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

Travel Health Journal

One Health: An introduction for travellers

What does “health” mean to you? Maybe it means getting vaccinated, having access to medical care, or staying in good physical shape. But what if “health” included the world around us too? One Health is a concept that supports the interconnection between the health of the environment, animals, and humans. It’s often defined as a collaborative and interdisciplinary approach that involves public health practitioners, scientists, veterinarians, and policymakers working together locally, regionally, and globally to improve health. In celebration of One Health Day this November 3rd, we take a look at the relationship between travel health and the One Health movement. Why is One Health important? A One Health approach considers the complexity and interconnectedness of global and environmental ...

Dr. Marybeth Maritim on the White Nile river in Uganda.

Meet Marybeth: Travel medicine beyond vaccines

Marybeth Maritim is a physician, university lecturer, and travel medicine practitioner in Nairobi, Kenya. We were thrilled to award her the 2018 IAMAT Violet Williams Travel Medicine Scholarship. In May, Marybeth travelled to Johannesburg, South Africa to attend a travel medicine course with the South African Society of Travel Medicine (SASTM). The intensive 5-day course covered all aspects of travel medicine. She also had the opportunity to see how a travel clinic operates at the Travel Doctor Clinic. We caught up with Marybeth to find out more about her vision for travel medicine in Kenya. Travel medicine beyond vaccines For Marybeth, one of the most valuable parts of the SASTM course was learning new ways to educate her patients ...

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Join our team: Communications and Donor Development Specialist

The opportunity The role of the Communications and Donor Development Specialist is to develop and implement IAMAT’s communications strategy consistent with our brand and mission. You will help innovate and enhance the organization’s presence with donors and stakeholders, including reaching out to new audiences. You will also provide expertise and guidance on communications strategic planning as we revise our brand strategy. The Communications and Donor Development Specialist works in a collaborative environment and is supervised by the Executive Director. IAMAT’s Communications and Donor Development Specialist is: A self-starter; can work independently and takes initiative without being prompted. Committed to producing quality work. Detail-oriented but able to “zoom out” and see the big picture. Confident to leverage and expand IAMAT’s ...

Black and white image of a dog looking at the viewer.

5 misconceptions about Rabies

Rabies is one of the most deadly infections known to humans. It’s also 100% preventable. Rabies has been recognized in humans since 2000 B.C. Despite its long history, it continues to cause approximately 59,000 deaths a year, mostly among children. The virus that causes Rabies is present around the world (with the exception of Antarctica) and all mammals are susceptible to infection. This World Rabies Day, find out the truth behind 5 common misconceptions so you can stay informed and help others stay safe. We take a look at why Rabies is still a concern, how travellers are at risk, and what you can do to be prepared. 1. Rabies is only transmitted by animal bites: FALSE. Rabies is ...

Sandra in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

Meet Sandra: Trail running and helping IAMAT members

We’re delighted to introduce you to Sandra Ferguson, our new Membership Officer! Sandra joined our team in July. She manages member services, donations, and administration at our office in Toronto, Canada. We caught up with Sandra to learn more about her travels and what she enjoys about her role at IAMAT. Where did you grow up? I was born in Calgary, Canada where I grew to love the mountains and outdoors. I settled in Toronto in my late twenties after living in London, England for 2 years. What is your most memorable travel experience? Living in London remains a highlight of my travel experiences because London was the gateway to travel in Europe and Britain. I was immersed in ...

Female malaria mosquito rests on a screen. Photo by Alexander Wild.

Malaria medication: your questions answered

World Mosquito Day is celebrated every year on August 20th to commemorate Sir Ronald Ross’ discovery in 1897 that female mosquitoes (later identified from the genus Anopheles) transmit malaria to humans. Since Ross’ discovery over 120 years ago, we certainly know more about malaria and how to prevent it, but there’s still a long way to go. Malaria continues to be endemic (regularly found) in many countries and due to increases in international travel, particularly to tropical areas, the number of malaria infections in travellers has been increasing. Misconceptions about the severity of malaria, how to prevent it, and areas of risk can lead travellers to arrive at their destination inadequately prepared and unprotected. Malaria can be prevented by ...

Man sitting on a mountaintop with a backpack.

True or false? 5 travel health myths debunked

Reliable travel health information is becoming easier to find online, but it’s not uncommon to see inaccurate information on forums, blogs, and other sources travellers rely on for trip planning advice. In this edition of True or false? we’re debunking 5 myths about water filters, tanning, mosquito bite prevention, tick removal, and jellyfish stings. Myth #1: “When I use a water filter, my water will always be safe to drink.” Water filters remove large contaminants like dirt, bacteria, and protozoan cysts, but viruses can be small enough to pass through the pores of a filter into your drinking water. (It’s especially important to remove or inactivate viruses like Hepatitis A in populated areas where sanitation is poor or inconsistent.) If ...

Map of Africa and Europe with flags

Outbreak roundup: Measles, Hepatitis A, Ebola and Nipah Virus

Here at IAMAT, we update our country health advice every day to provide you with accurate and up-to-date information on health risks around the world. To help you travel better, here’s what you need to know about ongoing outbreaks: Measles in Europe The Measles outbreak in Europe is cause for concern. Since early 2017, there has been an increase in Measles cases which has affected 1 in 4 European countries and caused over 20,000 infections, including 35 deaths. Countries with the largest outbreaks in 2018 include Romania, France, Italy, and Greece. Measles is a highly contagious virus that can be spread easily through coughing and sneezing, as well as direct contact with an infected person’s saliva or nasal secretions. ...

Two people sitting on a rock next to a waterfall. Photo by Nandhu Kumar, Pexels.

4 things to know about travel and mental health

Mental health is just as important as physical health – especially when you’re travelling! This week, we’re honouring Mental Health Week in Canada and Mental Health Month in the USA. We’ve compiled a list of four things everyone should know about travel and mental health. 1. Travel can be stressful. Travel can be an opportunity to relax and “get away” from the stressors of everyday life, but travelling may also introduce new sources of stress or drudge up old anxieties. Leaving home, difficulties during transit, unexpected expenses, and navigating a new place, culture, or language can all cause stress. Keep travel stress in check: Talk to your friends, family, or a health professional about your travel plans. Talking about ...

Cover of the book "Healthy Travel: a pocket guide for seniors"

Healthy Travel: a pocket guide for seniors

Travel is exciting, inspiring, and can even be life-changing. As we age, we become less resilient to health risks and infections – and more likely to be managing a chronic condition – but this shouldn’t prevent us from seeing the world. A handbook for older travellers Our new guide, Healthy Travel: a pocket guide for seniors, provides practical advice tailored to the needs of older travellers. It covers a range of topics including vaccinations, accessibility and mobility, travel stress, and chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, aches and pains, and cardiovascular disease. Healthy Travel was published in collaboration with the South African Society of Travel Medicine (SASTM). Book details, the table of contents, and a sample can be found ...

Travel Health Journal