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KUWAIT CITY, Feb 15, (Agencies): Minister of Health Ali Al-Obaidi declared Sunday Kuwait as a Zika virusfree country. Speaking at the opening session of the Fourth Kuwait Dental Administration Conference, Al-Obaidi confi rmed that no Zika-infection case has been reported in Kuwait so far.
He added the ministry is coordinating with the World Health Organization (WHO) to prevent the virus from reaching Kuwait. WHO has recently declared a global health emergency over the rapid spread of Zika in the Americas as the outbreak has coincided with an increase in head and brain malformations among newborns especially in Brazil.
Zika virus disease is caused by a virus transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. People with Zika virus disease usually have symptoms that can include mild fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise or headache. These symptoms normally last for 2-7 days. There is no specifi c treatment or vaccine currently available.
The best for of prevention is protection against mosquito bites. The virus is known to circulate in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific.
Meanwhile, the minister unveiled that 240 dental clinics would start operation in three health centers soon in addition to 140 others in Sabah Al-Ahmad specialized center which would be inaugurated in 2017. He noted that there is a great cooperation with the Ministry of Public Works to equip the dental clinics at Jaber Hospital and prepare them for operation in the near future.
The ministry is doing all in its power to provide integrated health services through the primary health centers nationwide, so it aims to open dental clinics in every health center, he clarified. He revealed that the ministry has increased the number of dental clinics in primary health center from 134 to 311 during the period from 2000 to 2014.
He added the ministry has also equipped dental clinics with the latest-ofthe- art technology for diagnosing and treatment. Al-Obaidi underlined that the state is keen on providing students, people with special needs and senior people with high-quality dental treatment.
There are 220 at schools and mobile dental clinics for this purpose, he said. Kuwait also has increased the number of dentists dispatched abroad for postgraduate studies, especially through the Kuwaiti Dentistry Board Program in Ireland, he said.
He, furthermore, pointed out that a post-graduate dentistry studies program has been launched in cooperation with the Faculty of Dentistry at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in which 300 Kuwaiti dentists had studied. Moreover, over 400 Kuwaitis have been sent to study dentistry abroad during the period from 2000 to 2014.
A minister in the Philippines has urged women to delay pregnancy until more is known about the mosquito-borne Zika virus raging in Latin America, even though the Asian country’s only reported case of zika was four years ago. Much remains unknown about Zika, but the virus has been linked to thousands of cases of birth defects in Latin America, and the World Health Organisation has declared an international public health emergency. “To those who are not in a hurry to get pregnant, maybe they can postpone and wait next year when we know more about the virus,” Health Minister Janet Garin said in a radio interview on Sunday, suggesting they practice family planning methods. Garin said she was also asking Filipinos to avoid Zika-affected countries because “travelers, who contracted the disease abroad, may then transmit the virus sexually to their partners”. The scare over Zika has been heightened by warnings from the Pan American Health Organisation that in a few cases the virus could have been sexually transmitted.