Looking After Your Health Abroad
Getting injured or ill abroad isn’t something that many of us like to think about, but it can easily happen. You could have a drunken accident, catch a local disease or get injured doing an extreme sport. Health abroad is key! Here are just a few measures that you can take to protect your health when in a foreign country.
Research the local dangers
Before going to a country, it’s worth knowing any dangers that you should look out for. In many urban and westernized areas you may not have to worry, but in other areas there may be dangerous wildlife to consider, diseases and dangerous zones that have been cordoned off due to radiation or mines. Even the local drinking water could be unhealthy in some poorer areas where sanitisation isn’t in place.
Look into vaccinations
There are many countries around the world in which vaccinations are recommended against potentially deadly diseases. Some of the most common illnesses include typhoid, hepatitis A and malaria. It’s personal choice whether you take a vaccination or not – you can travel without them. Vaccinations often have to be taken in stages over a series of months, so make sure that you leave yourself enough time before your travels.
Pack a first aid kit
Every traveler should pack a basic first aid kit. This should include plasters, bandages, painkillers and any emergency allergy items such as inhalers or epi pens. This is particularly worthwhile if you’re hiking or camping out in the wild – there may not be any medical services nearby.
Bring details of prescription medicine
If you need prescription medicine, it’s worth bringing details of your prescription. Even if you’ve packed enough meds to last you for the trip, disaster could strike and you could lose these meds or you may be stranded in the country longer than you planned. A doctor or pharmacist will be more willing to give you your medication knowing that you have medical proof that your need it.
Keep a note of the local emergency number
Most people travel abroad without a clue as to what the local emergency number is – if you ever have to call an ambulance, you’ll regret not making a note of it. Such information is easy to research on your phone, but there are times you may find yourself without wi-fi. When it comes to travelling to more remote areas, it could be worth researching into international air evac. A regular ambulance is unlikely to be able to reach you in these remote areas and you may rely upon an air ambulance service.
Take out travel insurance
Many travel insurance schemes will cover medical costs abroad. This could allow you to get treatment without having to fork out huge amounts of money from your own pocket. In some countries, you may be denied treatment until you can pay. Take the time to shop around for treatment so that you get the most amount of medical coverage for the cheapest rate.