At Gympie Road Medical Centre, our doctors are extensively involved in providing professional travel advice and vaccines.
Our purpose is to prepare you and your loved ones for a safe and healthy journey abroad. It is well documented that between 30% and 50% of travellers will get sick during a two week stay overseas, with many health issues being destination specific. While many of these concerns are just a nuisance with the potential to spoil your trip, some can be very serious. Some health problems can be avoided through travel vaccinations prior to travel, whereas others can be prevented by adopting avoidance measures gained through education. Travellers may be at greater risk due to pre-existing medical conditions. Good preparation is therefore the key to healthy travel.
Before You Leave:
It is recommended to see a doctor to assess your health risks and advise you on precautions for your trip. The consultation allows your doctor to get to know more about the journey you are about to embark on. The recommendations are specific to your requirements as every journey is unique, and so are the specific health risks posed to the individual traveller. This is why travel vaccinations, anti-malarial medication, medical kits, travel health products and educational aspects are tailored to your individual situation.
Routine vaccinations for travel are those, which are already on the national immunisation schedule for both children and adults. If you have not completed these, vaccination prior to travel is important. Specific travel vaccinations are those, which relate to particular diseases that may occur at destinations you are visiting. They usually relate to medium to high risk locations where certain infectious diseases are prevalent. These include Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Meningitis ACYW, Rabies and Japanese Encephalitis. The decision to receive routine and/ or specific travel vaccinations is based on a number of factors, which the travel doctor will discuss with you.
Many regions of the world are endemic for malaria, but malaria risk within countries may vary considerably. Prescribing medication for prevention or treatment requires a careful assessment. The doctor needs to consider a number of issues, in particular your actual risk of exposure – area of travel, time of year, length of time – as well as the best choice of drug for you (e.g. potential side effects, cost etc). Education about the disease and recognition of symptoms is very important. Based on a malaria risk assessment conducted during the consultation, our travel doctors can prescribe and supply you with the suitable anti-malarial medication for your trip.
Our doctors consider education as the essential ‘ingredient’ in the practice of travel medicine. This is why we place a priority on educating you about key health risks relevant to your journey and how to prevent them. This includes ensuring you have an understanding of relevant diseases and common travel health issues that pose the greatest risk to you (e.g. traveller’s diarrhoea). We will educate you about how each disease and condition is caused and how to identify common symptoms. We will also teach you how to use appropriate medications such as anti-malarials or those included in a medical kit e.g. to treat diarrhoea.
While You are Overseas:
To help protect you against mosquitoes, sand flies and other biting insects the recommendation is to use:
Head nets for trekking
Permethrin treatment packs
To help protect your health, while providing comfort in the cabin the recommendation is to use:
Drinking enough water during your flight
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) prevention stockings
Ear planes to reduce pain associated with take-off or landing
Avoiding alcoholic drinks and smoking
Eating and Drinking Safely
To minimise the risk of contact with germs, which can cause diarrhoea and other waterborne disease the recommendation is to use:
Water purification tablets
Antibacterial hand gel
When You Return:
Despite our very best efforts, some of our travellers will still find themselves unwell while away, or upon their return. Travel related health problems are common but can be serious, and should be investigated as soon as possible after return. If you had a health problem while away that has not been completely resolved, we advise that you receive a check-up.
You may have developed symptoms such as a fever, diarrhoea, aches and pains, skin rashes or other symptoms. If this applies to you or someone, you know; we have the expertise to diagnose and treat returned travellers who are unwell. If a second opinion is required, we have close links with teaching hospitals and professionals in the fields of microbiology and infectious disease.