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

Travel Health Journal

55th Anniversary

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 ...

Jay Mantri airplane

What’s changed in air travel since 1960?

This article is part of our 55th Anniversary blog series. To learn more, visit our 55th Anniversary page. What has changed since you started travelling? Over 1.1 billion tourists travelled abroad in 2014, compared to 25 million in 1950. IAMAT was founded in 1960 and we’ve seen massive changes in the travel industry over the last 55 years. From aircraft technology to destinations to travellers’ fashions, every decade brought big changes to the way we experience international travel. Travel in style In the 1960s and 1970s, flying was a special experience. Travellers dressed up for the flight and the chance to see and be seen. Less formal, more comfortable clothing is a relatively recent trend in travellers’ wardrobes. In ...

A Vitally Necessary Project: 24 World Climate and Food Safety Charts

This article is part of our 55th Anniversary blog series. To learn more, visit our 55th Anniversary page. Taking the uncertainty out of travel In three quarters of the world, you cannot drink a clean glass of water . That is a painful reality. – Dr Vincenzo Marcolongo, quoted in a Special Report in the Financial Post, September 30th, 1978. Imagine this: The year is 1978 and you’re going to Bangkok in September. What do you wear? What will the weather be like? What food is safe to eat? Can you drink the water? For many of our members, the answers they needed were in our 24 World Climate Charts. First published in 1978, the World Climate ...

IAMAT medical directory

The Blue Booklet: Uniting doctors around the world

This article is part of our 55th Anniversary blog series. To learn more, visit our 55th Anniversary page. In 1960, after treating a seriously ill Canadian traveller in Rome, Dr Vincenzo Marcolongo began to create a worldwide network of doctors committed to helping travellers. He coordinated English-speaking doctors who had been trained in North America and were practising in Europe and then assembled their contact information into a passport-sized booklet. The first IAMAT Medical Directory was born. The first edition of the Medical Directory was just a few pages long, but quickly expanded to include physicians from major cities around the world. The Medical Directory was an innovation, uniting physicians to standardize care and raise physicians’ awareness of the ...

Dr Elaine Jong IAMAT

Making a difference in the lives of travellers

This week, we’re sharing a letter to our members from Dr. Elaine Jong. Dr. Jong is Chair of IAMAT’s International Medical Advisory Board and Clinical Professor (Emeritus) of Medicine at the University of Washington. This article is part of our 55th Anniversary blog series. To learn more, visit our 55th Anniversary page. When IAMAT was established in 1960, travellers did not have timely information on health conditions at their destination: There was no country-by-country advice on food and water safety, climate and environmental conditions, infectious diseases like malaria, or even vaccine recommendations. The health of travellers was not a priority for the medical community, but IAMAT changed all that and became a pioneer in the field of travel health. ...

Dr Vincenzo Marcolongo

Who was Dr. Vincenzo Marcolongo?

This article is part of our 55th Anniversary blog series. To learn more, visit our 55th Anniversary page. It all started with a painkiller. The incident that spurred Dr. Vincenzo Marcolongo to dedicate his life to travellers’ health occurred in Rome in 1960. Norma Beecroft, a Canadian music student studying in Rome, had been prescribed the painkiller aminopyrine by an Italian physician. Within a few weeks of starting the painkiller, Beecroft became seriously ill. Unbeknownst to her physician, the painkiller was destroying her white blood cells, causing acute leukopenia. By the time she was referred to Dr. Marcolongo by a non-English speaking colleague, her condition had dramatically deteriorated. Dr. Marcolongo, an English-speaking Italian physician, had trained in Montreal and ...

IAMAT 55th anniversary

Going Confidently for 55 Years!

Thank you for supporting 55 years of healthy travel! It’s our 55th anniversary and we couldn’t be more excited to share it with you. Since our founding in 1960, we’ve helped generations of travellers prepare for a healthy trip abroad. To celebrate, we’re taking a look back at IAMAT history, advancements in travel medicine, and even travel trends over the last 55 years like travellers’ fashions. Twice a month, we’ll publish a new blog post highlighting part of our history: we’ll talk to our members, the doctors in our network, and our scholars to bring you their stories about being part of the IAMAT family. Celebrate with us Share your love of travel through photos, videos, and stories. We’ll ...

Travel Health Journal