02_healthy abroad

Met nieuwe ogen Werkboek voor de ontwikkeling van een transculturele attitude Martha van Endt-Meijling Third, revised edition 2007 This article: Healthy abroad is additional information to Met nieuwe ogen by Martha van Endt-Meijling. 1999 Uitgeverij Coutinho b.v. All rights reserved. No parts of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, storing in an informational retrieval system or otherwise, without prior permission from the publisher, unless it is in accordance with the exemptions established in the Copyright Law of 1912. For reprographic reproduction as permitted on the basis of Article 16h of the Copyright Law of 1912, the legally required fee should be paid to Stichting Reprorecht (P. O. Box 3051, 2130 KB Hoofddorp, www.reprorecht.nl). Enquiries concerning the reproduction of parts of this publication in anthologies, readers and other compilations (Article 16, Copyright Law 1912) should be made to the publication and reprographic rights organisation: Stichting PRO, P. O. Box 3060, 2130 KB Hoofddorp, www.cedar.nl/pro). First edition 1999 Third, revised edition 2007 Uitgeverij Coutinho P.O. Box 333 1400 AH Bussum info@coutinho.nl www.coutinho.nl Note from the publisher Every effort has been made to trace copyright holders. Persons or organizations wishing to assert specific rights are kindly requested to contact the publisher. ISBN 978 90 469 0078 9 NUR 763 Article: Healthy abroad, additional information to Met nieuwe ogen – 2/5 Article: Healthy abroad When planning a visit to another country, in addition to all the other preparations it is also important to think of your health. First of all you have to consider the vaccinations. Find out what you have already been vaccinated for and establish, with the assistance of your doctor or the Municipal Medical & Health Service, which vaccinations you need for the country in question. The advice can differ per person, depending on recent information, the vaccination history and the health of the person. Therefore, it is sensible to consult your doctor or Municipal Medical & Health Service at least six weeks before you depart in relation to the preventive measures applicable to you. If you plan to be vaccinated against hepatitis B, you will have to consult your doctor six to three months before your departure. DTP This vaccination is against diphtheria, tetanus and polio and is valid for 15 years after your last DTP vaccination, which is generally given at around eight years. If your last vaccination was more than 15 years ago, it may be sufficient to have a booster vaccination. Travellers planning to go to countries outside West Europe (Russia, etc.) the US, Canada and Austria – thus also Eastern European countries – are advised to have this vaccination. Hepatitis A This is an infectious liver disease, which causes jaundice. This virus is spread by it coming in contact with food because of poor toilet hygiene. You can prevent this disease in two ways. Firstly, you can get a one-off vaccination with gamma globulin, which will only protect you for a number of months. This is recommended if you only intend a short stay in the country where this disease occurs, namely all countries outside Western Europe, the US, Canada and Australia. Two injections with an interval of 2 to 4 weeks offer protection for one year. If you get a booster vaccination after 6 months to a year you will probably be protected for 10 years against this form of jaundice. You can obtain long-term protection against this disease with the Havrix vaccination. A combined vaccination against hepatitis A and B is also available. Hepatitis B This form of hepatitis is also infectious and causes jaundice. This disease is transmitted sexually but, in contrast to AIDS, can also be transmitted via the saliva. Vaccination is advisable for all countries outside Western Europe, the US, Canada and Australia. You should request advice on vaccination against Hepatitis B three to six months before you depart on your journey because the protection offered by the vaccinations takes some months to become effective. Yellow fever Yellow fever does not occur very often, but in 40% of the cases the patients die. It is for this reason that this vaccination is recommended for many tropical countries. Cholera For many countries the cholera vaccination is mandatory. We do not vaccinate against this disease in the Netherlands and the doctor normally just issues a ‘cholera declaration’. Article: Healthy abroad, additional information to Met nieuwe ogen – 3/5 Malaria comes in different forms depending on the country. It is advisable to obtain up-to-date information in relation to Malaria. If you are prescribed anti-malaria pills it is important that you follow the prescription carefully! Anti-malaria pills have to be taken for some time before departing for your destination and for a number of weeks after your return, because otherwise the disease can occur. Because you have to commence taking drugs such as Lariam 4 weeks before departure, many travellers with last-minute flights often do not take the anti-malaria drug. A new drug (Malarone) is now on the market, which also gives protection against resistant forms of the disease. This drug also has fewer side effects than Lariam and is recommended for short stays in regions where malaria occurs. Dengue Dengue threatens to become an imported illness. This viral disease occurs in many tropical and sub-tropical countries. People with this disease get flu-like symptoms: sudden high temperature, pain at the back of the eyes, pain in the muscles and joints, rash on the chest and arms, nausea and vomiting. The illness is not dangerous but it takes a long time to fully recover from it. If you get Dengue for a second time, the feared complication Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever (DHF) can occur: pale sweaty skin, bleeding nose, bleeding gums and restlessness. This form of the disease can cause death. People who have already had Dengue should consult a tropical doctor before returning to the tropics. There is no cure for this illness, nor is there a vaccination or other preventive drugs. The only preventive measures are protection against mosquito bites and the extermination of mosquito breeding grounds. This disease is transmitted by the Aedes Aegyptus mosquito, which mainly stings during the day in contrast to the malaria mosquito (Anopheles), which mainly stings in the evening. AIDS Naturally the preventive measures applied against AIDS in the Netherlands also apply in other countries. In relation to other countries extra precautions should be taken in relation to the danger of contamination from injections and blood products. What should you bring with you? This very much depends on the situation at your destination, but it is always sensible to bring a set of sterile needles and hypodermic syringes (2 ml. and 10 ml.) with you, because these tend to be scarce in many countries. Your doctor or Municipal Medical & Health Service can advise you on this. Ask for a declaration that the needles are for medical use; otherwise the customs officers may think that you are a drug user. In extreme situations, you may also be able to bring blood products in consultation with your doctor or the Municipal Medical & Health Service. First-aid kit It is advisable to bring the following items: betadine iodine and/or betadine cream for infected wounds, pain killers, bandages, thermometer, splinter set, anti-insect stick or lotion, daktarin cream for athlete's foot, tetracycline or chloramfenicol eye cream against eye infections, something for cracked lips, nose drops for blocked ears after the flight. If necessary, you should bring a water-purifying agent. For stomach and intestinal problems norit and possibly Imodium should be included. You need to the careful in using Imodium though because if you have a serious bowel infection Imodium must not be taken. In certain circumstances it may be important to bring antibiotics with you (on prescription). Article: Healthy abroad, additional information to Met nieuwe ogen – 4/5 Recommended further reading Nick Jones, The Rough Guide to Travel Health. Rough Guides Limited, ISBN 9781843533245. For information about vaccinations contact your doctor or the Municipal Medical & Health Service. You can also contact the Travel Clinic: Haringvliet 72, Rotterdam, + 31 (0)10 4043405, and the Tropen Centrum Amsterdam (Amsterdam Tropics Centre): + 31 (0)20 5663800, or the AMC (Academic Medical Centre) vaccination info-line: 0900 9584. Article: Healthy abroad, additional information to Met nieuwe ogen – 5/5

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