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

Travel Health Journal

Angeline telling her colleagues about IAMAT at UTMB.

From Egypt to China: Scholars hone travel health knowledge

Exploring travel medicine and global health Cross-cultural experience is invaluable for travel medicine practitioners. Three of our scholars recently had the opportunity to hone their knowledge and skills with travel health experts in South Africa and the USA. Ahmad Mosad Ibraheem of Mansoura, Egypt attended a 5-day course in Johannesburg with the South African Society of Travel Medicine (SASTM). Meng Jing (Angeline) of Chengdu, China and Liu Chunfang (Kathleen), of Shenzhen, China spent 8 weeks studying tropical medicine and global health at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston, Texas. Angeline and Kathleen currently practise travel medicine, while Ahmad is planning to introduce it into his practice. After they recovered from jet lag, we caught up with ...

Graph showing the climate in Dubrovnik.

Climate data at your fingertips

We’re excited to reveal our new interactive climate charts! With city-level data on monthly high and low temperatures, humidity, and precipitation, you have more information at your fingertips when planning your next trip. The charts are conveniently integrated into our Country Health Advice. The data comes from our popular original 24 World Climate and Food Safety Charts, which we collected from weather stations, government agencies, and embassies around the world. Monthly averages are calculated based on 30 years of data. Thanks to the fantastic volunteers who helped with the data management and visualization of this project! Climate and health Being prepared for the climate at your destination affects more than just your wardrobe. Dryness and humidity affect skin and ...

Pilgrims in Mecca.

Countdown to a healthy Hajj

Travelling for Hajj A pilgrimage to Mecca for Hajj is one of the 5 pillars of Islam. Over 2 million Muslims from all over the world performed Hajj in 2015, making it one of the largest mass travel events in the world. Pilgrims performing Hajj will be travelling for a relatively long time in crowded places (travel agents offer packages lasting about 3 weeks). The crowds create an environment where illnesses can quickly pass from person to person. This raises some unique health risks, in addition to special vaccination requirements which only apply to pilgrims during the Hajj season. Specific health issues Meningococcal Meningitis, Polio, and Yellow Fever All Hajj pilgrims to Mecca must show proof of vaccination against Meningococcal ...

Man swimming outside

Ready for Rio? Tips for travellers to the 2016 Olympics

Recently, there’s been much debate among infectious disease and public health experts over the risks of Zika Virus during the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Choosing whether or not to travel to a Zika-affected area is a personal decision, but the WHO currently advises that only pregnant women and those planning a pregnancy should avoid travelling to these areas. For travellers and sports fans eager to soak up the Olympic spirit in Rio, here are some things to keep in mind as you plan your trip. Olympic Travel Health Countdown 6 weeks before departure Visit your health provider or travel clinic: We suggest you book an appointment 6 weeks before your trip, but it’s better to go ...

Meet IAMAT President Assunta Uffer-Marcolongo.

Meet Assunta: Travel is about tolerance, compassion, and kindness

IAMAT President Assunta Uffer-Marcolongo has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share when it comes to travel health. She’s spent many years guiding IAMAT’s work and travel health has dramatically evolved over that time. We asked Assunta to share some of her insights on the world of travel medicine and her personal travel experiences. How did you become involved in IAMAT? After Commercial High School and training as a nurse in Switzerland, I came to Canada where I met Dr. Vincenzo Marcolongo in 1970. He asked me to work for IAMAT. I become involved not just in the management of the organization but also helped develop the first World Immunization Chart and World Malaria Risk Chart, the world’s ...

IAMAT scholars Angeline, Ahmad, and Kathleen

Say hello to our newest travel medicine scholars!

Meet Angeline and Kathleen We’re pleased to introduce our 2016 travel medicine scholars! Dr. Meng Jing (Angeline) of Chengdu, China and Dr. Liu Chunfang (Kathleen) of Shenzhen, China will be studying and training with Professor Lynn Soong at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston, Texas. Both Angeline and Kathleen work at international travel healthcare centres providing pre- and post-travel services to travellers, students, and workers. The 8-week course in tropical medicine, travel medicine, and global health begins this week. Angeline and Kathleen will have the opportunity to learn about complex global health challenges through clinical and laboratory observations and in-depth discussions with other health profession students and physicians. This is the second year that UTMB has ...

Map of malaria risk areas

World Malaria Day 2016: Updates for travellers

Malaria updates for travellers What will you do to end Malaria? Today is World Malaria Day and we’ve updated our Malaria resources! Our World Malaria Risk Chart outlines risk areas around the world, including locations affected by drug-resistant Malaria. The April 2016 edition provides more detail and additional notes about which areas are risk free and where risk is present. We’ve added additional detail for specific regions in Bhutan, Colombia, the Philippines, and Swaziland. The How To Protect Yourself Against Malaria whitepaper gives you an in-depth look at the Malaria parasite’s lifecycle, the behaviour of the Anopheles mosquito, insect bite prevention measures, and antimalarial drug recommendations. Fighting fake medications Fake antimalarial medications are a big problem in many countries ...

Letters folded by volunteers.

Behind the scenes: Thank you to our volunteers!

Celebrating our volunteers As you read this blog post, thousands of IAMAT membership cards and brand new Medical Directories are in the mail to our loyal members. Today, we’re saying thank you to the dedicated volunteers that made it possible. We’ve had the privilege having volunteers from around the world at our main office in Toronto, Canada. Our volunteers include students, newcomers to Canada, and those looking to build their resumes and polish skills for the workplace. They put in an incredible amount of work to make sure that our members receive their new Member Cards and Medical Directories on time. Each volunteer brings a unique perspective and we’re thrilled to have each of them on board. Building skills ...

An elephant drinking water

Travel medicine practitioners: Join us in South Africa!

Travel Health Africa We’re pleased to announce that we will be attending “Travel Health Africa: The Boiling Point?” in South Africa in September! This is a regional conference of the International Society of Travel Medicine (ISTM) which also hosts the South African Society of Travel Medicine’s Biennial Congress (SASTM). We’ll have a booth in the exhibitors’ hall where we’ll be meeting practitioners, sharing resources like our Guide to Travel Health Insurance, and talking to prospective IAMAT scholars. To date, we’ve awarded three scholarships for African health practitioners to study and train in travel medicine with SASTM. The conference will take place in Port Elizabeth. Here are a few of the topics that will be covered in the plenary sessions, ...

A pile of tires. Photo by FreeImages.com/RonalSchuster

Dengue: Innovative solutions to a global health issue

Compared to other diseases whose flare-ups have captivated the media, Dengue is a slow burn. In 1970, only 9 countries experienced severe epidemics of Dengue, but today the virus circulates continuously (endemic) in over 100 countries – including parts of Africa, the Americas, the Mediterranean, Southeast Asia, and the Western Pacific. Mild cases often go unnoticed or unreported, so it’s difficult to estimate the number of people affected, but one study suggests that 390 million infections occur each year. The Dengue virus Dengue is a viral infection transmitted by daytime biting female Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. Many people who are infected are asymptomatic, meaning they don’t have any symptoms, while others have flu-like symptoms with fever, rash, ...

Travel Health Journal