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

Travel Health Journal

Person doing yoga on a wooden walkway. Photo by Marion Michele, Unsplash.

Preparing for your wellness retreat

Wellness retreats are becoming a popular way to travel and focus on personal health and wellbeing. Offering both escape and adventure, retreats are increasingly taking place in tropical and secluded locations around the world. Although wellness retreats are intended to improve your wellbeing, health risks are still present and can quickly derail your experience. Knowing the risks and being prepared can ensure you have a fulfilling and enjoyable trip. Wellness and tourism Wellness can be defined as an active process of growing one’s physical, mental, and social health. With more and more of us managing stress and living with chronic health conditions, interest in wellness has grown rapidly. This has led to an extensive wellness economy that offers products ...

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 ...

We're hiring. Join our team.

Join our team: Member Services and Administrative Coordinator

The opportunity The role of the Member Services and Administrative Coordinator is to coordinate IAMAT’s membership program and office administration. You represent IAMAT by phone and email in a highly professional manner to members, prospective members, and stakeholders. You also ensure the efficient operations of our workplace and provide insights on how to streamline existing processes. The Member Services Coordinator works in a collaborative environment and is supervised by the Executive Director. IAMAT’s Member Services and Administrative Coordinator is: Keen to provide a positive member and customer service experience. Committed to producing quality work and is attentive to detail. A self-starter; can work independently and takes initiative without being prompted. Confident to make good decisions and responsive to change. ...

Two hands holding a pill bottle and red pills. Photo by TheDigitalWay, Pixabay.

In the news: Finding safe medicines and avoiding fakes

This article is part of our regular travel and global health news round-up. Finding safe medicines abroad is a commonly-overlooked part of trip planning. Whether you take prescription medication or need over-the-counter medicine to treat an unexpected illness, it’s important to be aware of how to find safe, good quality medication when you’re travelling. Travel and safe medicines We were saddened by the news of two young travellers who died in Cambodia last month. The travellers were ill and had gone to a pharmacy for medication but were later found unresponsive in their hostel room. Their deaths are currently being investigated. Our thoughts are with their families. In a CBC News article about this case, Dr. Pierre Plourde of ...

Open door with red light. Photo by Mali Maeder.

Implications of Sexual Tourism

Within the last 20 years, the number of international travellers has more than doubled and is expected to reach 1.8 billion by 2030. The growth of the travel and tourism industry has many positive outcomes for individuals and their communities, but it can also increase risks among vulnerable populations, including women and children. A recent global study found that the rapid expansion of the travel industry has coincided with significant growth in sexual tourism, a pervasive form of exploitation that occurs around the world. Sexual tourism, particularly the kind that targets children, represents the unseemly underbelly of the travel industry. As global citizens and responsible travellers, we can help end this practice. What is sexual tourism? The term “sexual ...

Person standing on a beach in a storm. Photo by Witch Kiki, Unsplash.

In the news: Extreme weather

This article is part of our monthly travel and global health news round-up. Here at IAMAT, our main focus is on travel health and not specifically on safety when abroad (there are many organizations and government departments that provide useful travel safety information). However, the two often overlap, and nowhere is this more evident than during extreme weather at popular travel destinations. Flooding, hurricanes, heat waves, and other weather events can have sudden and dramatic impacts on the health and safety of travellers and local people. Hurricanes and flooding Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria battered the Caribbean and the southern United States in September. Some locations suffered minimal damage and were ready to host travellers again within a week or ...

Sea turtle swimming through a reef. Photo by Scott Ruzzene, Unsplash.

In the news: Coral reefs and sunscreen, toilets, and accessible travel

This article is part of our monthly travel and global health news round-up. This month we look at some of the big questions in responsible travel: Why are coral reefs dying? How do toilets and sanitation affect me and the communities I visit? We also look at two facets of accessible travel: A step by step guide to travelling with MS and one expert’s thoughts on why accessible travel is so rewarding, despite its challenges. In the news this month 1. Is Your Sunscreen Poisoning the Ocean? The New York Times It’s well known that protecting yourself from sun exposure helps to prevent sun damage that can lead to skin cancer and other illnesses. Sunscreen is one of the main ...

Boat on the Amazon River. Photo by Kepler Web, FreeImages.

The Amazon: Staying well on your river cruise

River cruising in the rainforest The Amazon basin is a vast region that spans 9 countries. Travellers visit the region for its incredible biodiversity and the chance to experience wildlife and the rainforest firsthand. There’s no doubt about the amazing flora and fauna in the Amazon, but the confined spaces of a cruise ship and infections transmitted by insects, animals, and microorganisms can be a risk to your health. Here’s how to stay well as you explore. Staying healthy in the Amazon Most Amazon cruises begin in the city of Manaus, Brazil or Iquitos, Peru. In the Amazon region, the extent of some diseases (such as Schistosomiasis and Chagas) remains unknown. Luckily, you don’t have to leave your health ...

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. ...

Travel Health Journal