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Health & Safety
 
Before visiting Southeast Asia, you may need to get vaccinations and medications for vaccine-preventable diseases and other diseases you might be at risk during your travel. Your doctor or health-care provider will determine what you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities.
To have the most benefit, see a health-care provider at least 4–6 weeks before your trip to allow time for your vaccines to take effect and to start taking medicine to prevent malaria, if you need it. Even if you have less than 4 weeks before you leave, you should still see a health-care provider for needed vaccines, anti-malaria drugs and other medications and information about how to protect yourself from illness and injury while traveling.
Pack medications in their original, clearly labeled containers. A signed and dated letter from your physician describing your medical conditions and medications, including generic names, is also a good idea. If carrying syringes or needles be sure to have a physician’s letter documenting their medical necessity. If you have a heart condition brings a copy of your ECG taken just prior to traveling.
In most Southeast Asian countries you can buy many medications over the counter without a doctor’s prescription, but it can be difficult to find some of the newer drugs, particularly the latest antidepressant drugs, blood pressure medications and contraceptive pills.
We recommend that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. If you have a medical condition, you should also share your travel plans with any doctors you are currently seeing for other medical reasons.
If your travel plans will take you to more than one country during a single trip, be sure to let your health-care provider know so that you can receive the appropriate vaccinations and information for all of your destinations.

Vaccinations
The only vaccine required by international regulations is yellow fever. Proof of vaccination will only be required if you have visited a country in the yellow-fever zone within the six days prior to entering Vietnam. If you are traveling to Vietnam from Africa or South America you should check to see if you require proof of vaccination.
Specialized travel-medicine clinics are your best source of information; they stock all available vaccines and will be able to give specific recommendations for you and your trip. The doctors will take into account factors such as past vaccination history, the length of your trip, activities you may be undertaking, and underlying medical conditions, such as pregnancy.
Most vaccines don’t produce immunity until at least two weeks after they’re given, so visit a doctor four to eight weeks before departure.
Medical checklist
Recommended items for a personal medical kit:
  • antibacterial cream, eg Muciprocin
  • antibiotics for skin infections, eg Amoxicillin/Clavulanate or Cephalexin
  • antibiotics for diarrhoea, eg Norfloxacin or Ciprofloxacin; Azithromycin for bacterial diarrhoea; and Tinidazole for giardiasis or amoebic dysentery
  • antifungal cream, eg Clotrimazole
  • antihistamines for allergies, eg Cetrizine for daytime and Promethazine for night
  • anti-inflammatories, eg Ibuprofen
  • antinausea medication, eg Prochlorperazine
  • antiseptic for cuts and scrapes, eg Betadine
  • antispasmodic for stomach cramps, eg Buscopa
  • contraceptives
  • decongestant for colds and flus, eg Pseudoephedrine
  • DEET-based insect repellent
  • diarrhoea ‘stopper’, eg Loperamide
  • first-aid items such as scissors, plasters (Band Aids), bandages, gauze, thermometer (electronic, not mercury), sterile needles and syringes, safety pins and tweezers
  • indigestion medication, eg Quick Eze or Mylanta
  • laxatives, eg Coloxyl
  • migraine medication (your personal brand), if a migraine sufferer
  • oral-rehydration solution for diarrhoea, eg Gastrolyte
  • paracetamol for pain
  • steroid cream for allergic/itchy rashes, eg 1% to 2% hydrocortisone
  • sunscreen and hat
  • throat lozenges
Travel insurance
Travel Insurance is compulsory on all Travel Authentic Asia trips and is a condition of booking with Travel Authentic Asia. This will not only guarantee you peace of mind while you travel but also covers you for many of the things that can go wrong. Please ensure you have your policy number and emergency telephone number for your insurance company. If this is unavailable please ensure you have the necessary information required by your Insurance company in case of an emergency.
Traveling in here is generally safe. Anyway, from our experiences, you should be aware that thing might happen unexpectedly some time.
Before booking for travel insurance you should study well all things relate to your travel plan and itinerary. Make sure that your travel insurance will cover all the activities in the itinerary and any optional activity you may take during the trip. The more detailed and clear you learn about your travel destination, the better it is to work out travel insurance policy.
Please, note that except you use luxury and up standard service, conditions in Southeast Asia in general are not the same at home.
Your insurance policy should cover at least
  • Medical and health cover for injury or sudden illness
  • 24 hour emergency service and assistance.
  • Personal liability in case you’re sued for causing injury or damaging property.
  • Lost and stolen of possessions.
  • Cancellation and curtailment (cutting short your trip due to illness, injury or unforseen circumstances.).
  • Personal accident.
You may require extra cover for adventure activities such as rock climbing, motorbike riding, water sports etc. Remember that emergency evacuation is expensive here; bills of over US$100, 000 are not uncommon
You should find out in advance if your insurance plan will make payments directly to providers or if they reimburse you later.
Here, except you come to International health care service or those who can make deal with Insurance companies (not always available) you are likely have to pay in cash and get reimbursement later. If you have to claim later, make sure you keep all documentation.
Some policies ask you to call back (reverse charges) to a centre in your home country where an immediate assessment of your problem is made.
In case of lost or stolen, you have to report to police for investigation and get paper from them.
Travel Authentic Asia will provide you helps and advice in resolving matters on sport or dealing with local procedures relate to your case but nowhere liable for any legal matter relate to your claim or deal with Insurance company.

Dengue fever
This mosquito-borne disease is becoming increasingly problematic throughout Southeast Asia, especially in the cities. As there is no vaccine available it can only be prevented by avoiding mosquito bites. Symptoms include high fever, severe headache and body aches. There is no specific treatment, just rest and paracetamol – do not take aspirin as it increases the likelihood of haemorrhaging. See a doctor to be diagnosed and monitored.

Malaria
For such a serious and potentially deadly disease, there is an enormous amount of misinformation concerning malaria. You must get expert advice as to whether your trip actually puts you at risk. Many parts of Southeast Asia, particularly city and resort areas, have minimal to no risk of malaria, and the risk of side effects from the tablets may outweigh the risk of getting the disease. For most rural areas, however, the risk of contracting the disease far outweighs the risk of any tablet side effects. Before you travel, seek medical advice on the right medication and dosage for you.
You need to discuss with your doctor if you need to use antimalarial drug since it might cause side effects like: tiredness, nausea, drowsiness or stomach upset….
The best ways for you to avoid getting sick with malaria is to use insect repellent and wearing long and sleeves to prevent mosquito bites when and where mosquito is available. Try to get the type of long lasting insect repellent and use them more frequent around every 3 or 4 hour when you travel to the areas have mosquitos.
When and where the risk of malaria is low, taking an antimalarial drug is not recommended.

Heat
Many parts of Thailand are hot and humid throughout the year. Some people it take few days at least to adapt to the hot climate. Swelling of the feet and ankles is common, as are muscle cramps caused by excessive sweating. Prevent these by avoiding dehydration and excessive activity in the heat. Take it easy when you first arrive. Don’t eat salt tablets but drinking rehydration solution or eating salty food helps. Treat cramps by stopping activity, resting, rehydrating with double-strength rehydration solution and gently stretching.
Treatment involves getting out of the heat and/or sun; fanning the victim and applying cool wet cloths to the skin; laying the victim flat with their legs raised; and rehydrating with water containing ¼ teaspoon of salt per litre. Recovery is usually rapid and it is common to feel weak for some days afterwards.

Be prepared but not paranoid. Before departure you should check the packing list carefully. Actually, Medical facility in Thailand is rather good. Most large cities in Thailand now have clinics catering specifically to travellers and expats. These clinics are usually more expensive than local medical facilities, but are worth using. They can also liaise with insurance companies should you require evacuation.
Self-treatment may be appropriate if your problem is minor. If you think you may have a serious disease, especially malaria, do not waste time – travel to the nearest quality facility to receive attention.
At the group meeting or the first day of your trip, you should inform our group leader or tour guide about your health status and your special request on using medication, pre-existing medical experience or food balance request if there is any.