The world has definitely become a smaller place allowing more and more Australians the opportunity to travel. Whether you’re going to uncover an exotic culture, education, volunteer or visit family and friends, it is advised that you seek professional medical advice. Patients don’t necessarily see travel medicine as a priority, more often than not doctors hear, “Oh, by the way, I’m going to Bali next week, do I need anything?” It is encouraged to let your doctor know as soon as you know your travel plans. It also allows for the best practice of vaccinations being administered and allowing your body to build immunity.
However, it is never too late to seek advice and information. Travel health is based on a person by person basis they are individualized and influenced by many factors. Some of these being:
- Past Medical/Surgical History
- Past Vaccination History
- Length of time away
- Types of accommodation
- Activities that will be undertaken while away
Some vaccines are compulsory and require a certificate as proof to fulfill entry and quarantine requirements for that particular country ie. Yellow fever. Inkerman Medical Group is registered with the Department of Health as a Yellow Fever vaccination centre. The majority of vaccinations are highly recommended due to the prevalence of disease in that country and lack of proximity to medical care. Before departure, all travellers should be up-to-date for polio, tetanus, diphtheria and MMR vaccinations (this varies depending on age, time since last vaccination and country visited.
Other vaccinations that may be recommended include:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Japanese B Encephalitis
- Rabies Prophylaxis
- Yellow Fever
Malaria: No vaccine available. Prevention includes avoidance of mosquito bites and use of anti-malaria medication prior to, during and after time in a ‘malaria’ area. Discuss details with your travel health adviser. In some instances, malaria medication is not necessary or only necessary for certain areas of a particular country. Bite avoidance measures are vitally important.
Travel Insurance is highly recommended for all travellers to cover theft, loss and medical problems. Medical and Hospital costs in many countries may be very expensive and depending on your isolation from ‘good’ medical care may require expensive travel even a flight home.
Shop around for cover and know exactly what it covers and does not cover. Some policies may exclude some activities you had planned whilst you are away. Your travel agent may be able to guide you.
Once we establish what medications you plan to take with you, your doctor can give you a medication summary letter, authorising the carrying of medications for personal use.