UAE introduces Syphilis test for expatriates

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Dubai, Jul 1: The government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has passed a federal law to make medical screening for syphilis mandatory for expatriates applying for employment or residence visas.

According to the new rule, expats renewing/applying for a residence or employment visa will have to undergo a number of medical fitness screenings for diseases including HIV, Hepatitis B&C, Tuberculosis and Syphilis.

Though the X-ray and blood tests were already being conducted, two more screening methods have been added to the list, ie the urine and stool tests. Vaccination for Hepatitis B has also been made compulsory.

However, if a person is found unfit and suffering from any of these diseases, he/she is likely to be deported. The decision applies to the Ministry of Health, and the health authorities of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the Khaleej Times said.

Maitha Al Bustani, head of the Medical Fitness Centre at the Department of Health and Medical Services (Dohms) said, ''According to the decision taken by the Minister of Health Humaid Al Quttami, the rules are being implemented on a trial basis for three months, and may be subject to change in the coming months.'' Housemaids and nannies will be under special scrutiny but others like food handlers, educators/teachers, and people who work in restaurants and health fields will go under the scanner due to the sensitivity of their profession, she explained.

''If housemaids are found to be disease-carriers, it's the decision of the sponsor either to send them back or get them treated,'' she added.

UNI

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