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Mon 13 Sep 2010 10:47 AM

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Agency warns Qatar to tighten visa rules to curb diseases

Report urges stricter regulations to curb the rate of infectious diseases.

Agency warns Qatar to tighten visa rules to curb diseases
INFECTIOUS: 95 percent of TB cases in Qatar were found in foreign workers. (Getty Images)

Qatar must tighten its visit visa regulations if it is to curb the rate of infectious diseases in the emirate, a state-backed agency has warned.

A report by Qatar’s Permanent Population Committee (PPC), quoted by Gulf Times, said the vast majority of those infected with diseases such as tuberculosis, hepatitis B and hepatitis C are non-Qataris.

According to PPC data quoted by Gulf Times, 95 percent of TB cases, 86 percent of hepatitis B cases and 84 percent of hepatitis C infections are found in foreign workers, with around ten new HIV infections detected in residents each year.

Among the national population, an increasing number of Qataris are dying from lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease, analysts found.

Diseases such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes and cancer all ranked among the 10 most common causes of death of Qatari citizens. Some nine percent of deaths were linked to diabetes complications, while cancer accounted for 12 percent of deaths, the report said.

The study linked what it called “unintended abortion” cases among Qatari women to marriages between relatives, saying that 58 percent of those who underwent abortion were married to cousins.

Among expatriates, 27 percent of deaths were linked to external causes such as work-related accidents, drownings and suicides, the report said.  

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Billy 10 years ago

Why did it take a government committee to figure this one out. In a small country where the vast majority of people are expats it cannot be rocket science to figure out that the biggest number of ill people will also be expat. This seems like a very convenient report to justify the Qatari government re-introducing the cumbersome visit visa rule changes they tried a couple of months ago. I hope the new rules are more carefully thought out so business men can continue to travel in and out of Qatar.