In Canada, when you’re thirsty, you can turn on the water tap and fill up your glass and ice cubes. You don’t wonder if the water or ice cubes are safe to drink. Drinking water in Canada is treated to remove organisms that can make us ill. However, countries throughout the Caribbean where we’re sailing may not do this. Whether we’re thirsty, swimming or preparing our food, we’ll have to consider where our water comes from.
Today, we learned about a number of health precautions we need to consider following our visit to a Travel Medicine Clinic: contaminated water, Malaria, Yellow fever are possible diseases we need to know about. Staying healthy when you leave to travel to countries that are so different to Canada is another part of getting ready to go.
We heard reassuring information about an International Organization that operates in many of the countries we plan to visit. The organization is called International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers (IAMAT). More than 30 years ago, a Toronto physician, Vincenzo Marcolongo, started this organization that helps travelers deal with illness or other health emergencies when they travel to other
countries. It provides assistance by doctors who speak English and/or French who have been trained in Europe or North America. The organization produces a directory like a telephone book, with countries listed and doctors’ contact information. There is a set fee of $55 (U.S.) per office visit or $75 (U.S.) per hotel visit. With information like this, it takes the guesswork and worry out of traveling for a significant length of time.
Today, I received vaccinations for Hepatitis A & B, Typhoid and Tetanus. Next week, I’ll return for my 2nd dose of Hepatitis A & B. l need a third round in 6 months time. Glad to have the protection, but I have to admit all this disease talk is a little scary.