January 18, 2016
Thinking about traveling the world in 2016? You’re not alone – seeking out a new and exotic travel destination or increasing travel plans overall is another common New Year’s resolution.
Traveling has always been a passion of mine. In my 20’s I visited dozens of countries, including Thailand, Greece, Egypt, Morocco, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and numerous ones in Europe, while living in England. I love to learn about new cultures; experiencing new foods, religions and unique ways of living.
During those years I always made a point to plan ahead and research the country I was traveling to. I considered factors such as the political landscape, safe regions for tourists and whether or not I should be immunized prior to my trip.
According to Nadine Abou-kheir, Calgary Co-op Pharmacy Manager and Certified Travel Health Specialist, these are all important issues that Calgary Co-op can help you with.
“At our Travel Health Clinics, travelers can book a pre-travel consultation, fill their prescriptions and get all their vaccinations done in one appointment,” she says. “We can provide individuals and families with accurate, comprehensive and timely advice to keep them healthy and safe while abroad.”
Co-op’s Travel Health Clinics provide all required or recommended vaccinations for International travel, including Yellow Fever. They also carry a wide range of travel health accessories such as first aid kits, compression socks, and mosquito nets among others.
“Our Travel Health Pharmacists are up-to-date on all the latest travel health news and advisories; we receive daily updates on disease outbreaks, political instability and natural disasters occurring worldwide,” Nadine explains.
Once an appointment is booked, customers fill out a Pre-travel questionnaire online. A Travel Health Pharmacist will review the travel itinerary, patient’s prescription medications, and immunization history. Recommendations regarding vaccinations, medications and travel advice will be provided specific to the destination. A personalized Travel Report will then be prepared, containing all relevant medical information tailored for that traveler and specific trip.
“Once the Travel Report is completed, the patient will have an in-person consultation that lasts approximately 20 to 30 minutes. Afterwards, the patient’s necessary prescriptions are processed and they will receive their vaccines.”
Nadine recommends booking a travel consultation four to six weeks in advance for any trip outside North America, not just exotic destinations.
“During a consult, travelers get much more than their travel vaccines. We also look at updating their routine vaccinations such as tetanus, measles, shingles and pneumonia,” she adds. “We provide valuable travel tips and also consider border requirements for certain vaccines. Not having proof of a required vaccine can completely ruin a trip!”
Travelers are also welcome to email their Travel Health Pharmacists with questions while on their trip.
“One of my patients was having side effects from the malaria pills she was on. She emailed me and I replied with ways to minimize those side effects,” Nadine says. “We also encourage our travelers to email us if they need to be directed to a reliable medical clinic while abroad; we can get them in touch with those clinics through our International Society of Travel Medicine (ISTM) network.”
To book a travel consultation or to find out more about Calgary Co-op’s Travel Health Service, visit your local Calgary Co-op Pharmacist.
- Leanne Clark
For more information about our Travel Clinics, check out our FAQ here (We have reduced fees for resort travel as well).
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