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

Travel Health Journal

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 ...

Doctor consulting patient

What to expect at your travel clinic appointment

Congratulations – You booked your flight and you’re off on your next adventure! Not so fast. Before you leave, take a few simple steps to stay healthy on your trip. By taking the time to understand the health risks at your destination, you’ll keep those around you healthy too. If you’ve never been to a travel clinic, here’s what to expect. Before you go to a travel clinic Make an appointment with your family doctor. Your primary healthcare provider and pharmacist may be able to take care of all your travel health needs, including vaccinations. If your doctor doesn’t have expertise in travel health or you need Yellow Fever vaccination, they will refer you to a travel health specialist ...

Manuel Villalobos and his wife at the summit of Cerro Chirripo

IAMAT Scholars: Where are they now?

Did you know that we’ve awarded over 30 travel medicine scholarships to doctors and nurses since 2002? Our scholars have gone on to conduct research on travellers’ health, implement travel medicine best practices in their communities, and become leaders in travel medicine. Today, we’re checking in with two of our past scholars, Manuel and Ramesh. Manuel Villalobos (2016) and Ramesh Maniam (2017) both received the Stella & George Bryant Travel Medicine Scholarship. They trained at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in London, UK. We caught up with Manuel and Ramesh to see how they’re putting their knowledge into practice. What are IAMAT Scholarships? Our scholarships help practitioners who are already ...

Green car driving down a coastal road

Summer travel checklist

The kids are out of school, the sun is shining, and your bags are packed – the summer travel season is here! But before you hit the road, there are a few key things you and your family can do to ensure you have a healthy trip: Make sure your vaccines are up-to-date There is no better time than now to ensure your routine immunizations are up-to-date. Recently, vaccine-preventable diseases, particularly Measles, have been making a resurgence due to incomplete vaccination, vaccine refusal, gaps in vaccine coverage, and waning immunity. Measles outbreaks continue to affect many destinations around the world, including many US states, Canadian provinces, and countries in Europe, Africa, and Asia. If you are unsure about you ...

Glacier and blue sky

Travel and climate change: How to stay healthy and be responsible

Did you know that as travellers, we are having significant impact on climate change? Global tourism accounts for a staggering 8% of all carbon emissions. This is four times higher than originally thought and accounts for the energy needed to support the tourism industry and related goods and services. The global tourism industry is projected to continue growing, but without a commitment to sustainable growth and reduced emissions, the effects of climate change will continue to take hold. To travel as a tourist is a privilege and we owe it to the people and places we visit to be respectful and conscious of our impact. Together, we need to commit to more sustainable forms of travel. Here are five ...

Woman looking out at city

In the news: Travel and mental health

This article is part of our regular travel and global health news round-up. Let’s face it: With all the excitement that goes into planning a trip, we sometimes neglect our mental health. And when we’re away from home, jetlagged, and sleep deprived – small obstacles can suddenly feel overwhelming. Before you go, it’s important to consider your mental wellbeing and be prepared – whether you have a pre-existing mental health condition or not. Just like physical health, taking care of your mental health is an important part of staying healthy. In honour of Mental Health Awareness month, this news round-up explores various topics related to mental health and travel, including the global inequity of accessible mental health care and ...

Man walking through airport

Taking a jab at Measles: Why travellers need to get vaccinated

The Measles crisis continues in many countries around the world. The disease is so contagious that 9 out of every 10 nonimmune people will be infected through contact with one infected person. Prior to the introduction of the live Measles vaccine in 1963, major epidemics were frequent and led to an estimated 2.6 million deaths a year. To celebrate World Immunization Week and its theme for this year Protected together: Vaccines work! we are taking a look at how routine immunizations (like the Measles vaccine) impact global and travel health and how travellers can ensure they are adequately protected. The resurgence of Measles Global efforts to eliminate Measles have been ongoing since 2001 when the United Nations initiated a ...