it’s hard to see children suffer, and they have to rely on heavy antibiotics, “which we know carry side-effects.”

The parents of asthmatic children fear winter, because of certain pollen grains that are suspended in the air during this season. These particles trigger asthmatic attacks in children and some people have to use steroids to tide over bouts of suffocation.

For 18 percent of the voters, winter is hardly any concern, because their immune systems are strong enough to resist any infection. For them, winter is a welcome change from the oppressive heat of the summer. “Of course, we prefer the neutral weather between summer and winter, when the weather is pleasant, neither hot nor cold.”

Winter for some people is also an opportunity for a change of wardrobe. With everyone switching to warmer clothes, “we get to see variety in fashion.”

For 11 percent of the voters, winter is the time of the highest absenteeism, both from work and school. A principal of an Indian school said, “It’s a pity that children in Kuwait have the highest number of leaves from school. On an average a child only attends 180 days of school in a year, and add to it sick leaves in winter. That’s a huge loss of study time.”

A small minority of voters, 7%, said with proper preventive measures winter infections can be restricted. The various preventive measures suggested by respondents include regular washing of hands with sanitizers, wearing a mask while going out, ingesting vitamin C tablets every day, indoor exercises, avoiding windy places, avoiding eating out and practicing yoga.

However, it’s hard to stick to all of these measures, especially for children, who are exposed to infections in schools. “There’s not much anybody can do about it.”

By: Valiya S. Sajjad Arab Times Staff

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