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Before You Go – A Medical Travel Checklist

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Did you know that nearly half of all visitors to developing countries get sick during their stays? So go prepared! For example, I always take a small packet of first-aid items: salve for infections, aspirins, lozenges and band-aids. Divide your prescriptions between two bags so that you will always have some of your medications. Make sure you have adequate prescriptions for your trip, and also know the generic equivalent in case you need to purchase some while on your trip.

For each overseas trip I also go through a medical checklist. I have listed several important items:

o Buy insurance before you travel. Some countries require that you be insured before you apply for a visa. In cases like this getting international medical insurance is not an option. You will not get a visa for your destination without proper health insurance.

o Update your routine immunizations. Diseases that are eradicated in your home country are not eradicated around the world. Go to your family doctor and update your routine immunizations: tetanus, pneumonia, polio, influenza and measles-mumps-rubella.

o Get special immunization. Determine what special immunizations may also be needed for your target destination. Often you can find this information on the web; for example, Center for Disease Control and Prevention at http://www.cdc.gov or World Health Organization at http://www.who.int.

o Obtain helpful documentation. If you suffer from a chronic or pre-existing condition, it would be good for you to have a short medical history on hand, along with the name, address and fax or email address of your physician. Don’t forget to include any allergies you have, especially if you are allergic to certain medications. If you can, keep prescriptions in original packaging. A letter from your doctor stating that you need certain medications would be a great help in getting through customs if you run into a problem.

o Include these items in your International Travel Supplies Kit. Sunscreen, Band Aids, Antiseptics, Hand Gel, Travel and Evacuation Insurance, Sunglasses, First Aid Kit, Mosquito Repellent, Passport and copy of passport stored in another location, Spare glasses, Thermometer, Diarrheal Rx, Prescription Meds in Original Bottles, Analgesics (Tylenol, Asprin, etc), and Malaria Prophylaxis.

o Check airline regulations for liquid medications allowed on board. The Transportation Security Administration prohibits any liquids over 3 ounces to be in your hand luggage. However, certain medications are allowed. Please check TSA online or talk with an airline representative.

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Source by Jeffery Gulleson

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