WHO official lauds Kuwait’s efforts to tackle ‘Zika virus’ – ‘Mideast free of Zika virus’

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KUWAIT CITY, March 12, (KUNA): World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean Ala Alwan has praised Kuwait for taking measures to face the Zika virus. In a press conference on Saturday, Alwan stressed that the Middle East is free of the virus, referring to the precautionary moves taken by the region’s countries.

According to the WHO official, Kuwait has acquainted the organization with the measures it took, especially enhancing monitoring systems for early detection, and boosting the role of laboratories. He called for scrutinizing passengers from Latin America where Zika is widely spread. Zika disease is caused by a virus transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. People with Zika 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. Meanwhile, Alwan said that Kuwait and other Gulf states are among the world’s countries with highest rates of diabetics, warning that the rate in Kuwait is most likely to steadily rise in case lifestyle continues as it is. Addressing the conference, the Ministry of Health Assistant Undersecretary for Public Health Dr Majda Al-Qattan told the conference that Kuwait had submitted a paper to the last meeting for the Gulf states with the WHO, on the country’s precautionary measures on Zika.

She stressed the importance of consolidating health systems, considered the “health security”, which is integral to national security, Al-Qattan said. Al-Qattan referred to the College of Health Sciences established in 2013 to set a new vision on public health and qualifying medical cadres.

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