International travel and health

Medical consultation before travel

Travellers intending to visit a destination in a developing country should consult a travel medicine clinic or medical practitioner before the journey. This consultation should take place at least 4–8 weeks before the journey and preferably earlier if long-term travel or overseas work is envisaged. However, last-minute travellers can also benefit from a medical consultation, even as late as the day of travel (see 9.1). The consultation will include information about the most important health risks (including traffic accidents), determine the need for any vaccinations and/or antimalarial medication and identify any other medical items that the traveller may require. A basic medical kit will be prescribed or provided, supplemented as appropriate to meet individual needs.

Dental, gynaecological and age-appropriate examinations are advisable before prolonged travel to developing countries or to remote areas. This is particularly important for people with chronic or recurrent health problems. Travellers with underlying medical problems are strongly advised to consult a travel medicine clinic or medical practitioner to ensure that their potentially complex travel health needs are met. All travellers should be strongly advised to seek comprehensive travel insurance.