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Health risks, medical facilities and expatriate health insurance covers vary in different parts of the world. Moving to another country involves such critical issues and some awareness in these matters is an added advantage.
In Asia for instance the biggest risk is not malaria, hepatitis or bird flu, but in fact road accidents. If you are moving to Asia in future then here is some health advice.
• Health risks: Awareness about the health risks that you could encounter in the region is the first step to ensuring your own wellbeing.
If you are wondering what the biggest health concerns for travelers and expats in Asia are then here is what health experts have to say: stress related problems, jet lag and respiratory diseases are primary concerns for business travelers while respiratory infections, traveller’s tummy (diarrhea), endemic infections like dengue, malaria, bird flu, Hepatitis A and B and swine flu are other health risks. The overall health risks tend to be higher in rural Southeast Asia.
• Medical kit: Preparation is the key to tackling health risks and your own medical kit is an absolute lifesaver.
Include common treatment for fever, cold, chest infection, diarrhea, pain and wounds. Those with a medical history must include prescription drugs together with an authorization letter for any tablets that have to be carried. Besides this what you need to include in the kit depends on your medical status and where you are going. Women may need to add some additional medication for problems like thrush and contraceptive pills to regulate their period.
• Immunizations: Start your vaccinations early, preferably eight weeks before you travel.
Most doctors recommend vaccinations against Hepatitis A and B. A Meningitis ACWY vaccine is advisable if you are going to be in close contact with locals in areas where Meningitis is a common problem. Tuberculosis, rabies and diphtheria are other diseases for which you may need immunization, depending on which part of Asia you are moving to. Anti-polio vaccination for children below 18 is highly recommended.
• Insurance cover: Some research on what your international expat health insurance covers and excludes is imperative so that you know exactly what to expect if there is a problem.