29th September – World Heart Day

World Heart Day is celebrated on the 29th of September. Throughout the world, millions of deaths are linked to heart problems, and many could be avoided with an healthier lifestyle and early prevention mechanisms.

World Heart Day

According to the world Health Organization (WHO), half of all deaths in the European region are due to cardiovascular disease. Africa has the highest prevalence of high blood pressure in the world. Blood pressure is linked to a greater risk of stroke, coronary heart disease and heart failure, among other health issues. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death in USA – it represents 1 in 4 deaths among Americans.

Many factors can contribute to heart problems, such as age, family history, problems like hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, smoking and being overweight.

The do’s and the don’ts

  • Don’t smoke
  • Eat healthy meals, that include plenty of vegetables, fruit, fish and cereal
  • Avoid food that is high on salt, sugar or fat
  • Drink plenty of water

Apart from a healthy diet, some lifestyle habits can also help you achieve better health and prevent heart diseases, such as exercising regularly, doing a leisure active such as reading, gardening or meditating. These hobbies can help you fight stress, which can contribute to heart problems as well. Additionally, don’t underestimate good nights of sleep. Sleep deprivation can increase the risk of stroke and heart disease.

If you want to do a specialised heart check-up while visiting Portugal, you can contact us and we will make all the arrangements according to your availability.

Better safe than sorry: you may want to consider an STD screening

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), usually known as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), are infections that spread mostly through sexual contact. The most common are chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and trichomoniasis, but there are many more, like HIV and Hepatitis B.

a doctor holds a notebook. the text says "stds: when was the last time you got tested?"

Holidays mean fun and a needed relaxing period from a long work year. However health does not take a time out. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that everyday over one million of STDs are acquired worldwide. A great part of STDs has mild or no symptoms. Thus, many people are not aware they are infected and contribute to the spreading unwittingly.

If left untreated, STDs can lead to other serious conditions, beyond the infections itself. For instance, gonorrhea and chlamydia are the main causes of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and infertility among women. In men, the most common consequence is an infection in the prostate, prostatitis, but can also lead to infertility.

Practicing safe sex, using male or female condoms is a great practice to reduce the risk of contracting an STD but does not eliminate it at 100%. If you are sexually active with multiple partners, you should check your status regularly. During your next check-up, ask to be also tested for STDs.

We will be talking more about STDs throughout the month of August. Stay tuned and remember that prevention is the key!

July 28 celebrates World Hepatitis Day

Hepatitis is the seventh leading cause of death and disability in the world according to a recently released report from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013. Over 90% of deaths are linked to hepatitis B and C. Early diagnosis could save many lives.

A graphic explains that 400 million people are infected with hepatitis B and C, only 5% are aware they are infected and only 1 in 100 people gets treatment.

World Hepatitis Day was set up in 2010 by the World Health Organization to raise awareness about viral hepatitis and promote access to better treatment and prevention programmes.

Hepatitis is a liver inflammation caused by a virus. There are five hepatitis viruses: A, B, C, D and E. Treating hepatitis can be a simple process (or it can be untreatable), depending on the type of hepatitis, its stage of development and the damage already done to the liver. In the worst scenarios, acute or chronic hepatitis can lead to more serious problems such as cirrhosis, liver cancer and liver failure. Over 90% of hepatitis-related deaths are linked to viruses B and C.

Portugal is one of the countries that has registered a great progress against hepatitis. Earlier this year, a successful and innovative treatment for Hepatitis C in Portugal – with a healing rate of 95% – has been praised within the medical community.

An early diagnosis can make the difference. Hepatitis can be detected with a simple blood test that you can choose to include in your next check-up. If you are visiting Portugal, we can arrange a complete check-up for you, according to your needs.

In the next blog post we will explain the different hepatitis viruses and their transmission modes.

Source: World Health Organization, World Hepatitis Day, World Hepatitis Alliance, SOS Hepatites

We are what we eat

The debate isn’t new. What we put into our daily meals is what we will become in the long term.

The better we eat the better our health will be in the future. Eating better is mostly a question of education and information, of asking questions and reading labels to make healthy choices. And the ability to make right choices starts in the supermarket.

The World Health Organization explains why most people aren’t eating a healthy and balanced diet:

Increasing production of more and more processed food, rapid urbanization, and changing lifestyles are transforming dietary patterns. Highly processed foods are increasing in availability and becoming more affordable. People around the world are consuming more energy-dense foods that are high in saturated fats, trans fats, sugars, and salt. (…) people are consuming less fruit vegetables and dietary fiber (such as whole grains), that are key components of a healthy diet.

Most food products available for children have high amounts of sugar and salt that parents aren’t aware of. According to the World Health Organization, “most people consume too much salt—on average 9–12 grams per day, or around twice the recommended maximum level of intake.” And they also consume too much sugar, that is why the WHO strongly recommends people to reduce their intake of free sugars from 10 to 5% of the total daily energy intake. Free sugars are defined as “(…) monosaccharides and disaccharides added to foods and beverages by the manufacturer, cook or consumer, and sugars naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates.”

The amounts of sugar and salt present in our daily food intakes can sometimes be a deadly weapon and are responsible for diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and obesity. And these diseases can occur in children and teenagers, not only in adults.

The high costs of treating such diseases increase every decade but sadly the investment in prevention doesn’t. Prevention is important to bring awareness to health issues and to educate consumers about their food choices. The more educated consumers are, higher the chance they will go for a healthy diet with a focus on fresh foods such as vegetables, fruits and grains. The Mediterranean diet is a good barometer for a healthy diet, as it focuses on the balance between whole grains and fresh vegetables and low red meat consumption.

Medical Port launches its services in Mozambique

With the goal to better serve the healthcare needs of Mozambicans, Medical Port partnered with a local representative to promote its healthcare services and help Mozambicans to have access to medical treatment in Portugal.

The launching event took place on February 25 at Hotel Southern Sun, in Maputo. Guests were Mozambicans and Portuguese living in Mozambique. Attendees had the chance to get to know Medical Port’s services and also learned innovative non-invasive assessment techniques with a presentation from a cardiovascular physician.

Due to lack of options of healthcare in their country, Mozambicans usually travel for medical care to nearby countries. For those who seek to travel to Portugal for business or leisure, they can also book medical treatments through Medical Port’s partner network of private hospitals and clinics. With a long history of friendship between Portugal and Mozambique, the common language makes Portugal an interesting option for Mozambicans.

All Medical Port services are customized to the specific needs of the clients. Some of the areas are diagnosis and check-up, exams and consultations, plastic surgery and physical rehabilitation. These offerings are designed to provide a complete, rigorous and effective solution for a health concern that may not be covered in the client’s home country. Besides medical care, Medical Port plans and organizes the trip and the stay. Leisure activities can be planned according to the medical treatment the client will receive. Before and after the trip, the client can have remote consultations with the selected physicians to clarify concerns and for follow-up.

New medical tourism programs for Arabic countries

Following, Medical Port’s presence in the Saudi Arabia Medical Tourism Fair in the end of 2014, and due to the large interest demonstrated ever since, the company is launching special programs for countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, among others.

The 4 specific programs are: health check-up, obesity diagnosis assessment, weight-loss, and physical therapy and rehabilitation.

The health check-up is a week long program to reinforce the commitment to healthy living by undergoing a thorough health examination while enjoying cultural activities with Mediterranean style cuisine. Health prevention is important to reduce health risks and also improve the length and quality of life. This program assesses how good your health is and advises on lifestyle improvements and can be done in Lisbon or Oporto.

The obesity diagnosis assessment program lasts 15 days in Lisbon, and is for individuals previously diagnosed with excess weight or pre-obese by medical standards. Allows for the adequate understanding of the origin of the condition and approaches it in a holistic way to achieve positive long-term results.

The weight-loss program lasts 15 days in Lisbon and is target at individuals who would like a diet plan for weight-loss and don’t know where to start. It helps to understand lifestyle habits and changes necessary to lose weight. Combining exams, consultations, nutritionist advice and exercise for a great weight-loss start.

For physical therapy and rehabilitation, there is a 15 day program in Lisbon or Oporto. For individuals who seek to recover from surgery, a bad fall, a work accident or an orthopaedic injury. The program follows a careful decision making process, and proper and thorough rehabilitation so that individuals can recover their natural movements and mobility.

Medical Port has plans to expand the medical tourism offerings to the Arabic speaking world in the next few months.

If you would like to know more about Medical Port’s offerings to the Arabic countries, please contact us by phone (+351 220 973 151), or click here to send us an email.

Health promotion in the workplace

When thinking about workers well-being companies are increasingly deciding for health prevention instead of disease management.

For many years, resources were spent in dealing with employees’ health problems, but now companies are shifting for a prevention model.

Many employers are creating health prevention programs to encourage their employees to become healthier by making healthy choices.

Prevention policies and programs are often cost-effective, reducing health care costs, and improving productivity. It is believed that “With better health, adults are more productive and at work more days” since diseases like asthma, high blood pressure, smoking and obesity can “reduce annual productivity by between $200 and $440 per person”, according to the US National Prevention Strategy.

Everyday prevention is being promoted in small actions like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, taking a break at work, providing healthy meal options, or offering paid gym memberships. Busy lifestyles often make it difficult for people to schedule time for activities that support their well-being, both at work and out of it, leading to increased stress levels. Most people also find it hard to arrange time to do health assessments and work on health prevention. Health prevention should be a priority not only for individuals, but also for companies looking to keep their employees engaged and healthy, improving the length and quality of their lives. The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work issued a report on work-related stress and its costs, finding that mental disorders caused by stress constitute 30% of early retirements in Sweden and Germany.

Medical Port developed corporate health prevention programs for companies who would like to assess their employees’ health while taking the opportunity to relax (through mindfulness programs) and team building during short trips to Portugal. The programs include individual health check-up exams and psychological evaluation and a corporate health status report, all in English. These programs are aimed at individuals with high levels of responsibility and consequently with higher work-related stress. If you would like to know more about Medical Port’s Corporate Health Prevention programs, visit our website or contact us.

The importance of Check-ups in Health Prevention

The start of a new year always brings new health goals and the promise to take a good care of body and mind.

Committing to a healthy lifestyle is the best way to start off the New Year.

Eat better, sleep well, and practice exercise regularly can help prevent diseases. But if you want to assess how good is your health, you can do a complete check-up. Regular health check-ups improve your potential for a long and healthy life. Check-ups offer a look into how your body is functioning and your risks for certain types of diseases. They help guide physician recommendations to minimize the occurrence of disease and reduce their impact. For example, the impact of excess weight is clearly assessed in a health check-up.

Medical Port check-up programs are customized according to your needs. You can enjoy your stay in Portugal to a great extent and get to know how good your health is. With centuries of History it’s no surprise that there are plenty of places to see and things to do. From visiting magnificent castles to amazing contemporary art museums, the choice is yours. Portugal is a very safe destination, as it’s ranked 18 out of 162 in the Global Peace Index. There’s an average of 3300 hours of sunshine per year, one of the highest in Europe and nearly 30% of the population is fluent in English.

Read more about health prevention in this article from the Huffington Post. If you want to learn more about Medical Port visit our website at www.medicalport.org or send us an email to info@medicalport.org.

Custom-made weight loss programs for long lasting results

Having a healthy weight loss is important when it comes to ensure long-term results.

It’s a firm commitment to yourself and those around you. Health prevention plays a key role in fighting obesity and pre-obesity states.

Effective weight loss programs start with a health assessment to find out the origin of excess weight. Medical Port offers custom-made weight loss programs with the adequate medical and behavioural treatment. Programs combine Psychological Support, Dietary Regimes, and Physical Exercises and Surgery when needed.

To learn more about these programs, please visit www.medicalport.org.

 

In Portugal you can find:

  • Internationally certified facilities;
  • Hospital services 24×7;
  • Cutting edge technology medical equipment;
  • Highly qualified physicians and medical staff;
  • No waiting lists;

Portugal is one of the safest countries in the world. Also known as Europe’s hidden treasure, has a rich and varied cultural offer. You can recover enjoying the sun, the beach, the river, or the countryside. All minutes away from each other.

Make health prevention your 2015 New Year’s Resolutions

Make sure your health comes first and get a complete check-up while enjoying the sun in Lisbon.

Medical Port and Sagres Vacations recently partnered to create Medical Tourism programs for Americans who wish to travel to Europe. This partnership aims to let consumers know that Portugal is a great option for Medical Tourism. Medical Port works only with top private hospitals and clinics in Lisbon, Oporto, and the Algarve.

Start off 2015 the best way possible by doing a complete health check-up while you enjoy the best that Lisbon has to offer. Think about historic monuments, mild all year round temperatures, and great Mediterranean style food. “Prevention is the Key” program is a one-week health assessment Medical Tourism package. Health prevention is important and can reduce health risk factors and also improve the length and quality of life. Assess how good your health is and the lifestyle changes you can do to improve it.

The medical component of this package includes:

  • Complete health check-up in private hospital in JCI accredited facilities
  • Different check-up exams for men and women
  • Transfers, hospital concierge, and accommodation.

As for leisure, travellers can enjoy different options:

  • A private tour to discover Lisbon or Oporto and its surroundings
  • Get in shape while enjoying daily countryside and beach walking trails
  • Special options include:
    • Enjoy a relaxing and detox program in a Hotel with SPA
    • Learn more about Mediterranean cuisine with a chef in cooking sessions
    • Experience a private walking tour in Lisbon or Oporto with a professional photographer
    • Sail Tejo or Douro Rivers in a luxury sailboat

When you want to commit to a healthy lifestyle, you should do it with the support of your friends and family. And set realistic and measurable goals. Join this program with your partner and start to reinforce your commitment with healthy living in 2015.

Why choose Portugal?

With centuries of History it’s no surprise that there are plenty of places to see and things to do. From visiting magnificent castles to amazing contemporary art museums, the choice is yours. Portugal is a very safe destination as it’s ranked 18 out of 162 in the Global Peace Index. There’s an average of 3300 hours of sunshine per year, one of the highest in Europe and nearly 30% of the population is fluent in English.

To find out more about this partnership read our previous blog post, here. If you want to know more about “Prevention is the Key” contact Medical Port, or Sagres Vacations.