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

Travel Health Journal

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, ...

Lycodon_aulicus_biting_small

Prevention of snake-bite in travellers

This guest post was written by Professor David A. Warrell, who is currently International Director (Hans Sloane Fellow), Royal College of Physicians, London and Emeritus Professor of Tropical Medicine, University of Oxford, UK. Professor Warrell was the 2015 ASTMH Marcolongo Lecturer. Threat of snake-bite to indigenous populations Most parts of the world are inhabited by venomous snakes. Snake-bites are a risk to rural inhabitants whose agricultural and hunting activities expose them and their children to this primeval environmental and occupational disease. Snake-bite is an important cause of death and disability in West Africa, Southeast Asia, the Indian sub-continent, Papua New Guinea, and the Amazonian region. There is good evidence that in India there are 46,000 and in Bangladesh 6,000 ...

Survey photo by Yarranz

Your two cents: 2016 Member Communications Survey

Do you have a great idea for our eNewsletter or a suggestion to improve how we communicate with you? Have your say in our 2016 Member Communications Survey! Your responses will help us better tailor our communications to your interests, destinations, and activities. The survey is anonymous and takes about 8 minutes to complete. It gives you the opportunity to tell us about where you travel, what types of activities you participate in, which IAMAT publications are most useful to you, and which topics you’d like us to cover in future. Your feedback helps us give you more value for your membership. Members who complete the survey will be eligible to enter a draw for a $50 gift certificate ...

By James Gathany (PHIL, CDC) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Chikungunya and Zika: Let’s talk about mosquitoes

UPDATE: March 31, 2016. This post has been updated with new information about Zika Virus. Travelling south to escape the winter blues? Travellers planning a sun vacation are contacting us wondering about the risk of Zika and Chikungunya. Currently, countries in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America are reporting cases. Understanding mosquito behaviour and brushing up on your mosquito bite prevention skills are two ways to reduce your risk so that you can enjoy your holiday. 6 things you should know about Chikungunya and Zika Both viruses are primarily transmitted by daytime biting Aedes aegypti  female mosquitoes. There are no preventive vaccines or medications; treatment includes supportive care of symptoms. The illnesses are usually self-limiting – they typically run their ...

Photo by Dr Alexandre Kamnerdsiri

Meet our doctors: They’re travellers, too!

This is the third post in our three-part “Meet Our Doctors” series. In previous posts, IAMAT doctors shared how their international experience helps them understand your health concerns, but here’s one of the biggest reasons doctors join our network: they’re travellers too! For the love of travel IAMAT doctors are passionate about travel. They want travellers to have a memorable travel experience in their countries. Here’s why they love travel, in their own words. “I am always motivated and rewarded by a sense of duty and fulfillment in seeing travelers get back on their feet again, doing what they came to do. Travellers are true ambassadors of our common humanity and goodwill, something I love to advocate. Travel the world, come ...