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

Travel Health Journal

Seated couple at sunset

Sexual health and travel: 5 things to know

It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of a holiday romance – but while the sand, sea, and sun set the mood, a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) can quickly ruin it. Many travellers have sexual intercourse with a new partner while away from home.  However, approximately 50% of people who engage in new sexual relationships abroad inconsistently use condoms.  As a result, a large number of STIs occur in returning travellers. Wherever you go, sexual health awareness should be an important component of your pre-trip planning to protect your health and the health of your prospective partners. In celebration of Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Week, we’re highlighting five important things every traveller should know about sexual ...

Yetunde sitting at a desk.

IAMAT Scholars in action: Expanding travel medicine in Nigeria

We are pleased to introduce you to our latest IAMAT Scholar, Dr. Yetunde Fadipe of Nigeria. Yetunde received an IAMAT Scholarship to study and train with expert travel medicine faculty in London, UK. Last November, she participated in an intensive 5-day travel medicine course at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The training also involved clinical observations at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases and at the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) where she learned how to provide pre-travel advice to travellers. IAMAT Scholarships are fully funded through generous donations from IAMAT members. They provide training in travel medicine to practitioners who are passionate about improving care in their community for local patients and travellers. Here’s ...

Joanna Skyline background

Meet Joanna: Health enthusiast and communications specialist

We’re excited to introduce you to Joanna Poblocka, our new Communications and Marketing Specialist. Joanna joined our team in November 2018. She coordinates all of IAMAT’s social media, marketing and communications. We caught up with Joanna to learn more about her travels and what she enjoys about working with IAMAT. Where did you grow up? I was born in Poland, and also lived in Germany for a couple of years, before my family moved to Canada in 1989. We lived in Windsor, Ontario until my last year of high school. After that I moved to Ottawa where I completed my Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Arts and Social Sciences. What is your most memorable travel experience? Besides travelling within ...

View from airplane window

True or false? The facts on airplane air, Yellow Fever, insurance, and street food

In this edition of True or false?, we take a closer look at myths about airplane air, Yellow Fever certificates, travel health insurance, and street food. Myth #1: “Breathing airplane air makes you sick.” A common misconception is that if one passenger on an airplane has an illness, then everyone else on the plane will get sick. These fears can be propelled by news stories such this one, when a flight carrying over 500 people was quarantined in New York due to sick passengers on board. The culprit of the illness, which hospitalized 11, was determined to be the flu. Is aircraft air to blame? Airplane cabins are confined spaces that may appear to be the perfect breeding ground ...

Lifecycle of triatomine

Chagas Disease: What is it and why should you care?

Travel health doesn’t exist in isolation. Many health risks encountered by travellers are the same ones that local residents are exposed to every day. One such risk is Chagas Disease. Although it’s a low risk to most short-term travellers, around 7 million people are infected worldwide – mostly in Central and South America. Due to increasing internal migration (from rural areas to urban areas) and across borders, Chagas has become an international health priority. In recognition of International Migrants Day, we explore the challenges of controlling Chagas Disease, its impact on global health, and how it disproportionately affects migrating populations. What is Chagas? Chagas Disease (also known as American Trypanosomiasis) is named after Dr. Carlos Ribeiro Justiniano Chagas, the ...

Understanding Travel Health Insurance: 26 Important Terms You Need to Know

You purchased travel health insurance coverage and are ready for your trip, but do you find yourself looking at pages and pages of fine print containing legal and medical jargon? Our latest resource Understanding Travel Health Insurance helps demystify some common terms found in insurance plans. It also includes helpful tips, advice, and questions to ask your insurer before you buy. It’s a crowded marketplace out there and finding the best coverage for your needs can be daunting. Unfortunately, travellers can find themselves out-of-pocket for medical care needed abroad because they didn’t understand their coverage. Our members have told us that policy terms and conditions have many exceptions and are difficult to understand. To help, we reviewed travel health ...

Cat bites and motorcycle crashes: Things I wish I knew before my trip

My name is Jacqueline and I’m a Research Assistant Intern at IAMAT in Toronto. I’m currently completing a post-graduate certificate at Centennial College in International Development, and hope to go on to work in the area of healthcare development around the world. My interest in healthcare was piqued during a recent 3 month trip through Southeast Asia, where I was exposed first-hand to some of the challenges that come with seeking health services abroad. About two weeks into my trip, I crashed the rental motorbike I had been riding into a rusted barbed wire fence. I was lucky to not have broken any bones or have sustained any serious injuries, but I did cut myself deeply on my legs ...

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 ...

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 ...

Travel Health Journal