Cairo: Saudi Arabia’s government health agency has advised citizens to avoid travelling to Iraq, Sudan and Syria on health grounds.
The three countries were included in a list of 24 different states included in the Public Health Authority (PHA)’s “yellow evaluation”, saying travellers are advised against going to them due to spread of infectious diseases and poor health services there.
In its evaluation of epidemiological diseases for travellers, PHA, known as Weqia (health prevention), noted that cholera and Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever are active in Iraq.
The advisory cited monkeypox, cholera and dengue fever as active in Sudan and repeated occurrence of the yellow fever and malaria there.
Cholera and repeated monitoring of measles and COVID-19 outbreak are cited in war-torn Syria.
Sudan has been in the grip of fighting between the army and the powerful militia, the Rapid Support Forces since April. Repeated efforts and negotiations have failed to resolve the conflict between the one-time allies.
Syria has been devastated by a civil war that erupted in 2011.
Created in 2021, PHA seeks to protect and promote public health, prevent disease, and raise the public preparedness to respond to health emergencies by organising efforts among competent authorities.
In undertaking the mission, the agency says it endeavours to monitor, measure, evaluate, control, and prevent any risk factors related to public health in Saudi Arabia, including communicable and noncommunicable diseases, injuries, and other health threats.