Planning & Preparation > Health & safety

Health and Medical Resources and Notes

Vaccinations, prevention and being on the road

Vaccinations

Starting the process of vaccination research and receiving shots early is critical because some vaccinations require a series of shots over a time frame of several months. We started our research to determine the appropriate vaccinations and malarial prophylaxis regiment with website searches and a trip to the Peace Health Medical Library.  After our initial research we met with our family doctor and a consultation with the  travel vaccinations department at Cascade Health Solutions to assess our needs.    All vaccinations are outlined on the yellow International Certificate of Vaccination, which will be located in our money belt and a copy hidden in our backpack. 

Vaccinations

  • Yellow Fever. Required for travel to Africa.
  • Typhoid
  • hepatitis A & B
  • Polio Booster for Therese and Steve
  • tetanus Booster
  Malaria prophylaxis

Central America region - Chloroquine

Asia, India and Africa regions - Doxycycline

Pre Trip Medical Notes

We anticipate Malaria and Traveler’s diarrhea will be our two biggest medical concerns.  Based on experience, articles and interviews with fellow travellers, maintaining a consistent daily effort of preventive strategies will be necessary to combat these two trip stoppers. In addition, with two active boys, there is no doubt we will see a multitude of scraps, bruises, scratches and insect bites. Of course, with my red haired (OK, it's graying), light skinned complexion, preventing sunburn will be a daily battle.

Pre-trip strategy for Malaria Prevention

During my last trip to Southeast, my daily routine consisted of the following preventive strategies.

What is and is not working

Pre-trip strategy for Water Treatment and anti-diarrhea prevention

What is and is not working

 

Medical Kit   This is what we will start with.             

  • Acetaminophen for pain and fever
  • Ibuprofen
  • Imodium. Antidiarrheal
  • Antibiotics for treating diarrhea. We used Zithromax for our children and Ciprofloxzcin for the adults. These were prescribed by your physician.
  • Antihistamine (Benadryl) for allergies, soothes itching from insect bites and helps in sleeping and motion sickness.
  • Hydrocortisone cream/anti-itch crème for insect bites
  • Tea Tree lotion to soothe sunburn and insect bites and scratches.
  • Insect Repellent with 30-35% DEET to keep those pesty mosquitos off.
  • Flagyl for giardia
  • Antifungal cream and powder
  • Antibiotic ointment (Bacitracin)
  • Sunscreen 15SPF at a minimum for sun protection
  • Jet lag medicine
  • Anti-motion sickness medicine for those long windy road bus trips and small craft boat trips to offshore islands.
  • Multivitamin and mineral supplements
  • Cold and flu and nasal decongestant tablets
  • Water treatment tablets
  • Rehydration mixture to prevent dehydration from severe diarrhea.
  • Thermometer
  • Scissors
  • Mole Skin for preventing blisters
  • Tweezers to remove splinters and ticks
  • Adhesive bandages of various sizes
  • Adhesive tape and gauze
  • Bandages and safety pins
  • Antiseptic solution (povidone-iodine)
  • Lip balm
  • Swiss army knife with scissors attachment
Everything was put into a Sterilite Plastic Container, except the sunscreen, insect repellent and Tea Tree lotion.

What we are and are not using in the medical kit

 

Websites utilized

www.cdc.gov/travel. National Center for infectious Disease. Utilized the Traveler’s Health information. Good regional and malaria prevention resource.

www.phac-aspc.gc.ca. Canadian Public Health information

http://www.who.int/ith/en/. World Health Organization

 

Other resources

Cascade Health Solutions. 2650 Suzanne Way, Suite 200, Eugene, OR 97408. Shiela and Jen provided us with a mountain of well organized information and experienced medical analysis. Comprehensive free consultation to determine vaccinations and malaria regiment requirement. Provided a Travax Provider Health Report. A comprehensive analysis of each country based on itinerary and time of year.

Peace Health Library.

Numerous people provided helpful insights about staying healthy from their experiences during prolonged travel to Southeast Asia, India and Africa. We would especially like to thank Catherine Bell, and  for their first hand accounts of what strategies work and do not work in these specific regions.

Reference Books

Staying Healthy in Asia, Africa & Latin America, Dirk Schroeder, Moon Publications, 1994.

Lonely Planets Travel with Children, Cathy Lanigan, Lonely Planets Publications, 2002.