Every year, Brit’s take more than 70 million trips abroad. Most notably for holidays, business trips and to visit family and friends. Whilst the majority of people have a safe trip, some people do experience illness or have an accident. In most cases, minor accidents and illnesses don’t require a visit to a medical centre or hospitalization and can be self-treated with the help of a medical kit.
Where you are travelling to and the activities you plan to do there will dictate what type of medical kit(s) you would need.
If you are planning to travel outside of a major city, you’re best to travel with an Essential First Aid Kit. It’s very easy to get scratched, twist an ankle or develop a blister. Particularly if you’re sight-seeing, hiking or even just taking a trip to the beach. Having a few essential supplies handy will reduce the need for a trip to the local chemist. Inside this kit, you will find items aimed at treating minor cuts, grazes, blisters, cleaning wounds, minor burns and sprains.
When you travel to a developing country, you have a high likelihood of catching a stomach bug. Also known as traveller’s diarrhoea. This is not always brought on by unsafe water and can be due to a change in diet or the high levels of impurities in the local water that you’re not used to. However, if the cause is a microorganism such as bacteria, parasite or virus, your symptoms may be much more severe and lead to complications. Travelling with a Worldwide Gastro Kit covers all eventualities. Including preventative items, plus medications for common symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, dehydration and travellers diarrhoea.
The adventure traveller is likely to travel to remote areas where medical supplies are not sterilised to a safe standard or medical care in a hospital setting is not available at all. In these scenarios, it is safest to travel with a Sterile Needle Kit. This kit is to be provided to a medical professional to be used for medical emergencies such as a blood transfusion, fluid replacement, general vaccinations or blood tests. This kit is to reduce the spread of diseases such as HIV & Hep B.
There are many female-specific health concerns that may occur whilst travelling. Unfortunately, urinary tract infections (UTI’s) and thrush (yeast infections) are common among female travellers. Therefore travelling with a Gynae Kit is highly recommended.
Travelling with a fit-for-purpose medical kit is not glamorous. However, you’ll be glad you have it if you suffer any mishaps. Saving you time, money and stress involved in finding a local chemist, medical centre or hospital quickly when you are abroad. And if you don’t, then at worst you’ve lost out on a tiny amount of suitcase space.
Before International Travel you should consider a pre-travel consultation with a specialist travel nurse to discuss the health risks at your destination. You can book a travel appointment online or email us for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Boating in the Bahamas
The best way to see the Bahamas is by boat. As an archipelago of over 700 islands and cays all strung together like pearls over a turquoise sea, the majority of visitors choose to cruise to see the many delights that this country has to offer. Whether you only visit the Bahamas or take an all-encompassing Caribbean cruise, it is important to remember those travel vaccinations and travel health advice are essential if you are to enjoy a happy healthy holiday.
Here are our top travel tips for staying healthy in the Bahamas…
All travellers should be in date with diphtheria, tetanus polio and Hepatitis A. There is no risk of the Yellow Fever virus in the Bahamas, however, if your cruise takes you to an area that does have a risk of the virus (such as South America), you will need to provide evidence of vaccination in the form of a valid Yellow Fever certificate. Cruise ships are confined spaces with a high volume of passengers which makes you more susceptible to infections. If you plan on travelling during the winter months, it is sensible to consider a flu vaccination as respiratory viruses can spread easily.
The Bahamas lie in the tropical Caribbean seas making the sun, sea and sand the major attraction. Remember to be sun safe. Wear a high factor sun cream throughout your holiday. The sun’s rays are particularly strong between 11am-3pm so it’s best to avoid direct exposure during this time. Slap on a hat, slip on a shirt and slop on some sunscreen.
The Bahamas have a risk of dengue fever, chikungunya and the Zika virus. These illness are spread via the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. Whilst causing mild illness in many, they can cause more serious complications and are best avoided. Zika virus is associated with a serious complication during pregnancy and those who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant soon after the trip are advised against travel to the area. There are no specific vaccinations against these mosquito-borne viruses so bite prevention is the only defence. Cover up exposed skin and wear an insect repellent containing at least 50% DEET.
See our Ultimate Bug Kit.
The majority of Bahamian cuisine comes straight out of the sea. Whilst seafood and fish are delicious, ensure that any food consumed is cooked thoroughly and served fresh to you. The Bahamas has an abundance of fresh tropical fruit but it is wise to adhere to the ‘cook it, boil it, peel it or forget it’ saying to avoid the dreaded traveller’s diarrhoea. We advise travellers to take a gastro kit with them which can help prevent and treat the commonest gastrointestinal symptoms that occur when travelling.
If you do plan to see the Bahamas by boat, ensure you follow some sensible precautions to avoid getting sick from fellow passengers. Wash your hands regularly, make use of the alcohol-based sanitizers stations on board, carry a small alcohol-based hand sanitiser to keep your hands clean when off the ship. Ensure you stay hydrated, but make sure you drink water from a safe source (bottled, boiled or purified).
By Anna Chapman | Travel Nurse | March 2019
Stay healthy at Holi
Holi is a famous spring Hindu festival that is celebrated in every part of India. It is known as the festival of colours and is mostly celebrated in March in Rajasthan.
The celebration signifies the beginning of spring beginning and the end of winter. It is sometimes known as the “festival of colours” or the “festival of love”. During the festival, it is encouraged to throw powdered paint (gulal) into the air. This symbolises the abundance of colours of spring and the celebration of a new season.
Here are top travel tips to stay healthy at Holi.
Don’t forget your travel vaccinations
Travellers going to India should ensure they are up-to-date with their travel vaccinations. These include Hepatitis A, Typhoid and Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio. Rabies, Hepatitis B and Japanese Encephalitis are sometimes suggested and are dependent on where you’re travelling to and the activities you plan to do there. A consultation with a travel nurse will provide you with all the information needed to make an informed decision either way.
Eat, drink and be merry…
India is food heaven but don’t let travellers diarrhoea turn it into a Holi holiday hell. Avoid tap water or ice from an unknown source. Ensure bottled water has an intact seal if buying from a vendor. Alternatively, invest in a water-to-go bottle which has a built-in filter making unsafe water safe to drink. You can pick one up during a travel appointment at the clinic whilst getting your vaccines.
Eat well-cooked food served piping hot, and avoid fruits and salad items that might have been washed in the local water. It is worth investing in a gastro medical kit which contains all the necessary medicines should you get sick at any point during your travels.
Holi festival is synonymous with the throwing of coloured powder. Contact lens wearers should stick to their glasses during the festival so to avoid getting dye in their eyes. Any dye that makes its way into your eye could cause a chemical injury and lasting damage. If any powder does get in your eye, wash it well with clean running water.
Don’t let the dye stop the DEET.
Dengue fever, chikungunya, Zika, Japanese Encephalitis and even malaria can occur in parts of India. Therefore, banish the bugs bites by covering up as much as possible, wearing a good insect repellent with at least 50% DEET. See our Ultimate Bug Kit.
If you are trying to conceive, travelling to ‘at-risk countries’ is not advised.
For more information on the Zika virus and advise, you can speak to one our travel nurses during a travel consultation.
We’d always recommend for travellers to book a 30-minute travel consultation with a travel nurse prior to travelling to ensure all necessary vaccinations are given and any risks are discussed.
By Anna Chapman | Travel Nurse | February 2019