The incident that inspired Dr. Marcolongo to create IAMAT occurred in a Rome hospital where a young Canadian woman studying music and travelling in Italy was referred to him by a non-English speaking colleague. The patient had a recurring high fever and was suffering from general weakness.
Having interned in Montreal, and being familiar with the English language, Dr. Marcolongo was able to find out from the patient the sequence of events relating to her care. He discovered the cause of her illness; the painkiller prescribed a few weeks earlier was destroying the patient's white blood cells. After intensive treatment, including blood transfusions, the patient's condition stabilized and she fully recovered.
It turns out that the prescribed medication, commonly dispensed in Italy at the time, was harmless to Italians, but harmful to people of Anglo-Saxon descent. Had Dr. Marcolongo not trained in Canada, his prescription would have been identical to that of the physician who treated the patient originally.
Dr. Marcolongo made the medical needs of travellers his life's work. In an era of increasing international travel, he understood that there was a need for collaboration among medical practitioners around the world to help travellers. To this end, he contacted hundreds of doctors of all nationalities who were trained according to international health standards, and coordinated their services into IAMAT.
From the outset, IAMAT's goal was to coordinate medical services worldwide for travellers and to prepare them for their journey. Dr. Marcolongo believed that this information should be available at no cost to travellers. We are proud that the voluntary support from IAMAT members allows us to continue our programs and projects in the spirit of generosity and dedication of its Founder.
April 25, 2013
Do you know if your travel destination country has malaria? If so, would you take medication to prevent a malaria infection?
March 28, 2013
Do you understand how your immune system works to protect you from disease? Do you know how vaccines work?
February 28, 2013
Guest post by Dr. Erik McLaughlin