Portugal has been mentioned as a leading destination for vacation in many articles and placed in the top of various rankings. This year, World Travel Awards distinguished the country with several awards in different sections.
Photo credits: Bengt Nyman
Portugal conquering hearts
2018 is definitely the year of Portugal as an unmissable touristic place. World Travel Awards awarded Lisbon as Europe’s Leading City Destination 2018 and Portugal as Europe’s Leading Destination 2018.
Also, it is the third time in a row that Lisbon receives the award of Europe’s Leading Cruise Port 2018 and many Portuguese resorts and hotels conquered a prize in World Travel Awards this year. Regarding places hidden in the countryside, Madeira Islands were awarded as Europe’s Leading Island Destination 2018 and Passadiços do Paiva (Arouca UNESCO Global Geopark) as Europe’s Leading Adventure Tourist Attraction 2018.
Lisbon: the chosen place for a visit and for the stay
Lisbon has been in the top of the last rankings as a city break for tourists. The Telegraph explains the main reasons why Lisbon is such a desired destination, considering its restaurants, gastronomy, architecture, street art and closeness to the beach. There are other curious facts about the city: it is one of the world’s oldest ones, it is marked by Portugal’s role in the Age of Discovery and it gets more sun than anywhere else in Europe.
However, Lisbon is just not a city for a quick visit. Very recently it became the home of some celebrities: Monica Belluci, Michael Fassbender and Christin Louboutin bought their apartments in the typical neighbourhood of Alfama while Madonna is in the city’s spotlight because of her struggle to buy her ideal Portuguese house.
What really matters when moving abroad
The living cost, the sun and the quality of life are surely crucial factors that bring so many foreigners to Portugal. Nevertheless, when choosing this country to visit or to settle, there are two essential factors that strongly influence this decision: it is a safe destination and it has one of the few good healthcare systems in the world, as stated by the World Health Organization’s Director-General.
Hepatitis is a liver inflammation caused by a virus. Since 2010, the World Health Organization (WHO) brings awareness to this disease every 28th of July. The motto for this year is: “to eliminate hepatitis.”
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 case scenarios, acute or chronic hepatitis can lead to more serious problems such as cirrhosis, liver cancer and liver failure.
According to a report from the WHO, viruses B and C are responsible for 96% of hepatitis-related deaths. In 2015, there were nearly 325 million cases of hepatitis worldwide, but treatment only reaches a small percentage of individuals, especially in low income countries. In the same year, hepatitis caused the death of 1.3 million people.
Lisbon has become very attractive for foreigners looking to run their businesses or just resettle. The Guardian explores examples of the city’s recovery after the economic crisis.
According to this article by the Guardian, Lisbon is a city “of old-fashioned dignity, of arcades and ocean breezes, of the yellow, timber-lined streetcars that get into the tourist pictures, of classical facades maintaining their equilibrium over steep slopes, of delectable cake shops and family-owned seafood restaurants.”
It is described as cosmopolitan city that brings details from other cities together. Trendy co-working spaces set up in repurposed shipping containers and buses, like Village Underground, with cultural events at the workspace, is one of the examples given that resembles the reality of London. Then, there is the bridge that looks like the Golden Gate one in San Francisco and the city’s own Christ statue that recalls Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
Lisbon’s safety is also mentioned in the article, along with being a liberal, open minded and “pro-enterprise” city. Those aspects and the fact that it is much cheaper when compared to London makes it an attractive place for “young creative exiles from the British capital” at a time when the Brexit is still characterized by uncertainty. Additionally, since last year and, at least, until 2018, Lisbon is the host city of the Web Summit, “the largest tech conference in the world”, which emphasizes the city’s innovative side.
Portugal as a whole is more and more attractive to tourists, foreign professionals looking to move and individuals looking to retire abroad. Even during the so-called “low season” of tourism, the numbers of visitors have been continuously increasing, not only in Lisbon but also in other regions like the North region and the Azores islands.
World Tuberculosis day aims to raise awareness to the epidemic of tuberculosis, a disease that in 2015 affected more than 10 millions people worldwide. The theme for this year is “Unite to End TB”.
Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial infection that affects mostly the lungs, though it is possible to affect other parts of the body. While it is considered a serious condition, it can be treated with antibiotics. This date commemorates the day, back in 1882, when Dr. Robert Koch announced the discovery of the virus that causes tuberculosis.
According to the WHO, tuberculosis is often overlooked because is hard to be diagnosed. Symptoms can include cough that lasts longer than 3 weeks (with phlegm that can have blood), weight loss, night sweats, fever, fatigue and loss of appetite.
TB occurs in every part of the world but the majority of cases are concentrated in Asia (61%) and Africa (26%). In countries with a few registered cases, TB affects mostly vulnerable individuals in social risk, like people with alcohol and drug problems or homeless people. TB affects particularly people who are infected with the HIV virus, as both infections speed up each other’s progression.
As in most health conditions, an early and proper diagnosis is the key to a better, faster recovery. Delaying treatment can lead to long-term health issues.
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.
Yesterday the world observed the “World Hepatitis Day” that was created to raise awareness about this condition. There are five different types of hepatitis: A, B, C, D and E. Viruses B and C are the deadliest ones. Nowadays, Portugal is one of the most successful countries in the world dealing with Hepatitis C.
Hepatitis viruses have different incubation periods and can be symptomless for many years. In fact, less than 5% of infected individuals with hepatitis B and C know that they are infected – even nowadays, when it’s possible to detect Hepatitis with a simple blood test. Among those who are aware that they have hepatitis, the vast majority does not get any type of treatment. In a recent press release by the World Health Organization (WHO), Director General Dr. Margaret Chan says: “The world has ignored hepatitis at its peril. It is time to mobilize a global response to hepatitis on the scale similar to that generated to fight other communicable diseases like HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.”
The five virus’ types are very distinct and spread in different ways. Transmission of types A and E are linked to eating contaminated food and drinking contaminated water, and is most common in regions that lack access to safe water, as well as in poor sanitation conditions. Hepatitis B and C commonly spread when blood-to-blood contact occurs, through unsafe injections, syringe sharing and medical procedures, during childbirth (from mother to child), and through sexual contact. Hepatitis D is also transmitted via infected blood, however, it only occurs if the person is already infected with the hepatitis B virus.
Currently, Portugal has an unique approach against hepatitis C, offering universal treatment covering people in all stages of the disease, unlike other countries that only treat more advanced cases. Another example of Portugal’s leading expertise on the field is the participation of Dr. Ana Cláudia Miranda, a specialist in infectious diseases, who represents Portugal at “Committed to Cure”, an European initiative to help cure Hepatitis C – in which only countries with solid and renown expertise in Hepatitis C are invited to be part of.
Like most diseases, it is helpful to keep in mind that prevention and an early diagnosis are the key to stay healthy. If you are planning on coming to Portugal this summer, take the opportunity and look after your health. We will gladly arrange the right check-up for you, based on your needs, preferences and availability.