The new centre will deliver test results within two working days and instant medical assistance is provided to anyone proving positive for an infectious disease. Image Credit: AHMED KUTTY/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The Disease Prevention and Screening Centre (DPSC) in Abu Dhabi has experienced a 30 per cent reduction in screening and preventive services since the inauguration of the male-only centre in Mussafah.

All screening services related to residence visa medical fitness tests are conducted at the new DPSC branch, which like branches located in the city of Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, and the Western Region, is operated by the Ambulatory Healthcare Services (AHS), an Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) facility.

The 3,100 square metre facility was relocated and designed to accommodate the growing number of labourers in proximity to Mussafah.

The centre can handle up to 2,500 customers per day and consists of 10 medical examination rooms, 10 rooms for blood tests, six X-ray machines and three immunisation facilities.

Screening takes an average of 25 minutes and test results are delivered within two working days. X-rays detect whether a person has tuberculosis, and blood tests detect Hepatitis B, HIV and syphilis.

According to Mohammad Hawas Al Sadid, DPSC Director, if the test results are positive, samples are re-tested and then sent to the Abu Dhabi city branch for reconfirmation.

"We usually call customers after two working days with the exact results of their screening. If the applicant is discovered to be active with any of the above diseases, we make sure they receive instant medical assistance in a hospital until they become non-infectious," said Al Sadid.

The official refused to comment on what type of diseases resulted in deportation but did confirm that patients are immediately placed in isolation rooms in a hospital, where they receive treatment until their condition becomes inactive.

"Even if they are eventually deported, we must make sure their condition is not contagious to others on the plane, and in their hometowns. The HAAD is immediately alerted about such cases once we detect suspicious results in our screening," he said.

On the first day the branch was open, they received up to 1,000 applicants.

"The new centre can conduct 2,500 tests daily. For now we are only serving males, but after three months we plan to include females," Al Sadid said.

Avoid delays

Shaja'a Al Harthi, DPSC Mussafah manager, urges companies who send their labourers to the centre for screening, to have full documentation ready including passports and Dh250 (the price for the screening programme).

More than 45 labourers from one construction company were kept outside because they lacked the necessary documentation.