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

Travel Health Journal

News & Announcements

Tullia, Director of Programs and Development

Meet Tullia: Travel is a reminder that we are all connected

Managing IAMAT’s programs and reaching out to new partners keeps Tullia Marcolongo, our Executive Director, very busy. Tullia’s work includes everything from providing health advice for travellers to making sure IAMAT’s operations are running smoothly. We caught up with Tullia to find out what she finds most interesting about travel health. How long have you been involved with IAMAT? What do you like best about your work? I started working with IAMAT in 2008. One of the best parts of my work is to find out where our members are travelling and hearing how much we helped them. My father, Vincenzo Marcolongo, started IAMAT. I never imagined continuing his work/legacy growing up – I have a graduate degree in ...

ethical international volunteering

Ethical international volunteering checklist

Your responsibility as a traveller Your friend just got back from volunteering abroad – and it sounds like she had the trip of a lifetime. You’re excited to get your hands dirty, but before you book a trip, take a step back to assess why you’re volunteering and how your trip will affect the community you visit. Start by asking yourself: Why do I want to go abroad? What do I hope to achieve? Planning your ethical volunteer trip Every aspect of travel has an effect on your host community. You’ll be there temporarily but the people in the community will live with the long-term impacts of your volunteerism. Be realistic about your skills and be honest about what ...

Scholars make connections between tropical medicine and global health

We recently checked in with Dr Zhang Min from Guangzhou and Dr He Lei from Hangzhou, recipients of the 2015 IAMAT-China Travel Medicine Scholarship. Min and Lei are participating in an eight week Tropical Medicine and Global Health course at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston with Dr Lynn Soong, Professor of Microbiology/Immunology and Parasitology. Both Min and Lei are certified travel health practitioners. Min was IAMAT’s first scholarship recipient in 2002 and has mentored many of her Chinese colleagues preparing for the ISTM Certificate in Travel Health examination. The course covers epidemiology, clinical presentation, diagnosis, and treatment of tropical infectious diseases. Min and Lei are also learning about major global health challenges such as treatment ...

Malaria map 2015

From DEET to doxy: Malaria information for travellers

In time for World Malaria Day, we’ve just published our 2015 editions of the World Malaria Risk Chart and How to Protect Yourself Against Malaria. Not sure if you’re going to a country with malaria? The World Malaria Risk Chart provides detailed descriptions of malaria areas around the world and drug choices for malaria prevention, including information on the maximum altitude that malaria parasites are found, the main mosquito vectors, and the incidence of Plasmodium falciparum, the most deadly form of the 5 malaria parasites to cause illness in humans. Notable changes this year – Argentina, Costa Rica, Egypt, Greece, Kyrgyzstan, and Sri Lanka no longer report malaria cases. How to Protect Yourself Against Malaria discusses the behaviour and ...

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 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 ...

travel vaccinations 2015

Updated vaccination advice for all countries

The 2015 edition of our World Immunization Chart is out! This handy chart is used by travellers and healthcare providers to determine country-by-country vaccination requirements and recommendations. A notable change this year is that South Africa no longer requires a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate from travellers coming from Zambia. Be aware too that a Polio vaccination certificate continues to be required from travellers visiting Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Pakistan and Syria for more than 4 weeks. Travellers need to show proof that they were vaccinated between 4 weeks and 1 year prior to entering these countries. The Chart also provides descriptions of the geographical distribution of vaccine-preventable diseases like Yellow Fever, Tick-Borne Encephalitis, Meningococcal Meningitis, and Japanese Encephalitis. Depending on ...

How to choose a good mosquito net

If you’re travelling to a malaria-endemic area, a mosquito net should be on your list of essential travel supplies. Malaria is transmitted by the female Anopheles mosquito that bites humans from dusk to dawn. The Anopheles mosquito is stealthy and silent. They don’t buzz so you can’t hear them approaching. This means you are a prime target when you are most vulnerable — asleep. Bed nets are a key defence against malaria, but they also offer protection from other diseases such as filariasis (known for massive swelling of the limbs) and other insects and arachnids like ticks, beetles, flies, and spiders. Remember that in malarious areas, bedrooms without tightly-fitting screens or broken screens require insecticide-treated mosquito bed nets, except ...

Everything you need to know about Schistosomiasis

If your next adventure will take you rafting or swimming in fresh water, you should know about Schistosomiasis. What do snails have to do with travel health? You’re familiar with Yellow Fever, Malaria, and Traveller’s Diarrhea, but here’s one travel health risk you may not have heard of: Schistosomiasis. Also known as Bilharzia, Schistosomiasis is a parasitic infection transmitted by freshwater snails present in Africa and parts of Southeast Asia, South America, the Middle East, and some Caribbean islands. The culprit is the trematode flatworm parasite that is transmitted by small snails which are difficult to spot on the shores of lakes, rivers, streams and ponds. Coming into brief contact with fresh water contaminated with one of the eight ...

Two chairs under a thatch umbrella on a beach

10 sun protection tips for travellers

Protecting yourself from sun exposure is important year-round. Whether you’re headed to the beach or the ski hill, don’t forget about sunscreen and sunglasses. Here are our top 10 tips for sun protection, wherever you’re travelling this winter. 10 sun protection tips for travellers Wear sunscreen… Sun damage can occur with as little as 15 minutes of unprotected sun exposure and sun exposure occurs even on cloudy days. Fifteen minutes before going outdoors, generously apply sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher. Sunscreen with SPF 30 is recommended for individuals who work outdoors or who spend much of their time outdoors. …and reapply often. Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours, or more often if you are swimming or sweating heavily. Know ...