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

Travel Health Journal

General Travel Health

World Tourism Day 2020

Returning to travel responsibly: World Tourism Day

This year’s celebration of World Tourism Day feels a little different. Countries around the world are slowly reopening their borders and international travel is on the rise but concern about COVID-19 continues to permeate the travel industry. There is no set timeframe or guide for the industry’s recovery, especially as COVID-19 cases continue to increase in many regions and a vaccine or treatment is yet to be developed. It is clear, however, that recovery needs to ensure the long-term health of people and the planet. In this blog, in celebration of World Tourism Day, we are looking at how tourism can become more responsible and what we, as travellers, can do to make sure we protect our health and ...

Medication and pills

What you need to know about travelling with medications

Do you know if you can legally travel with your medication? If you’re unsure, you’re not alone. Many of us are unaware of or confused about the restrictions countries place on the import of medication for personal use. And unfortunately, finding out about international regulations is no easy task. Countries independently regulate the import of medicines and many do not have publicly available or clear guidelines. In this blog, you’ll find everything you need to know about travelling across borders with prescription and over-the-counter medications. (Need even more information? Check out Travelling with Medications: A guide.) How much medication can I bring? It depends. The amount of prescription medication you can take with you varies depending on your destination’s ...

Assorted colourful pills on white background

Fighting back against antibiotic resistance

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), antibiotic resistance has reached “dangerously high” levels on a global scale. You’re probably familiar with the term “antibiotic resistance” – but what does it actually mean and how serious is it? In honor of Antibiotic Awareness Week we explore antibiotic resistance, its health and economic implications, as well as what travellers can do to prevent one of the greatest global health challenges we face today. What is antibiotic resistance and what is the scope of the problem? Antibiotics are widely used to treat and prevent bacterial infections, but over time, bacteria can develop resistance; most are killed off by the antimicrobial agent, but naturally resistant microorganisms survive and multiply into stronger strains. ...

Balloons in sky

Travelling with medications: A NEW guide

Are you travelling soon and currently taking prescription medication? Did you know that countries often place specific restrictions on the import of medications for personal use? If you are confused about how to travel with your prescription medication, you’re not alone. Travelling with medications is one of the most common concerns among travellers. Country regulations can be unclear and difficult to navigate, while penalties for not being in compliance can be severe. Many of us are confused about, or unaware of, these restrictions and how they are enforced. Even if you are in compliance with your destination’s restrictions, you can still run into issues with your medication during your trip. It can be a challenge to find prescription medication ...

Person holding a rainbow flag.

Staying safe and healthy: Tips for LGBTQ travellers

Travel is for everyone It’s never been easier for LGBTQ travellers to see the world. As visibility and acceptance of the LGBTQ community grows, travellers have more options for independent travel. There are also an increasing number of LGBTQ-focused companies specializing in tours, cruises, and custom trips that offer adventure, luxury, family fun, or simply a safe space to be yourself. According to OutNow Consulting, LGBTQ travellers spent $218 billion dollars on travel and tourism in 2018 alone. In this blog, we highlight what LGBTQ travellers should keep in mind when planning a trip, including tips on staying safe, the importance of researching LGBTQ laws and cultural attitudes, and what to do if you need to see a doctor ...

Bathroom sign

The perfect bathroom read: Tips on managing Travellers’ Diarrhea

There’s nothing that plagues travellers more than diarrhea. Caused by ingesting bacteria, viruses, or protozoa, Travellers’ Diarrhea (TD) is one of the trickiest illnesses to avoid. Fortunately, most cases resolve after a few unpleasant days but in some, TD can lead to more serious health effects or conditions such as Postinfectious Irritable Bowel Syndrome (PI-IBS). In today’s blog, we’re looking at some of the ways you can reduce your risk and what to do if you get sick during your trip. What’s the risk? TD can affect up to 70% of travellers. It is most commonly caused by bacteria (such as Escherichia coli, Campylobacter jejuni, Shigella spp., Salmonella spp., and others) transmitted via the fecal-oral route – when infected ...

Doctor consulting patient

What to expect at your travel clinic appointment

Congratulations – You booked your flight and you’re off on your next adventure! Not so fast. Before you leave, take a few simple steps to stay healthy on your trip. By taking the time to understand the health risks at your destination, you’ll keep those around you healthy too. If you’ve never been to a travel clinic, here’s what to expect. Before you go to a travel clinic Make an appointment with your family doctor. Your primary healthcare provider and pharmacist may be able to take care of all your travel health needs, including vaccinations. If your doctor doesn’t have expertise in travel health or you need Yellow Fever vaccination, they will refer you to a travel health specialist ...

Green car driving down a coastal road

Summer travel checklist

The kids are out of school, the sun is shining, and your bags are packed – the summer travel season is here! But before you hit the road, there are a few key things you and your family can do to ensure you have a healthy trip: Make sure your vaccines are up-to-date There is no better time than now to ensure your routine immunizations are up-to-date. Recently, vaccine-preventable diseases, particularly Measles, have been making a resurgence due to incomplete vaccination, vaccine refusal, gaps in vaccine coverage, and waning immunity. Measles outbreaks continue to affect many destinations around the world, including many US states, Canadian provinces, and countries in Europe, Africa, and Asia. If you are unsure about you ...

Glacier and blue sky

Travel and climate change: How to stay healthy and be responsible

Did you know that as travellers, we are having significant impact on climate change? Global tourism accounts for a staggering 8% of all carbon emissions. This is four times higher than originally thought and accounts for the energy needed to support the tourism industry and related goods and services. The global tourism industry is projected to continue growing, but without a commitment to sustainable growth and reduced emissions, the effects of climate change will continue to take hold. To travel as a tourist is a privilege and we owe it to the people and places we visit to be respectful and conscious of our impact. Together, we need to commit to more sustainable forms of travel. Here are five ...

Country flags on wall

No one left behind: Supporting migrant health

When IAMAT was established in 1960, it was with a strong spirit of global community and a desire to live in a world where healthcare is accessible to all, no matter where or who you are. In honour of World Health Day, we take a look at migrant health, the barriers migrants face when accessing healthcare, and how universal coverage can make a difference. Migrant populations often arrive at their destination healthier than the native-born population, but they can face a range of health concerns that go unmet.  Universal healthcare – having access to quality healthcare regardless of your ability to pay – is an opportunity to ensure that everyone, including travellers and migrants, get the medical care they ...