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


Photo By: Samsul Huda Patgiri

We answer your questions

What does IAMAT do?
We support the health of travellers with our travel medicine scholarships. IAMAT awards travel medicine scholarships to doctors and nurses from countries where travel medicine is an emerging specialty. Our scholarships address the gap in travel medicine education and training, and promote the spread of travel health services in more countries.

Learn more about our work and our story.

Why support IAMAT scholars?
Our scholars are young doctors and nurses who care for inbound and outbound travellers and local patients, but are not able to access specialized travel medicine education because training programs are prohibitively expensive or non-existent in their country. They are leaders in their community who are already practicing aspects of travel medicine or plan to establish a travel health clinic in the near future.

Since 2002, we have awarded 36 scholarships to recipients from countries in Africa and Latin America, and Asia where travel medicine is an emerging specialty. Our scholars are taught by travel medicine experts at leading institutions and the training includes clinical observations in travel clinics and completing a research project. They return home to teach their colleagues and medical students, applying their new knowledge in their practice and become certified travel medicine practitioners.

How are scholarships funded?
Our scholarships are funded through generous donations from IAMAT supporters. Your donation pays for our scholars’ tuition fees, educational resources, and accommodations. When you give to IAMAT, you help our scholars get the training they need to provide trusted travel health services and improve health standards in their workplace, benefitting travellers and local patients.

What amount should I donate to IAMAT?
Any amount is appreciated. You can securely donate online or contact us. We accept VISA, MasterCard, American Express, and cheques. Your gift is tax-deductible.

If you are donating by credit card, the transaction on your statement will show as IAMAT (International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers).

Is IAMAT a registered charity?
Yes. We have charitable status in Canada and the USA. If you search for us on government or charity websites, we are also known as the Foundation for the Support of International Medical Training, Inc. in the USA and the Foundation for the Support of International Medical Training (Canada) in Canada.

IAMAT is a division of the Foundation for the Support of International Medical Training (FSIMT).


Is IAMAT a travel health insurance company?
No. We are a non-profit organization dedicated to travel health. We help you plan a healthy trip and put you in touch directly with our affiliated doctors and mental health practitioners around the world.

If you are looking for travel health insurance, you may already be covered under your employee benefits program or credit card services. We suggest purchasing additional travel health insurance if you are concerned about major expenses such as emergency surgery, extended hospital stays, or medical evacuation. Don't forget to read the fine print and make sure that you're covered for all your needs, including pre-existing medical conditions.

For more information, see our Guide to Travel Health Insurance.

Is IAMAT involved in medical tourism? 

IAMAT does not coordinate services for patients who choose to have elective healthcare procedures or surgeries done abroad.

Are you funded by pharmaceutical or healthcare companies?
No. Our revenue comes from donations from IAMAT supporters which include individuals, businesses, organizations, and travel health clinics. This allows us to remain independent and provide impartial travel health information as well as recruit medical practitioners around the world without compromising medical ethics.

Travel health, vaccinations, and prevention

What is travel health?
Travel health is about awareness and prevention. There are three phases to consider: Pre-trip preparation, staying healthy during your trip, and post-trip follow-up. Travel health is a relatively new field of medicine and there have been major advancements in public education and health practitioners’ understanding of travellers' health. IAMAT started working in this area in in 1960. Today, we continue to work to advance the field of travel health through our travel medicine scholarships.

What vaccinations do I need?
It depends. To get the proper vaccinations and advice, you need to determine the type of travel you're going to undertake, the geographic location of your destination, the duration of your trip, your medical history, and your current health status. Check our Country Health Advice pages for vaccine requirements and recommendations for your destination.

What are routine vaccinations?
Routine immunizations are also known as childhood vaccinations. They include Polio, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Diphtheria, Pertussis, and Tetanus. We recommend that travellers have these immunizations updated before their trip. Tetanus and Diphtheria, for example, last 10 years while some childhood vaccinations protect you for life. Get in touch with your healthcare practitioner if you don’t remember when you last got yours.

What are required and recommended vaccinations?
For entry into some countries, you may be required by law to show proof of vaccination against certain illnesses. Required vaccinations protect the population of the country you are visiting and limit the spread of infectious diseases in your home country. Yellow Fever is one example of a required vaccination.

Recommended vaccinations are suggested to protect the health of travellers during their trip and to prevent the spread of infectious diseases across borders.

What are selective vaccinations?
Selective vaccinations are suggested for people going on specific trips such as visiting rural areas, taking part in work assignments, or planning long-term travel, where they are at higher risk of contracting vaccine-preventable diseases than traditional travellers.

How soon before I travel should I get vaccinated?
We recommend getting immunized 6 to 8 weeks in advance. This allows your body to build antibodies (immunity) against infections. Some vaccines are given in 2 or 3 doses and you may have to visit a travel health clinic or healthcare practitioner more than once.

I just found out that I'm leaving on a trip in less than a week. Can I still get vaccinated in such short notice?
Yes. However, this may cause soreness. We recommend getting vaccinated in your home country since vaccines at your destination may not be suitable or safe. Be aware of the risk of counterfeit and poor quality medications abroad.

How much do travel vaccines cost?
Travel health clinics set their own fees. They usually charge a consultation fee in addition to the price of each travel vaccine.

Where can I find a list of travel health clinics nearby?

Check with your national public health agency for travel health clinic listings in other countries.

Where can I find travel health advisories for my destination?

Check with your government's department of foreign affairs for travel health advisories in other countries.

What is an endemic area?
An endemic area is a region or country where an infection is continuously transmitted within the population. It can be occurring at low, intermittent, or high levels.

What is an epidemic?
An epidemic is a sudden outbreak of an infectious disease with a high morbidity (illness) and / or mortality rate.

More questions?

If you could not find answers to your questions, please contact us.

Last reviewed and updated: October 13, 2020

Travel Health Journal