Category Archives: Health Alert Worldwide

C-section baby boom as parents rush to give birth before Lunar New Year

Hong KongDoctors in Hong Kong and Singapore are witnessing a “baby boom” as pregnant women rush to give birth by caesarean section ahead of the Lunar New Year.

The trend – as parents try to give their children an auspicious start in life or to avoid being stuck in hospital during the holidays – has prompted insurance companies to double their fees or even halt some maternity policies.

Tradition dictates, according to some fortune tellers, that babies born in the Year of the Horse are more vigorous than those born in the Year of the Goat, which begins on Thursday. Well-known Hong Kong fortune teller Mak Ling-ling said some parents were keen to have their babies early in order for their “luckier” offspring to collect lai see – cash gifts given over Lunar New Year  – from their relatives. READ MORE  HERE >


Poor diabetes care costing lives

Poor diabetes care in England is leading to avoidable deaths, record rates of complications and huge costs to the NHS, a charity is warning.

Diabetes UK says the disease is the fastest growing health threat of our times and current care models are not working to get on top of the problem.

The NHS spends a tenth of its budget on diabetes, but most goes on managing complications not preventing them.

The government says it is focusing on early intervention.

Long and healthy life

Diabetes is a chronic condition and, if poorly managed, can lead to devastating complications, including blindness, amputations, kidney failure, stroke and early death.

Best-practice guidelines say patients should get regular checks to ensure they are controlling their condition well enough to avoid future complications.


ALC Health commences new global claims service

1st January saw the launch of our new global claims handling service for both new and renewing customers.

With dedicated medical 24/7 service centres in the UK, New Zealand and Singapore, you will enjoy unmatched service and support no matter where in the world you may be living, working or travelling.

HealixInternational_LogoMany of the world’s leading brands including Panasonic, Shell, Jaguar Land Rover, Inchcape, CNN, Oxfam and the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office already trust Healix International to manage their international medical insurance claims and now you will be able to benefit from this exceptional VIP service and support.

Responding to over 450,000 calls for medical assistance each year and managing claims in over 190 countries worldwide, ALC Health’s new claims service ensures you receive the very best care – day or night.

If you would like to know more, contact ALC Heath and we’ll tell you more about our award winning iPMI products and services.

ALC Health CEO awarded MBE in New Year Honours List

imageSarah Jewell, founder and Chief Executive Officer of International Medical Insurance provider ALC Health has been awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in The Queen’s New Year Honours list in recognition of her services to entrepreneurship in the Medical Health Industry.

Ms. Jewell commented. “This was an unexpected but a great honour. Having been involved in the medical insurance industry for over 20 years, I have been privileged to meet and work with some quite amazing people whose support and guidance has played a great part in the success that I have enjoyed”.

For further press information contact Andrew Apps at or telephone +44 (0)1903 817970

Ebola update : Guinea now “stable”.

More than 5,400 people have now died as a result of the Ebola outbreak with Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia the worst hit, however the World Health Organisation has reported that for Guinea at least, the outbreak is now “stable”.

There remain a few areas particularly in the South East of the country where flare ups continue to be reported but elsewhere conditions are starting to improve.

Chikungunya virus rife in Jamaica and now affecting other Caribbean Islands

feverThe mosquito-borne Chikungunya virus, already rampant in Jamaica, has spread to the Cayman Islands and other parts of the Caribbean.

The Caribbean Public Health Agency’s latest report, dated October 20, states that there were 59 confirmed cases of chikungunya in Jamaica, but medical professionals are saying that the prevalence of the virus is hugely under-reported.

Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans by infected Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes. Whilst it is rarely fatal for adults, the infection can cause death in infants, people with weakened immune systems, and vulnerable older people. The virus causes fever and severe joint pain and other symptoms can include: muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash.

Stop drinking for just a month and reap the benefits

BeerGiving up alcohol for a month can change people’s drinking habits in the long term meaning people drink less and get drunk less often, according to a study.

Research shows that committing to a month off alcohol – post Christmas – was more likely to lead to people moderating their drinking during the rest of the year and to saying no to a drink on social occasions or when feeling upset or anxious.

A survey of 3,800 people who completed a questionnaire before they gave up alcohol in January 2014, found that many of those going 31 days without alcohol experienced a number of positive side-effects, such as sleeping better, losing weight and feeling more energetic. More than three-quarters of people said they had saved money and felt a sense of achievement.

Commenting on the research, Prof Wallace, chief medical adviser to the charity Drinkaware, warned that people should not be complacent.

“It’s important not to assume that having a break from alcohol for a while means it’s OK to drink to excess the rest of the year. It’s also important to recognise that just because you can stop drinking alcohol for a period of time, it doesn’t mean you don’t need to continue to moderate your drinking in the long term.”

AXA International Chief Medical Officer reports on Ebola Crisis

Since the index case in Mali of a young girl who traveled from Guinea and subsequently died of Ebola, a nurse has since succumbed to the virus. Separately, another male who travelled from Guinea, has died and diagnosed as an Ebola victim, together with the nurse who treated him.

A doctor from one of the main private clinic in Bamako, is as well infected. Several dozen responders and other contacts are under quarantine and are being monitored for signs of illness. In parallel, some fever controls have been put in place on the departure of Bamako airport.

An American doctor working in Sierra Leone has also been infected by the virus and should be transferred shortly to the US.
Canada and Mauritius have decided to close their borders to travelers coming from Ebola infected countries; this measure applies even for their own citizens.

In Niger, despite none Ebola case, local authorities have developed an awareness program in schools to inform populations about Ebola risks.

A Luxemburg satellite operator SES has also launched a free TV channel “Fight Ebola” to disseminate information on Ebola, to reach 20 million people in the region.

Despite a reach of over 5000 Ebola victims, MSF has reported a drop in Ebola patients occupying hospital beds in Liberia and it is postulated this is an indicator of a downward trend in numbers of Ebola cases. As a result, the country’s president, Dr. Ellen Sirleaf Johnson, announced the lifting of the state of emergency, permitting the re- opening of public markets and other activities.

Nevertheless, the nation’s medical infrastructure remains devastated and our travel recommendations remain unchanged. It is also strongly believed that the number of cases of Ebola is substantially underreported, especially in Sierra Leone. This may partly explain any apparent dip in case reports and it is considered premature to interpret this as a definite trend.

Recent experience again reconfirms the complete lack of medical resources in the countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia available to treat foreigners with even minor illnesses. It should be expected that should travelers, expatriates or relief workers require medical care, they will have to be self-reliant and remain in private quarters until transportation out of the country can be arranged.

Limitations is available transportation, screening and exit restrictions may delay movement of patients in need of a formal medical care.

You will find on the following pages an information update about the evolution of the epidemic
Dr. Cai Glushak
International Chief Medical Officer

Ebola victims pass 5,000 mark

The number of people who have died as a result of the worst-ever outbreak of Ebola has now risen to over 5,000 according to the latest figures released by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Whilst the number of new cases no longer appears to be increasing in either Guinea and Liberia, it remains high in Sierra Leone with the total number of people infected across West Africa having passed 14,000.

How to ease the pain of Jet lag

jetlagJet lag can affect anyone regardless of age or gender and usually occurs when travelling through 3 or more different time zones. It can significantly disrupt your body clock, which regulates your natural routines like sleeping and waking up. Disturbing it can cause loss of appetite, fatigue, headaches and lack of concentration, so if you want to stay free from such symptoms, try the following :-

  • Modify your sleeping pattern a couple of days prior to travelling so that you are accustomed to the new time zone.
  • Make sure you rest sufficiently during the flight and take frequent naps.
  • Keep hydrated with plenty of water and avoid caffeine and alcohol which can aggravate the symptoms while also keeping you awake.
  • Get into natural sunlight as soon as you arrive at your destination.
  • Consider a melanin-based treatment, which can ease symptoms and regulate your sleeping patterns.
  • Eat a high protein breakfast on the morning at your destination as this can help you to avoid tiredness throughout the day.”