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

Travel Health Journal

Meet our doctors: Together for your health

This is the first post in our three-part “Meet Our Doctors” series.

An international health perspective

You rely on our doctors to keep you healthy abroad, but there’s more to them than just medical expertise. Our doctors hail from countries around the world, bringing with them a deep understanding of both travellers’ health concerns and the local health system. Many of our doctors regularly treat expatriates and local people as well as travellers.

Why do doctors join our network?

Across the board, our doctors had one major reason for joining IAMAT: Because they care about your health. Here’s what they told us recently, in their own words.

I joined the IAMAT network by chance, having been shown one of IAMAT’s maps by a visiting yachtie. (It was probably the malaria risk map. Malaria was a serious concern in Vanuatu in those years, luckily much less now.) Anybody in need of a doctor deserves attention, no?

–  Dr. Jean Luc Bador (Port Vila, Vanuatu)

I gave the request [to join IAMAT] very little thought, accepted the invitation and replied that very day. It seemed the appropriate thing to do.

–  Dr. P. Abdon da Silva (Christ Church, Barbados)

I can speak other languages and can achieve different points of view from the tourists I care for. Travellers are away from home and they need to feel well assisted when they are ill.

–  Dr. José J.C. Pinto Neto (Buzios, Brazil)

IAMAT Dr Sakabe in Nairobi
Dr. Kazuo Sakabe on an inspection trip to the Nairobi Hospital, Kenya.

My primary reason for joining IAMAT is to provide medical service for foreign travelers who are not proficient in Japanese. A growing number of foreign tourists have been visiting my city, Kyoto. Accordingly, many more patients from abroad visit my medical clinic. It is my professional pleasure to care for them as an English-speaking physician. I know how distressed they feel when they fall ill in a foreign country where communication can be an irritating issue. I find it really rewarding and fulfilling to help travelers, people from abroad in particular. And I would say I very much enjoy developing a caring relationship with them.

–  Dr. Kazuo Sakabe (Kyoto, Japan)

I was inspired by the vision, mission and commitment of IAMAT as advocated by the late Dr. Vincenzo Marcolongo (founder of IAMAT), in association with the IAMAT president Assunta Marcolongo and the good team at IAMAT.

–  Dr. Sonny Lau (Melbourne, Australia)

Dr. Marcolongo made the medical needs of travellers his life’s work. In 1960, he saw the need for collaboration among medical practitioners around the world to help travellers. IAMAT was born when he began to contact doctors who were trained to international health standards and coordinated their services.

In Dr. Marcolongo’s words:

Distinguished physicians and respected medical institutions, with a sense of solidarity which makes them like one family, are now working in harmony to assist the traveller who may require medical assistance in their journey.

IAMAT doctors
In 2015, we welcomed Dr. Alexandre Kamnerdsiri in Brussels, Belgium to the IAMAT family.

Photos courtesy of Dr. Kazuo Sakabe (top) and Dr. Alexandre Kamnerdsiri (above).

By Daphne Hendsbee.