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

Travel Health Journal

News & Announcements

Cover of the book "Healthy Travel: a pocket guide for seniors"

Healthy Travel: a pocket guide for seniors

Travel is exciting, inspiring, and can even be life-changing. As we age, we become less resilient to health risks and infections – and more likely to be managing a chronic condition – but this shouldn’t prevent us from seeing the world. A handbook for older travellers Our new guide, Healthy Travel: a pocket guide for seniors, provides practical advice tailored to the needs of older travellers. It covers a range of topics including vaccinations, accessibility and mobility, travel stress, and chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, aches and pains, and cardiovascular disease. Healthy Travel was published in collaboration with the South African Society of Travel Medicine (SASTM). Book details, the table of contents, and a sample can be found ...

Travel Health Planner button with airplane

New: Try our Travel Health Planner!

Simplify trip planning Planning a healthy trip can be complicated. From vaccines to health risks, being informed can be time-consuming – and it only becomes more complex when you’re planning a multi-country trip. (Especially when it comes to Yellow Fever!) That’s why we are so excited to share the new Travel Health Planner for IAMAT members. Introducing the Travel Health Planner The Travel Health Planner is a tool to help you plan a healthy trip. It provides health advice and vaccination recommendations based on your itinerary. Recommendations are presented in a simple table, followed by detailed information for each country. You can add as many countries as you like to your Planner. The Planner takes into account the countries ...

Meet Claire, our new Health Writer and Research Specialist.

Meet Claire: Hiker, writer, and public health specialist

We are excited to welcome Claire Westmacott to our team! Claire brings expertise in public health and a wealth of travel experience to IAMAT. As our new Health Writer and Research Specialist, Claire researches, writes, and updates our travel health resources, including the Country Health Advice database and eLibrary. She is also working on a brand new guide for older travellers that will be published later this year. (Stay tuned for updates on the guide!) We caught up with Claire to learn more about her perspectives on travel and what drew her to global health. Where did you grow up? I was born in Oxford, England, but largely grew up in Waterloo, Ontario. Where did you go to school? ...

2016 IAMAT scholars Manuel and Weedgina

Travel medicine pioneers in Haiti and Costa Rica

A new frontier for IAMAT scholars We were thrilled to award the Stella & George Bryant Travel Medicine Scholarship to two deserving doctors in 2016. The scholarship enabled Weedgina St Vil of Cap-Haïtien, Haiti and Manuel Villalobos of San José, Costa Rica to take a travel medicine short course at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) in November. Weedgina and Manuel also participated in clinical observation at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases travel clinic. We are grateful to Dr. Ron Behrens for organizing the course at LSHTM and making the clinical component possible. Meet Weedgina and Manuel Manuel and Weedgina are using what they learned to become travel medicine pioneers in Costa Rica and Haiti. Both ...

Hand with bandaged finger. Photo by FreeImages.com/Linden Laserna

Keep it clean! Preventing skin and soft tissue infections

What are skin and soft tissue infections? Keeping cuts and scrapes clean is always important, but especially so when you’re travelling. As Dr. Erik McLaughlin explains in our tip sheet on assembling the perfect travel first aid kit, band-aids and antibiotic ointment are essential first aid supplies. Skin infections are usually caused by bacteria entering and growing in a break in the skin. They’re common in travellers due to insect bites and minor trauma like cuts, blisters, scrapes, and abrasions. These infections can range from a small infection in a specific part of the skin (localized infection), like a pimple, to larger, more painful infections, such as an abscess. Antibiotic-resistant infections Some skin infections are resistant to antibiotics. Methicillin-resistant ...

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 ...

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 ...

Travel Health Journal