...start early. 

Staying healthy is a key concern if you face unfamiliar diseases and a different health care system in your country of destination.

On this site you will find health information based on my research, but since I am not a health-care professional, this information is only intended to provide general guidance. So please contact your local doctor or travel clinic for professional assistance.


Make sure that all your standard vaccinations are up to date and get all your vaccinations done well in advance of your departure date. Ideally this should be three months in advance.

The World Health Organization ( recommends that all travellers be covered for diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella and polio, as well as for hepatitis B, regardless of their destination.

If you are familiar with the health services offered in your host country, you may be able to get some vaccinations for free, as opposed to paying high fees in your home country. Bring an international vaccination certificate, which is available at your local public health department, which lists all your vaccinations. You should also bring information about allergies you may have to certain medications. Many drugs are available worldwide, but not all. So make sure about that as well.



If you are going to an area where there is malaria you will need specialist advice on whether you need to take antimalarias and if you do then what to take, when to start and how to remember them. There is a range of antimalarias available so do take professional advice as to which one will be best for you. And please check the NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet on Malariain your country of destination.

Swine flu

The swine flu pandemic is being managed globally by the World Health Organisation (WHO). 


Personal Medicines

Take enough of any medication you use quite often such as an asthma spray. Take enough of the pills and potions you think you might need if you are prone to headaches, have a recurring itch or an allergy. Remember also the semi-medical items such as the pill, tampons and sun cream. 


Contact lenses

If you have glasses or contact lenses, bring along an extra pair, contact lens solution, and if you have a prescription make sure you bring enough to last during your time overseas. Make sure you carry the prescriptions in their correctly labelled containers so you won't be mistaken for illegal drugs.


Know your blood group

It is worth knowing you blood group in case you or one of your chums needs a blood transfusion. It will save time and could save your life.


Health Supplies

    • Emergency medications: these may include paracetamol tablets for headache and antacids for indigestion; Anti-inflammatory drugs (eg ibuprofen); Antibacterial ointment (eg Bactroban) for cuts and abrasions (prescription only)
    • Diarrhoea: Anti-diarrhoea tablets can be obtained from your chemist
    • Minor injuries: gauze squares, non-adherent dressings, bandages, fabric plasters, adhesive tape, scissors, tweezers and safety pins.
    • Bites: insect repellents and an antihistamine cream may be helpful.
    • Sterilising water: tablets for emergencies (especially if filters are not being used)
    • Sun exposure: sun-block and a cream for using after sunbathing (you should not allow yourself to burn!).
    • Infections: selected antibiotics may be needed by those venturing away from good medical facilities. This needs a careful discussion with your doctor on how and when to use them.
    • Altitude sickness: Acetazolamide (Diamox)  -prescription only
    • Malaria: you may need to take preventive (prophylactic) tablets and emergency treatment for malaria if going to remote areas.
    • Sterile pack: consider taking a sterile pack for prevention of blood-borne infections if going to areas where health care facilities may be poor.
    • Pocket knife
    • Sterile needles, syringes and fluids if travelling to remote areas
    • A good first aid book can be helpful.

    The following might also be useful:

    • Iodine tablets to debug the water and neutralising tablets to improve the taste.
    • Antibacterial hand cleaning gel to kill germs without needing water


    If going to a Malarious area, you will need:

    • A permethrin-impregnated mosquito net.
    • Malaria standby kit for treating malaria should you contract it. You will need specialist advice as to which type to take

Useful Links

There is a wealth of travel health advice on the internet, here are some of them:

Offers Medical Procedures Around The World

All Medical Tourism

Medical Tourism And Surgery Overseas

Centres for Disease Control and Prevention

Provides information for travellers about disease control and prevention worldwide

Department Of Health

Health & Medical Advice For The International Traveller

Fit For Travel

Travel Health information


Medical Tourism Companies

Health Tourism

Provide Medical Travel And Health Tourism Information


Contains names and addresses of English-speaking doctors and clinics all over the world

Lonely Planet

Good place to start your research

MD Travel Health

Provides complete travel health recommendations for every country, updated daily

Travel Health

A Comprehensive Resource For Healthy Travel

Net Doctor

A Guide To Health Precautions Around The World

World Health Organization

Publishes a superb book called International Travel and Health, which is revised annually and is available online at no cost.

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