The key to successful international travel is making sure that all travel documents are in place, but another element for trouble free travel is taking precautions while away. You can’t imagine how awful it would be if after all your dreams for a sweet and adventurous vacation then you get pinned to the wall by sickness.
Thanks to vaccination programs and public sanitation that has largely brought under control most epidemic problems, but in rural areas public sanitation is rudimentary and the chances of contracting infections of various sort are much higher.
I would advise you make sure that you are healthy before you start your travels. Also, make sure you get a travel insurance (somewhat necessary). If you wear glasses or contact lenses, do well to take a spare pair.
Similar advice apply to medical supplies; If you are taking a particular medicine, do take an adequate supply of it and a prescription with the generic rather than just the brand name, as this will make it easier to get refills. Don’t forget to check the expiry date of drugs taken along and those bought at your travel destination.
Carry a good medical kit and prescriptions for all drugs taken into another country because it may surprise you to know how often over-the-counter drugs from one country may be illegal without a prescription in another country.
However, there are some basic rules you should note as a general preventative measure.
Care in what you eat and drink is the most important health rule, (but this shouldn’t stop you from trying the local food oh. Lol)
Bottled mineral water is available virtually everywhere, I would advise you drink this rather than risk what comes out of the tap. Nevertheless, if tap water is the only option, the easiest way to purify is to boil thoroughly for 10 minutes. Alternatively, water can be chemically treated with chlorine tablets, but iodine is more effective. Although care should be taken as too much iodine in the water could be harmful. Treated water should be left for 30 minutes before drinking.
There are potential medical problems that you can be exposed to as a traveler, and these can be broken down into three areas;
- Climatic and geographical considerations – Problems caused by extremes of temperature, altitude or motion.
- Diseases and illness caused by unsanitary conditions, insect bites and stings, and animal or human contact.
- Simple cuts, bites or scratches.
The best way to avoid any of these three is by proper sanitations, drinking bottled/purified water and using insect repellent.