IAMAT |International Association of Medical Assistance to Travellers|

Travel Health Journal

La Mosquette malaria bed net

How to choose a good mosquito net

If you’re travelling to a malaria-endemic area, a mosquito net should be on your list of essential travel supplies. Malaria is transmitted by the female Anopheles mosquito that bites humans from dusk to dawn. The Anopheles mosquito is stealthy and silent. They don’t buzz so you can’t hear them approaching. This means you are a prime target when you are most vulnerable — asleep. Bed nets are a key defence against malaria, but they also offer protection from other diseases such as filariasis (known for massive swelling of the limbs) and other insects and arachnids like ticks, beetles, flies, and spiders. Remember that in malarious areas, bedrooms without tightly-fitting screens or broken screens require insecticide-treated mosquito bed nets, except ...

tablets counterfeit medications alaasafei

Are you savvy about counterfeit medications?

If you’re travelling on a shoestring budget, one cost-saving tip you’ll hear from other travellers is to buy cheaper vaccines and medications once you reach your destination. Not only is this a bad idea, it can be very dangerous due to the vast amount of counterfeit medications on the global market. Medications are closely regulated in Canada, the United States, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and the European Union and are unlikely to be counterfeit. In other countries, however, counterfeit medications may represent up to 30% of the total medications available in the country. What are counterfeit medications? Counterfeit (or falsified) medications are those which are deliberately and fraudulently mislabelled. This includes products that contain toxic chemicals, the wrong ingredients, ...


Understanding and prioritizing selective vaccines

This is Part 3 of our Travel Vaccines on a Budget series. See Part 1 and Part 2. Selective travel vaccinations are specific to your destination, trip duration and itinerary, and type of travel. The more you plan ahead and have a specific itinerary, the more your healthcare provider can help you prioritize vaccines. Typhoid Fever This vaccine comes in an oral live version which lasts 5-7 years or an inactivated injectable one that lasts 2-3 years. Long term travellers, adventure travellers, and those visiting friends or relatives in areas of poor sanitation are at higher risk. It’s recommended if you’re going to Southeast Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and parts of South America. More about Typhoid Fever risk areas and ...

Is the water safe to drink travel

Is the water safe to drink?

In 2010, web designer and world traveller Pon Kattera approached us with a brilliant idea: What if our resources on the quality of drinking water were even easier for travellers to use? Fast forward to 2015 and the launch of Pon’s website Is the water safe to drink. It’s an easy-to-use site that lets you check the safety of drinking water around the world and it’s sourced from our comprehensive food and water safety data. We caught up with Pon to learn more about his travel experiences and why he decided to create this site.   IAMAT: What inspired you to create Is the water safe to drink? Pon: Too frequently, I find myself arriving in a new city ...


How to get vaccinated on the cheap

This is Part 2 of our Travel Vaccines on a Budget series. See Part 1 and Part 3. If you’re on a budget, check if your doctor administers the vaccines. This may be your cheapest option. Alternatively, your local public health department may also administer travel vaccines at a reduced rate. Also, there are travel clinics that provide discounted rates for their consultation and don’t mark-up the cost of the vaccines. To save time and money, find out if they charge for subsequent visits in case you need to finish the vaccine series; if they have all the vaccines you need at the time of your visit so you don’t have to return, especially if you’re in a rush before your ...

travel while pregnant photo by Gosia Lachucik

How to Travel Comfortably While Pregnant

By Jan Rydfors MD, Co-Creator of Pregnancy Companion: The Obstetrician’s Mobile Guide to Pregnancy Traveling can be especially stressful for pregnant women with the breaking of normal routines. As a busy obstetrician in Silicon Valley for over 20 years, my patients have asked me thousands of travel related questions. Below are five tips to help mommies-to-be get the most out of their trip. Hydration. Remember that hydration is extra important when you’re pregnant as more water evaporates from your skin during pregnancy, especially if traveling during the summer as heat will enhance that fluid loss. Try to drink at least 10 eight-ounce glasses of fluid every day and even more on hot days. Sun. It feels good and getting ...


Short on cash and time? 6 things to know about prioritizing vaccines

This is Part 1 of 3 from our Travel Vaccines on a Budget series. See Part 2 and Part 3. One of the most common questions we get asked from travellers is about where to find affordable vaccines. The costs of vaccines and travel health consultations vary among providers and you’ll find that prices can skyrocket very quickly. In North America, travel vaccines are not subsidized by government plans so if you don’t have insurance that covers them, your wallet will undoubtedly take a hit. The good news though is that you can prioritize travel vaccines with the help of your doctor or travel health practitioner. Get your routine immunizations updated First off, we always recommend being up-to-date with your routine ...


Everything you need to know about Schistosomiasis

If your next adventure will take you rafting or swimming in fresh water, you should know about Schistosomiasis. What do snails have to do with travel health? You’re familiar with Yellow Fever, Malaria, and Traveller’s Diarrhea, but here’s one travel health risk you may not have heard of: Schistosomiasis. Also known as Bilharzia, Schistosomiasis is a parasitic infection transmitted by freshwater snails present in Africa and parts of Southeast Asia, South America, the Middle East, and some Caribbean islands. The culprit is the trematode flatworm parasite that is transmitted by small snails which are difficult to spot on the shores of lakes, rivers, streams and ponds. Coming into brief contact with fresh water contaminated with one of the eight ...

IAMAT Sunscreen

10 sun protection tips for travellers

Protecting yourself from sun exposure is important year-round. Whether you’re headed to the beach or the ski hill, don’t forget about sunscreen and sunglasses. Here are our top 10 tips for sun protection, wherever you’re travelling this winter. 10 sun protection tips for travellers Wear sunscreen… Sun damage can occur with as little as 15 minutes of unprotected sun exposure and sun exposure occurs even on cloudy days. Fifteen minutes before going outdoors, generously apply sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher. Sunscreen with SPF 30 is recommended for individuals who work outdoors or who spend much of their time outdoors. …and reapply often. Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours, or more often if you are swimming or sweating heavily. Know ...

Medical Directory Map 2014

More IAMAT doctors ready to help travellers

We are very pleased to welcome physicians from the following countries to the IAMAT family. Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo Punta Cana, Dominican Republic Kingston, Jamaica Nairobi, Kenya Pokhara, Nepal Singapore Barcelona and Zaragoza, Spain We’re continuously adding more trusted medical and mental health practitioners to our network. The image above shows the location of IAMAT affiliated clinics around the world. These English-speaking doctors are vetted by us and are ready to help IAMAT members. See why travellers choose the IAMAT medical system. To access the listings online login with your member and postal code. You can also contact us to get a copy of our Medical Directory.