IAMAT |International Association of Medical Assistance to Travellers| IAMAT |International Association of Medical Assistance to Travellers|
55th Year - Going Confidently for 55 years
55th Year - Going Confidently for 55 years

Travel Health Journal

Paul Filitchkin - dog

Rabies: A global and travel health issue

Rabies around the world Rabies is a global health issue with a long history. One of the earliest developments in vaccine research was Louis Pasteur’s discovery of how to artificially reduce, or attenuate, a virus’ virulence which he used to successfully administer the first post-exposure rabies treatment in 1885. The virus that causes rabies is present on all continents except Antarctica. While only specific travellers may need pre-exposure rabies vaccinations, rabies remains a significant and complicated public health issue in many countries. Most human rabies infections in developing countries – the majority occurring in Asia and Africa – are caused by dog bites, and vaccination of domestic and feral dogs is an effective way to reduce the risk. Many ...

Tullia, Director of Programs and Development

Meet Tullia: Travel is a reminder that we are all connected

Managing IAMAT’s programs and reaching out to new partners keeps Tullia Marcolongo, our Director of Programs and Development, very busy. Tullia’s work includes everything from providing health advice for travellers to making sure IAMAT’s operations are running smoothly. We caught up with Tullia to find out what she finds most interesting about travel health. How long have you been involved with IAMAT? What do you like best about your work? I started working with IAMAT in 2008. One of the best parts of my work is to find out where our members are travelling and hearing how much we helped them. My father, Vincenzo Marcolongo, started IAMAT. I never imagined continuing his work/legacy growing up – I have a ...


NEW! Guide to Travel Health Insurance

Did you know that our new Guide to Travel Health Insurance is out? Hot off the presses, this guide seeks to answer one of the most frequently asked questions we get from travellers: “Where can I find travel health insurance and what should I look for?” IAMAT members told us that they are looking for guidance on how to navigate the world of travel health insurance. We did the research for you and wrote a comprehensive primer to help you find the best coverage for your needs. Travel insurance insiders Bruce Cappon of First Rate Insurance and Damian Tysdal of Travel Insurance Review also share their tips on how to buy wisely. We do not name any companies in ...

ethical international volunteering

Ethical international volunteering checklist

Your responsibility as a traveller Your friend just got back from volunteering abroad – and it sounds like she had the trip of a lifetime. You’re excited to get your hands dirty, but before you book a trip, take a step back to assess why you’re volunteering and how your trip will affect the community you visit. Start by asking yourself: Why do I want to go abroad? What do I hope to achieve? Planning your ethical volunteer trip Every aspect of travel has an effect on your host community. You’ll be there temporarily but the people in the community will live with the long-term impacts of your volunteerism. Be realistic about your skills and be honest about what ...

Piotr Młynarczyk travel health basics

Travel Health Basics: Before You Go

Planning a healthy trip Nobody wants to think about getting sick abroad when they could be scoping out the best sights to see. However, being informed about health risks at your destination and learning what you can do to avoid them are key to planning a memorable trip. Travel health is about prevention and common sense. Be aware of health issues that may arise and take appropriate measures to prevent illnesses and injuries when you’re travelling, not only for your own well-being, but for the people and communities you encounter during your trip. The tips below will help you determine how far in advance you need to prepare, which immunizations and medications you’ll need, and why other travellers may ...

Your healthy trip starts here

Taking travel health online

This article is part of our 55th Anniversary blog series. To learn more, visit our 55th Anniversary page. The 1990s were a decade of rapid change in technology and communication. By the end of that decade, travellers were gravitating to a new community: the Internet. The Internet and home computers made it easier to find information, so more and more travellers began to seek travel health information online. A big part of our work involves making it easy for you to find the information you need, so it was only natural for us to bring health resources to travellers electronically. IAMAT’s first website launched in 1999 to provide periodic travel health updates and give members online access to the Medical ...

Chinese scholars prepare for the ISTM exam

Supporting travel medicine in China

This article is part of our 55th Anniversary blog series. To learn more, visit our 55th Anniversary page. Building bridges across the Pacific In 1995, Dr. Elaine Jong, Chair of IAMAT’s International Medical Board and Assunta Uffer-Marcolongo, President were invited to attend the first Chinese Travel Medicine Conference in Shanghai. This conference was organized by Professor Gu Jin Xiang, a Chinese physician who foresaw the need for establishing travel medicine clinics in China, not only for visitors but also for Chinese travellers going overseas in ever larger numbers. Elaine and Assunta were invited to give lectures on travel vaccines used in Western countries, preparation of travellers for their journeys and discussions of the spread of infectious diseases through travel. In ...

travelling while pregnant

The Pregnant Traveller: Vaccines, malaria, and insurance

Travelling while pregnant Travelling during pregnancy can be stressful, especially when you’re going to a developing country where prenatal care is limited or not available. Travel to these areas may increase your risk of contracting infectious diseases, insect-borne diseases, and food- and water-borne illnesses. Your body will also respond to travel and stress differently while you’re pregnant. Before you travel, research the health care situation at your destination in case of an emergency. It’s also important to consider vaccinations, malaria prevention, and travel insurance when planning your trip. Make sure you understand the restrictions placed on pregnant travellers by airlines, cruise lines, and insurance companies. Discuss your travel plans with your physician and if possible, always travel with a ...

water filters and drinking water

Drinking Water 102: Choosing the right method for your trip

This is Part 2 of a two-part series on water disinfection. Read Part 1, Drinking Water 101:  What’s in the Water? In the last post, we looked at the basics of water disinfection. This week, we’ll explore the key features of some water disinfection products for travellers and backcountry explorers. Factors to consider The water disinfection method you choose depends on the water quality at your destination, your budget, the size and weight of the product, how many people will be using it, its availability, and access to fuel or electricity. Water disinfection products for travellers* Filters Filters come in a variety of sizes and can be appropriate for many types of travel. They range from small hand pumps, water ...

water filters and drinking water

Drinking Water 101: What’s in the water?

This is Part 1 of a two-part series on water disinfection. Read Part 2, Drinking Water 102: Choosing the right method for your trip. In many parts of the world, the water isn’t safe to drink. Human waste from poor sanitation and chemicals like fertilizers are just two common sources of contamination. For many short-term travellers, bottled water seems like the easiest solution, but bottled water creates plastic waste which often isn’t recycled. Bottles can also be tampered with and refilled with unsafe water. For travellers to rural or remote areas, carrying a supply of drinking water may not be possible. So what can you do? One option is to treat your own water. In this post, we’ll take ...