Last Updated: 2018-09-13
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DUBAI, United Arab Emirate, Sept 13 (NNN-WAM) - Two years after the UAE eased residency rules for people with active TB and old scars, the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) is launching a nationwide campaign to educate people about the highly infectious disease.

Incidence of TB in the UAE is considered low at 0.79 per 100,000 inhabitants, compared to other countries, down from 4.2 per 100,000 in 2000, according to the Global Tuberculosis Report. Nevertheless, the ministry said, the UAE is committed to eradicating the disease completely. The campaign is being held ahead of a high-level meeting of the United Nations (UN) on Sept 26, in New York City. Countries will discuss their commitment to anti-TB campaigns and achieving the target of TB elimination by 2050.

Tuberculosis was among communicable diseases that could be a cause for mandatory deportation in the UAE years ago. This, however, was changed in 2016, when the UAE announced it is scrapping immediate deportation for residents found with active TB or old scars.

Residents applying for visa renewal and found to have the illness were allowed to have a one-year conditional stay in the UAE, provided they undergo a strict treatment protocol. If they test free of TB after treatment, they will be allowed to stay in the UAE. However, the applications of individuals for a new residency visa will be rejected if they test positive. A residentís first-degree relatives with active or non-active TB will also be given the same visa, if compliant with treatment protocol. Similar one-year conditional residency will also be given to diplomats and those who come on investor visa.

The campaign, which will run until Nov in Dubai and northern emirates, will educate the public about TB, which, despite being infectious, is fully treatable, if the appropriate treatment method is applied.-- NNN-WAM