KUWAIT: The Ministry of Health recently issued a decision requiring domestic workers (Article 20 visa) FROM ZIMBABWE to undergo medical test every time they renew their residency, whether they left the country or not. These include a chest x-ray and blood tests for serious infectious diseases, such as HIV(AIDS), TB, hepatitis B&C, typhoid and malaria.
In a press statement signed by Head of Ports and Borders Health Department Dr Sami Al-Nasser, the ministry enumerated the countries of origin of domestic workers who were affected by the decision as follows: India, Philippines, Bangladesh, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Senegal, Central Africa, Madagascar, Nepal, Uganda, R. Congo, Niger, Angola, Chad, Eritrea, Sudan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Togo, South Africa, Djibouti, Ghana, Gambia, D.R. Congo, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Mali, Zambia, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Myanmar and Somalia.
Meanwhile, Assistant Undersecretary for Private Sector Health Services Dr Mohammad Al-Khashti, revealed that the Health Insurance Hospitals Company for expatriates (DHAMAN) will soon build three hospitals in three governorates — Jahra, Farwaniya and Ahmadi based on its plan to offer health services to expatriates through a total of 15 healthcare centers.Dr Al-Khashti explained that Ministry of Health is striving to increase the bed capacity in both government and private hospitals by the beginning of 2,020 to 15,000 from its current capacity of 7,000 in the government hospitals and 1,000 in private hospitals.
In other news the Zimbabwean government wrote to the government of Kuwait seeking an immediate ban on the issuance of Article 20 visas to Zimbabweans to prevent more people from being trafficked to the Middle East country.
Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said the requests were meant to avoid a recurrence of a situation where more than 200 local women were held hostage in that country.
“I wish to bring to your attention a very disturbing chain of events that have affected Zimbabwean young women who were lured to Kuwait under the guise of taking up lucrative employment,” Minister Mumbengegwi wrote.