Dr. Fiona Rennie, Consultant Family Medicine at Valiant Clinic, provides some useful tips to ensure a joyful and healthy holiday.
Getting sick while travelling can be a stressful affair. More so when you have children. Dr. Fiona Rennie, Consultant Family Medicine at Valiant Clinic, provides some useful tips to ensure a joyful and healthy holiday.
Before you go
Find out about health and safety risks for the area you are visiting. Consult with your doctor for specific travel advice and any prescriptions that may be required.
A useful website which gives country specific information is wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel. For example, is malaria present and what is the standard of sanitation, medical care and water quality in the areas you are visiting. Take medical advice on malaria prophylaxis medication if travelling to a malaria area.
Find out if any vaccinations or other medical precautions are recommended or required for the areas you are travelling to. Try to do this 6-8 weeks before you leave. As a minimum, you should ensure that all your routine immunisations are up-to-date (such as tetanus, measles, and polio vaccinations) and that you have had hepatitis A and B vaccinations.
Have a dental check-up, especially if you have chronic or recurrent dental problems and will be travelling to remote areas.
Prepare a medical kit for all destinations. It should include basic medicines to treat common ailments such as vomiting and diarrhea, headache and first-aid items such as band-aids, antiseptic cream etc. Also include insect repellant, water purification tablets and sunblock if travelling to countries where you may need these.
If you take any medication you should carry them with a medical certificate, signed by a doctor.
Take out full, comprehensive medical insurance, including cover for hospitalization and medical repatriation.
Beware of dehydration in hot countries and if any gastro symptoms are present. This is especially important for small children.
While you are away
If unsure of hygiene standards only eat thoroughly cooked food and only drink well-sealed bottled or packaged cold drinks. Boil drinking water or use water purification tablets if its quality is doubtful. Avoid ice in your drinks, only eat fruit you can peel, avoid salads or anything that could have been washed in local water. Clean your teeth in bottled water.
Take sensible precautions. For example, in areas where there is a malaria risk, cover yourself well and use insect repellent.
Carry medicines in your hand luggage in case your luggage is lost.
After you come home
If you become ill after returning from overseas, remember to tell your doctor which countries you have visited.
About Valiant Clinic
Launched in 2016, Valiant Clinic is a premium, integrated, multi-specialty outpatient clinic that uses advanced, innovative technologies delivered by a western team of physicians. With a proactive and integrated approach to healthcare, Valiant Clinic aims to build and maintain a healthier population across the emirate and the region.
Located in City Walk, Dubai, Valiant Clinic is affiliated with Houston Methodist Global Health Care Services, the international subsidiary of the world-renowned Houston Methodist Hospital based in Houston, Texas, USA. The clinic marks Meraas’ entry into the healthcare field and stems from Meraas’ efforts to support the Dubai healthcare sector in fulfilling the UAE Vision 2021 and to provide unique experiences that enrich peoples’ lives.