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

Travel Health Journal

IAMAT - The International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers

Health is Part of Being a Responsible Traveler

When we think about Responsible Tourism, promoting respect for the cultures and the environment of our destination country come to mind. Health on the other hand, is the other component that is not often talked about. Learning about the cultures, regional geography, languages, and customs is key to being a responsible traveler, as is informing yourself about the potential health risks at your destination. While we have the means to protect our health, we also need to be mindful of how our health status impacts the people we come across during our travels. When it comes to travel, getting immunized against vaccine preventable diseases is not only for your benefit, but also for the locals you encounter abroad. At ...

IAMAT - The International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers

Going to Haiti to Help? Health Advice for Aid Workers

We’ve been getting many online inquiries from people who are getting ready for aid missions in Haiti. Emergency relief efforts are underway to help Haitians recover from the devastating earthquake of January 12. Prior to the earthquake, Haitians were already struggling with access to health care, clean water, and proper sanitation. Only 11 percent of the population had access to water in their homes and the median life expectancy is 60 years. While the death toll continues to mount and survivors have to rebuild their lives, there is hope that reconstruction efforts can be done in such a way that Haitians affected by the earthquake will have universal access to proper shelter, food, and clean water. So what do ...

IAMAT - The International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers

Medical Travel, Travel Medicine, What’s The Difference?

You can understand the confusion. Similar name, different medical specialty. Chances are you have heard these terms before, largely due to the prominence of low-cost, affordable international travel. But what exactly are medical travel and travel medicine? Medical travel (also known as medical tourism, global healthcare, and health tourism), involves patients who seek health care abroad for a variety of reasons, including the high cost of medical treatments and long waiting times back home, their insurance plans do not cover certain procedures, or they want quick access to cutting-edge medical technology available in other countries. Normally encompassing elective procedures such as cosmetic surgery, dental surgery, fertility or alternative medicine treatments, medical tourism is becoming increasingly popular for patients requiring ...

IAMAT - The International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers

Planning a Trip to Central or South America?

Are you planning a trip to the jungles of South America or doing extended hiking and camping in Central America? You may be at risk of Chagas’ Disease. Transmitted by the Triatoma insect, which typically bites its victims on the face at night, the Trypanosoma cruzi parasite enters your bloodstream and affects organ tissues, most commonly the heart. Found in forest ecosystems and poorly built homes, including huts and cabins, the Triatoma insect is commonly known as ‘vinchuca’ in Spanish or ‘barbeiro’ in Portuguese. In North America, we know it as the ‘assassin bug’ or ‘conenose bug’, but here it does not carry the disease. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Chagas’ Disease affects between 16-18 million people. ...

IAMAT - The International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers

More Coverage for IAMAT Members

We have just added 3 new clinics to our Medical Directory. We are very pleased to welcome into our network the following doctors who are committed to helping travellers. Ankara, Turkey (2 locations): Bayindir Hospital Kavaklidere and Bayindir Hospital Sogutozu (Prof. Levent Doganci, MD) Oslo, Norway: Reiseklinikken – Oslo Travel Clinic (Dr. Gunnar Hasle, MD, CTH) Sippy Downs, Australia: TCA / Travel Clinics Australia (Sandra Peters, BChB, CTH) Keep checking our Blog for new additions to our Medical Directory before your trip. Our online version is always being updated with new additions and contact information changes.

IAMAT - The International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers

Meet Angeline and Winona, IAMAT’s 2009 Scholars

Angeline (right) and Winona (left).  We recently met up with Dr. Ye Wei (Winona) and Dr. Meng Jing (Angeline) to talk about their two-month internship at Kaiser Permanente’s Koolau Clinic and Honolulu Clinic in Hawaii. The two medical practitioners from China were each awarded a scholarship through our International Travel Medicine Education Program. The fund, which is solely supported by the generous donations of IAMAT members, has given 13 scholarships since 2002. Chosen for their leadership skills, the two doctors will return home to teach their colleagues the skills they have learned in Hawaii, improving travel medicine practices in their workplace for the benefit of ill travellers. The art and science of travel medicine During the two-month intensive training ...

IAMAT - The International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers

Travel Writing Workshop: Sept 15-19

After taking a short summer break, the IAMAT Blog is back! Many of us are winding down our summer travels and holidays, getting ready for the back to work and back to school season. For us at IAMAT, it’s usually a time to take stock of the coming year, start new projects – a new beginning of sorts. If you are considering taking up a new challenge this Fall and have always dreamed of combining your travel experience, creativity, and passion to discover new things and meet new people, there’s an affordable workshop for you. Robert Haru Fisher, a columnist and contributing editor for frommers.com (and a member of IAMAT’s Board of Directors), is offering his popular Travel Writing ...

IAMAT - The International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers

Getting Travel Health Insurance? Here’s What You Need to Know

Looking for advice on travel health insurance? Check out our Guide to Travel Health Insurance. We often get asked about the merits and pitfalls of travel health insurance here at IAMAT. Distraught friends or family members of hospitalized travellers who are not insured call us inquiring about last-minute evacuation plans, others ask us whether they should get travel health insurance. Many also contact us to tell us about their frustration with their travel health insurance policy, mainly for what it doesn’t cover. When we first started 49 years ago, travel health insurance did not exist. Nowadays, the travel health insurance sector is a multi-million dollar industry with hundreds of companies and brokers, including web-based ones, who specialize in this ...

IAMAT - The International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers

Influenza A(H1N1) – Update #4

The World Health Organization’s recent A(H1N1) Influenza pandemic declaration is no cause for panic. It is important to keep in mind that the WHO’s upgrade to Phase 6 is strictly based on the geographic spread of the infection (the virus is currently making its way throughout the southern hemisphere as part of their normal flu season) rather than the number of infected people or the severity of the symptoms. Here’s what public health officials currently know about this new strain of the A H1N1 virus (also known as human swine flu): Human-to-human transmission occurs through infected cough or sneeze droplets either inhaled or by touching a contaminated surface. The majority of infected persons experience mild symptoms and fully recover, ...

IAMAT - The International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers

New IAMAT Medical Centres

We are very pleased to welcome 3 new medical clinics to our network. Travellers to Lima, Québec City and Washington, DC will get quality medical care from the following IAMAT affiliated doctors: Kenneth H. Chase, MD of Washington Occupational Health Associates in Washington, DC. Christian Fortin, MD, MPH of Santé Millénia in Québec City. Hugo Siu, MD of Clinica Anglo Americana in Lima. Keep checking our Blog for new additions to our Medical Directory before your trip. Our online version is always being updated with new additions and contact information changes. IAMAT Staff

Travel Health Journal