In a lot of countries on this great earth there are some nasty diseases. Luckely in a whole lot of countries, that isn’t the case. We had our vaccinations as a child and they will protect us against a lot of diseases in our homeland and while we’re abroad.
Read this blog too: Common Vaccinations and their Diseases Als je deze post in het Nederlands wil lezen, klik dan hier
Advice of a Travel Clinic
When you go travel you have the risk of encountering other diseases. To protect you against those you can get all kinds of vaccinations. There are special Travel Clinics that provide a lot of information. Usually I search the internet first and when I make an appointment, I tell them what I already found out and think I need. Usually they won’t charge me for the information part of the appointment. If you go travel for an extended period, every Euro counts 🙂
Do you get a vaccination?
Don’t take any risks but think through your options!
You can, of course, deside not to take a vaccination. You could do this because of the costs, which is, of course, is a really bad reason. But you can also consider this because of the chemicals in the vaccine that are inserted in your body. They don’t belong there and maybe it is not even necessary.
Because of several reasons I decided not to take the Rabies vaccination. First, there was a global problem to deliver the vaccine and they told me that it wasn’t that big of a deal. If it became necessary, because of a dog bite or something while traveling, I could go to a hospital and take it afterward. I do love animals and I do pet them! While abroad I’m a bit more cautious but still, I do pet them. But given the option to get the vaccination after an incident and still have a good protection made me to deside not to take it up front.
If you like to think in doom scenario’s …you can think of the situation where you are in a deserted area and can’t get to a hospital or doctor to get your vaccination. That could definitely be a reason to do get the vaccination for rabies. I’m always lucky and haven’t had any real problem. If you aren’t such a person and you are one to have bad luck everywhere, do take the vaccination. Don’t take any risks on this area!
Be Cautious at all times
There are the common diseases for which you can get the vaccination but there are some diseases for which you can’t get a vaccination and you always need to be cautious about. Think about the recent outbreak of Ebola in a part of Africa. Just after that outbreak my mom went to South Africa and soon after, I went there. When I told people my plans to go there they were scared that I would get in touch with that disease. But looking at the map of Africa and the area of the breakout, the distance to Holland wasn’t even that much bigger then it was from the breakout area to South Africa. It changes you view sometimes depending on how you look at it. I wouldn’t have gone of course, if I had a change of getting infected by it. I would’ve cancelled my trip.
Aids is an incurable and highly infectiousn disease for which there is no vaccination. You can take some precautions to decrease the change of being exposed to the disease. Drug users, prostitutes and men in the gay world have a bigger change of being exposed to it. The only way of stopping this disease is long-term, consistent use of condoms and doing so carefully. This is the only way to keep your chances of infection low. So always have safe sex, at home and while traveling!
I always wash my hands more while traveling. Before dinner, if I’ve had something in my hands that wasn’t clean or if I want to touch my face. I always carry some wet small towels with me and a bottle of hand gel. Still I hsave to admit that I use it minimally, especially when I compare my use to others. After a visit to the toilet and before eating I always carefully clean my hands but the rest of the day will often pass by without using it. When something happens that needs to be cleaned it is nice to have the gel or the wet towels. That is the reason these items are always be in my bag.
When you travel you need to search the specific areas where you intend to go. You want to know what diseases are in those areas and what you can do to prefend yourself from getting infected. When you search the internet there are a lot of maps you find which you can use to get a nice summary.
I have a small book, in Holland we call it the Yellow Book, where all the information is listed about the vaccinations I have had, how long they are valid and other relevant information like Dutch names but also the Latin names so doctors will know what it says. If something happens along the way I can show this medical passport and doctors will know what kind of vaccinations I have or have not had. You need to get this book updated every time you get a vaccination and take the medical passport with you while traveling, of course. Some countries require you to have the medical passport with you to prove you’ve had particular vaccines they require.
If you have an allergy or something else a doctor should know about if you get hospitalized, make sure it is listed in your medical passport. Are there medicins you use or that are imported not to use? Make sure it is mentioned. If you are unable to tell the doctors, they can search your belongings and find your medical passport. It could be a life saver.
Bringing your medicins abroad
Some medicins need to have a declaration with them: Medicins which contains opium or so-called drugs. They are listed in the law under items you cannot possess without a prescription and certainly can not take abroad. These substances are in medicins like Valium, Seresta or medicin to treat ADHD symptoms. You can get a declaration online and fill in the form. After printing it you need to get your doctor to sign it. After that, you need to send it to the authority that will process your request. In Holland that is in The Hague, where you also get your visa and other travel documents. Keep in mind that your requirement can take up to 4 weeks.
If you travel to third world countries or other poor health care countries you could think about taking a clean, sterile syringe with you. I know my dad does this. When you get hospitalized they can use that one on you. They can of course reuse that one too if you need more injections.
I’d like to advise you not to take any risks when it comes to health while traveling. Those days are precious and I want to use them to the fullest and in good health.
If you want to cut back on something…never let that be your health!!
Jacomijn is a police officer from The Netherlands who loves to show you how to travel the world Safe, Healthy and Active!! Safe and Healthy Travel is a MUST!