IAMAT |International Association of Medical Assistance to Travellers| IAMAT |International Association of Medical Assistance to Travellers|

Travel Health Journal

Bringing Travel Medicine to a Travel Hot-Spot: Meet IAMAT Scholar Nsisong Asanga

We are pleased to introduce you to our latest Scholar, Dr. Nsisong Asanga. Nsisong is the Medical Director of the Victor Attah International Airport Clinic in Uyo, Nigeria. Last fall, Dr. Asanga was awarded the IAMAT Stella and George Bryant Travel Medicine Scholarship. IAMAT Scholars, like Nsisong, are passionate and dedicated leaders. Upon graduation, our Scholars return to their communities to teach their colleagues and apply their new skills to improve healthcare practices in their clinics, benefitting travellers and local patients. For her training, Nsisong travelled to London, England where she completed a travel medicine short course at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), and participated in clinical observations at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases and ...

Aerial view of flooded houses

Polio: Still a global threat?

Many of us think of polio as a disease belonging to another era. In the early 20th century, it was one of the most feared diseases in North America. Thanks to the discovery of the polio vaccine, cases haven’t been seen in Canada since 1977 and 1979 in the United States. Today, the disease is 99.9% eradicated thanks to tireless global efforts, but without total elimination it continues to be a threat in the world’s most vulnerable regions. In fact, in 2019 we saw concerning increases in polio outbreaks, with cases reported from some countries that hadn’t seen cases for decades. So, what can we expect for 2020? In this blog, we look at polio, why outbreaks spiked in ...

Medication and pills

What you need to know about travelling with medications

Do you know if you can legally travel with your medication? If you’re unsure, you’re not alone. Many of us are unaware of or confused about the restrictions countries place on the import of medication for personal use. And unfortunately, finding out about international regulations is no easy task. Countries independently regulate the import of medicines and many do not have publicly available or clear guidelines. In this blog, you’ll find everything you need to know about travelling across borders with prescription and over-the-counter medications. (Need even more information? Check out Travelling with Medications: A guide.) How much medication can I bring? It depends. The amount of prescription medication you can take with you varies depending on your destination’s ...

Hand holding a small globe

In the news: Mental health emergencies & insurance nightmares

The holiday travel season is almost here! In this edition of “In the News”, we found 4 stories that can help you avoid pitfalls on your holiday getaway. We’ve included tips and links to more detailed resources on travelling with medication, travel health insurance, antibiotic resistance, and mental health and travel. 1. What to do if you forget to pack your medication while traveling abroad, according to an expert Travel + Leisure What can you do if you forget to pack your medication for an international trip? It happens to even the most seasoned travellers, but it can be tricky to replace medication in another country! Travel + Leisure interviewed our Executive Director Tullia Marcolongo to find out how ...

Assorted colourful pills on white background

Fighting back against antibiotic resistance

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), antibiotic resistance has reached “dangerously high” levels on a global scale. You’re probably familiar with the term “antibiotic resistance” – but what does it actually mean and how serious is it? In honor of Antibiotic Awareness Week we explore antibiotic resistance, its health and economic implications, as well as what travellers can do to prevent one of the greatest global health challenges we face today. What is antibiotic resistance and what is the scope of the problem? Antibiotics are widely used to treat and prevent bacterial infections, but over time, bacteria can develop resistance; most are killed off by the antimicrobial agent, but naturally resistant microorganisms survive and multiply into stronger strains. ...

Balloons in sky

Travelling with medications: A NEW guide

Are you travelling soon and currently taking prescription medication? Did you know that countries often place specific restrictions on the import of medications for personal use? If you are confused about how to travel with your prescription medication, you’re not alone. Travelling with medications is one of the most common concerns among travellers. Country regulations can be unclear and difficult to navigate, while penalties for not being in compliance can be severe. Many of us are confused about, or unaware of, these restrictions and how they are enforced. Even if you are in compliance with your destination’s restrictions, you can still run into issues with your medication during your trip. It can be a challenge to find prescription medication ...

Person holding a rainbow flag.

Staying safe and healthy: Tips for LGBTQ travellers

Travel is for everyone It’s never been easier for LGBTQ travellers to see the world. As visibility and acceptance of the LGBTQ community grows, travellers have more options for independent travel. There are also an increasing number of LGBTQ-focused companies specializing in tours, cruises, and custom trips that offer adventure, luxury, family fun, or simply a safe space to be yourself. According to OutNow Consulting, LGBTQ travellers spent $218 billion dollars on travel and tourism in 2018 alone. In this blog, we highlight what LGBTQ travellers should keep in mind when planning a trip, including tips on staying safe, the importance of researching LGBTQ laws and cultural attitudes, and what to do if you need to see a doctor ...

Paul Yonga IAMAT Scholar

IAMAT Scholars in action: Dr. Paul Yonga

We are pleased to introduce you to our latest IAMAT Scholar, Dr. Paul Yonga. Paul is an infectious and tropical disease physician based in Eldoret, Kenya. He was awarded the 2019 IAMAT Violet Williams Travel Medicine Scholarship to train with the South African Society of Travel Medicine (SASTM) and participate in clinical observations at the Travel Doctor Clinic in Johannesburg. IAMAT Scholarships provide training in travel medicine to practitioners who are passionate about improving care for local patients and travellers in their community. Our Scholarships strive to increase the capacity of local health services so that everyone has access to safe and reliable healthcare, no matter who or where they are. We caught up with Paul to learn more ...

Mosquito

Zika Virus: Is it still a risk?

For many of us, the Zika Virus epidemic of 2016-17 seems like a distant memory. But at the time, the disease received widespread global news coverage, changed travel plans and the tourism sector, and most of all, had significant, life-long effects on the health of infected children and families. And then suddenly, it was gone. Case numbers dwindled, panic subsided, and other news stories took the forefront. But did the virus really disappear? For World Mosquito Day this year, we’re exploring how the Aedes mosquito (responsible for transmitting Zika) caused an international health crisis. We’ll also be looking at the current level of Zika Virus risk and how travellers can stay protected. Understanding Zika Zika Virus is primarily transmitted ...

Bathroom sign

The perfect bathroom read: Tips on managing Travellers’ Diarrhea

There’s nothing that plagues travellers more than diarrhea. Caused by ingesting bacteria, viruses, or protozoa, Travellers’ Diarrhea (TD) is one of the trickiest illnesses to avoid. Fortunately, most cases resolve after a few unpleasant days but in some, TD can lead to more serious health effects or conditions such as Postinfectious Irritable Bowel Syndrome (PI-IBS). In today’s blog, we’re looking at some of the ways you can reduce your risk and what to do if you get sick during your trip. What’s the risk? TD can affect up to 70% of travellers. It is most commonly caused by bacteria (such as Escherichia coli, Campylobacter jejuni, Shigella spp., Salmonella spp., and others) transmitted via the fecal-oral route – when infected ...