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

Travel Health Journal

A man, woman, and child sitting on a low bridge by a field. Photo by Keith Moore.

In the news: Travel health insurance

This article is part of our monthly travel and global health news round-up. July and August are busy months for travellers. Several stories about travellers’ medical care experiences abroad have been in the news lately, so travel health insurance is the theme of this edition. In the news this month 1. Travel insurance providers remove mental health illness exclusions The Sydney Morning Herald Great news! Two Australian insurance companies have removed exclusions that deny travellers coverage for mental health conditions. This is a step in the right direction. We recognise the critical importance of incorporating specific cover for people with mental health conditions into our policies. – Mike Emmett, chief executive of the insurance company Cover-More Australia Travellers with ...

Three monkeys sitting on a wall in Nepal. Photo by Tullia Marcolongo.

In the news: A travel medicine pioneer, volunteering, monkeys, and dementia

You’re reading the latest edition of our monthly travel and health news round up. Every month, we share four interesting articles in travel and tropical medicine. Refugee health has been at the top of our minds recently. World Refugee Day on June 20 was an important reminder that not everyone gets to choose when and where they travel. (You can see the highlights of the recent North American Refugee Health Conference with the hashtag #NARHCTO on Twitter.) In the news this month 1. Martin Wolfe, doctor specializing in tropical and travel medicine, dies at 82 Washington Post Martin Wolfe was a long-time IAMAT physician. We will always remember his kindness and generosity. – IAMAT President M. Assunta Uffer-Marcolongo Dr. ...

Blood glucose meter and supplies. Photo by Steve Buissinne, Pixabay.

First time travelling with diabetes?

Written with information from IAMAT’s new pocket guide for senior travellers by Claire Westmacott (to be published in October 2017). Travelling with diabetes Managing diabetes during travel may seem daunting, but there are many resources to help you plan a healthy trip. Diabetes management (especially insulin dosage) is highly individual, so it’s essential that you consult your health practitioner before you travel. Here are some things to consider when planning your next trip. Before you go Book an appointment with your health practitioner to discuss managing your diabetes during your trip. Plan to bring enough insulin, medication, and supplies for the full duration of your trip, including extra in case they get stolen or lost. If you use insulin, ...

The wing of an airplane over the ocean and an island.

In the news: Vaccines, bug spray, pharmacies, and brain drain

We’re trying something new: A monthly round up of fascinating articles in travel and global health. Every month, we’ll highlight issues of interest to travellers, initiatives in global health, tropical medicine research, scientific discoveries, and more. Check our blog each month for the latest round up. Four things we liked this month 1. Travel smart: Don’t leave travel vaccines to the last minute Toronto Star Planning a trip? There are important reasons not to leave vaccines to the last minute. Pharmacist Victor Wong explains: A lot of people don’t realize that not only do some of these vaccines take a few weeks to be effective, but they might be part of a multi-series of vaccines. It usually takes a minimum ...

Travellers walking through an airport with suitcases. Photo by Negative Space, Pexels.

Travelling with anxiety: Coping on-the-go

Wherever you go, it’s important to prepare for the effects of travel on your mental well-being. In honour of Mental Health Month we have updated our Travel and Mental Health Series to provide you with advice for a healthy and safe trip. Topics include travel and depression, substance use, anxiety, psychosis and travel stress. Access the full series here. Travel is an exciting opportunity to explore new places, people, and activities. However, being away from familiar surroundings and dealing with change can be challenging for some travellers; feelings of anxiety can reoccur or emerge for the first time. Anxiety disorders are manageable and if you prepare in advance and are actively coping with your anxiety, you can travel safely ...

Around the world: Tick-borne diseases

Ticks on the move Hiking and camping are popular activities for travellers, but make sure you’re prepared to fend off ticks before you go. Ticks are tiny arachnids that feed on blood. They’re often associated with hiking and camping in forested areas, but ticks infected with the bacteria that cause Lyme Disease have been found in city parks in Europe and North America. Thanks to climate change and urban sprawl, ticks are coming into closer contact with humans. Scientists hope that more research on ticks will help limit the spread of tick-borne illnesses (like this research on the black-legged tick’s immune system and this project on how mice contribute to the spread of Lyme in the United States). When ...

Travel Health Planner button with airplane

New: Try our Travel Health Planner!

Simplify trip planning Planning a healthy trip can be complicated. From vaccines to health risks, being informed can be time-consuming – and it only becomes more complex when you’re planning a multi-country trip. (Especially when it comes to Yellow Fever!) That’s why we are so excited to share the new Travel Health Planner for IAMAT members. Introducing the Travel Health Planner The Travel Health Planner is a tool to help you plan a healthy trip. It provides health advice and vaccination recommendations based on your itinerary. Recommendations are presented in a simple table, followed by detailed information for each country. You can add as many countries as you like to your Planner. The Planner takes into account the countries ...

Meet Claire, our new Health Writer and Research Specialist.

Meet Claire: Hiker, writer, and public health specialist

We are excited to welcome Claire Westmacott to our team! Claire brings expertise in public health and a wealth of travel experience to IAMAT. As our new Health Writer and Research Specialist, Claire researches, writes, and updates our travel health resources, including the Country Health Advice database and eLibrary. She is also working on a brand new guide for older travellers that will be published later this year. (Stay tuned for updates on the guide!) We caught up with Claire to learn more about her perspectives on travel and what drew her to global health. Where did you grow up? I was born in Oxford, England, but largely grew up in Waterloo, Ontario. Where did you go to school? ...

Senior travellers in an airport

Tips for older travellers: Heart disease

This post is part of a series for older travellers. Read Tips for older travellers: Reducing travel stress. Travelling with heart disease Cardiovascular conditions like heart attack, heart failure, and stroke can affect people of any age, but are more common among people over the age of 70. They are the leading causes of air evacuations, along with injuries and psychiatric emergencies. Here’s the good news: International travel is both possible and enjoyable if your heart condition is stable. As long as your condition is well-managed and your doctor clears you for travel, there’s no reason to avoid travelling. Note: Do not travel by air within 2 weeks of a heart attack. Even if you feel well, talk to ...

2016 IAMAT scholars Manuel and Weedgina

Travel medicine pioneers in Haiti and Costa Rica

A new frontier for IAMAT scholars We were thrilled to award the Stella & George Bryant Travel Medicine Scholarship to two deserving doctors in 2016. The scholarship enabled Weedgina St Vil of Cap-Haïtien, Haiti and Manuel Villalobos of San José, Costa Rica to take a travel medicine short course at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) in November. Weedgina and Manuel also participated in clinical observation at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases travel clinic. We are grateful to Dr. Ron Behrens for organizing the course at LSHTM and making the clinical component possible. Meet Weedgina and Manuel Manuel and Weedgina are using what they learned to become travel medicine pioneers in Costa Rica and Haiti. Both ...