Healthcare Checklist Before You Travel Abroad

Healthcare Checklist Before You Travel Abroad

Prepare Before You Travel Abroad

1) See Your Doctor

image credit: UCLA Newsroom

Planning before you travel abroad allows you to enjoy your trip with ease of mind and helps you stay healthy throughout the trip.

It is important to see your doctor and discuss about your travel plans before you leave.  Ask about any vaccinations or medications required for the destination, understand the health risks you could face in the places you’re traveling to and take preventive measures against illness and injury.

It’s also important to keep your doctor informed about your health condition and information about your travel such as:

i) Existing medical condition

ii) Pregnancy

iii) Vaccination history (see below)

iv) Traveling with kids

v) Traveling period

vi) Traveling activities if it involves high risk such as mountain climbing or diving

2) Equip Yourself with Proper Vaccination

image credit: Big Stock

 

 

 

See your doctor before travelling to ensure that you and your family are equipped with the recommended vaccination schedule.  WHO recommends that all travelers be up-to-date on their routine vaccinations listed below:

 

 

 

i) Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)
ii) Influenza
iii) Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (TDaP)
iv) Hepatitis B
v) Polio
vi) Pneumococcal disease

 

 

 

Vaccination for the following diseases may also be recommended if the disease is common in the country you’re traveling to:

 

 

 

i) Hepatitis A

 

The hepatitis A virus is found in the faeces of people with infection. It’s usually spread by close personal contact with an infected person or by eating or drinking contaminated food or water handled by the infected person.

 

 

 

ii) Malaria

 

You’re at risk of getting malaria when you’re travelling to tropical or subtropical areas of Africa, Asia, the Pacific, Central and South America.  Malaria disease is transmitted by mosquito after getting bitten by an infected mosquito. Symptoms of malaria can be detected as early as 6 days to a couple of months later. Symptoms include fever, chills, headache, muscle ache, diarrhoea and malaise.

 

iii) Yellow Fever

 

Yellow fever is a viral infection transmitted by mosquitoes. Yellow fever occurs in parts of west and central Africa and South America. Although this illness rarely occurs in travelers, it’s important to equip yourself with the vaccination where the disease is present.

 

 

 

Infection can lead to two distinct phases of disease. The first phase of disease normally has symptoms such as fever, muscle pain, headache, nausea and vomiting.  Patients normally recover after a few days. Some patients will enter into a more serious phase where the fever returns, jaundice occurs and blood appears in vomit. This phase may be fatal to the patient if untreated properly.

 

 

 

iv) Typhoid

 

Typhoid fever are mainly spread to people who has travelled to places with poor hygiene such as parts of Africa, Asia, South and Central America and the Middle East.  It’s caused by the bacteria Salmonella Typhi and Salmonella Paratyphi which can be found in the blood, faeces and urine of the infected person. You can be infected by ingesting the bacteria through your mouth such as drinking contaminated water or eating contaminated food prepared by the infected person.

 

 

 

Symptoms include lethargic, headache, fever, stomach pain, constipation or severe diarrhoea, rose coloured spots on the body and weight loss.

 

 

 

v) Meningococcal Disease

 

Meningococcal disease is a result of bacterial infection of the blood and/or the membranes that line the spinal cord and brain.  Meningococcal disease spread by respiratory secretions such as coughing, sneezing or kissing. Disease is most likely spread through close contacts, such as living in the same household with the infected person, sexual contact with the infection person, partygoers contained in the nightclub for the whole night or children attending the same day care of the infected person for the day.

 

 

 

Symptoms in babies include fever, rapid breathing, vomiting or difficulty in feeding, irritability, lethargic and unusual crying.  Symptoms in adults include fever, headache, vomiting, diarrhoea, stiff neck, muscle or joint pains or feeling drowsy and confused.

 

 

 

vi) Rabies

 

Rabies is a disease spread through the bite or scratch by an infected animal such as dogs, monkeys, cats and bats. Rabies can be found in most parts of the world including Africa, the Americas, continental Europe and South-East Asia.

 

 

 

vii) Japanese Encephalitis (JE)

 

JE is commonly found in rural or farming areas where pigs are present such as China, parts of South-East Asia and the Pacific. JE is transmitted through infectious mosquito bites. The mosquitoes suck blood from sick birds or pigs pick up the pathogen and pass it on to their next victim.

 

 

 

Symptoms of severe JE include headache, high fever, confusion, disorientated, vomiting, seizure and mental status changes.

 

 

 

This is a guide of vaccines recommended for travel in the following continents.  Please consult your doctor for your vaccination requirements.

 

 

Middle
East

Africa

Asia

Eastern Europe

Mexico &
S. America

Pacific Islands

Hepatitis-A

Y   

Y   

Y   

 

 

 

Typhoid

Y   

Y   

Y   

Y   

Y   

Y   

Rabies

Y   

Y   

Y   

Y   

 

Y   

Japanese Encephalitis

 

 

Y   

 

 

Y   

Yellow fever

 

Y   

 

 

 

 

Meningococcal disease

Y   

Y   

 

 

 

 

Influenza

Y   

 

 

 

 

 

Note: Y – Required vaccination

 

 

3) Prescription Medications

image credit: Ultimate Everest

Ensure that you have packed your medication such as anti-malarial or anti-diarrhoeal tablets (prescribed by your doctor depending on the countries you’re going). Most importantly, make sure you have brought sufficient medication for your existing medical problems.  It is very difficult to obtain replacement overseas due to either strict regulations or access to pharmacies.

You’ll need to label your medicine properly and carry the prescription letter along for your travel in case you get stopped at the customs check point or if you need to get refill prescription.

4) First Aid Kit

Image Source: The Adventure Junkies

 

It’s useful to pack a first aid kit for your travel to prepare yourself for any unforeseen injuries or illness which contains the following:

i) Plasters, bandages, gauze, antiseptic, cotton-tipped applicators

ii) Sunscreen and after sun lotion

iii) Oral rehydration solution packets

iv) Insect repellents

 

5) Travel Medical Insurance Coverage

Image Source: UC Berkeley

 

Medical insurance covers the cost of medical expenses in the event of illness or accident. It’s important to know what type of medical coverage based on the countries you’re going to and/or the activities you’ll be participating.

 

6) Contacts for Doctor Abroad

In case of emergency, it’s best to have contact your tour agent or hotel staff. Keep a copy of your medication and medical history with you at all times so that you show it to any doctor during a medical emergency.  You can use the Medical Journey feature on Teleme to keep your medication and medical history.

 

7) Pack Appropriate Clothing and Footwear

Image Source: The Adventure Junkies

 

Planning ahead and packing the right type of clothing and footwear will reduce the chance of falling ill depending on the weather and geographical location of the country (ie in certain countries with poor cleanliness, wearing a proper footwear will protect your feet against parasites which can break through your skin).

 

Source:

Healthy WA, Travel State Gov, WHO

Download Teleme’s mobile app and consult a Vaccination Practitioner

 

 

 Dr. Suraya

Dr. Suraya

Vaccination Practitioner (Adult)

 

Casual Get-Together to Talk About Mental Health

Casual Get-Together to Talk About Mental Health

Tea & Talk session by Minda Kami is a casual gathering that brings together people of all background to talk about mental health and daily life struggles.

 

Minda Kami is a Malaysian-based youth mental health initiative formed by a group of passionate individuals who are concerned about the mental health issues in Malaysia. Minda Kami is formed with a mission to increase awareness about mental health. They provide platforms for discussions and establishing projects that will normalise conversations about mental health.

 

To learn more about Minda Kami, head to their website here.

 

Some of us find it hard to open up to people who are close to us while others want to open up and seek help but fear of being judged. Tea & Talk provides a safe space for people to talk about mental health in a warm and discrimination-free environment. The session usually takes place in cafes around the Klang Valley area and is limited to a small group which consist around 10 people. This is to ensure everyone gets a chance to listen and share.

 

Pleas note that the session is not intended to be an alternative to support groups/therapy. Instead, it’s a safe space for people to express their feelings, struggles and issues.

 

This time around, Teleme is pleased to collaborate with Minda Kami by bringing a clinical psychologist to lead the sharing session.

 

Ms Adlin Hamid, a clinical psychologist, who is onboard on Teleme led the session. Kudos to her time and effort! Ms Adlin has her own centre called Twenty-two: The Academy. The centre provides services such as clinical psychology, psychological assessment, programs and trainings and general service. General service is for any one that aims to learn new skills, improve their mental wellbeing and their of life.

 

The session took place in Teleme’s office and special thanks to Minda Kami for providing food and drinks for participants! Minda Kami is not supported by any governmental or private bodies and minimal funding is required to raise awareness through events and campaigns. You can help them by giving them a small token of appreciate in form of donation to help support them and read more on their past, on-going and future projects following the link below:

Go Fund Me: Minda Kami

teaandtalk-mentalhealth

In this session, participants are able to share their experience, feelings or any struggles with the help and advise from Ms Adlin. Participants are also able to get guidance from a clinical psychologist and meet new friends! All details will be kept confidential as Teleme  and Minda Kami would want to provide a safe space for people to talk. No judgement and no criticism.

teaandtalk-mentalhealth2

The session is conducted in hope to give more emotional support to those in need. Don’t be afraid to seek for help from a professional be it for your own or family members and friends. Users can now consult any psychologist online at the comfort of their own without the need to step out from their house.

To consult Ms Adlin, download Teleme’s mobile app or click on the image below to start chatting with her.

 

Helpline or Support Group to Reach out to.. Don’t Suffer in Silence

Helpline or Support Group to Reach out to.. Don’t Suffer in Silence

Who can you reach out to for emotional help or support?

 

Many of us choose to bottle up our feelings and avoid negative thoughts which troubles us greatly. All of us goes through some difficulties in our studies, relationships or career at some point in our life. Sometimes all we need is to have someone to listen to us. We just need a safe space to express our troubles, fears or anxiety without being told that “everything will be ok” or that “life goes on”.  In some instances, your friends and family may not be able to give you the support you need.

 

If you need to reach out to someone, you can try the support groups below. They will listen to you without judgment and happy to help give you mental and moral support. They will NOT judge you, lecture you or admonish you.  Most importantly, you don’t need to reveal your identity or any personal details.

 

1)     Befrienders

 

Befrienders is a non-for-profit organisation providing emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to people who are lonely, in distress, in despair, and having suicidal thoughts – without charge.

 

Befrienders provide confidential emotional support to those in distress and suicidal, via 24-hour telephone helpline and also email, managed by trained volunteers.

For emotional support and someone to talk to, please call Befrienders helpline at 603-79568145 (24 hours, everyday) or email sam@befrienders.org.my

 

 

2)     Minda Kami

 

MINDA is a Malaysian-based youth mental health initiative that is formed by a group of individuals who are passionate and concerned about the mental health issues in Malaysia. Minda Kami provides a safe space for people to open up about their mental health conditions and share their struggles when it gets too overwhelmed to carry on their own.

From time to time, they hold group sharing session called “Tea & Talk”. “Tea & Talk” is a casual gathering which brings people from all backgrounds to talk about mental health and daily life struggles. The session is normally in a group of 10 people. It’s also a great chance to meet new friends whom you can find it easier to open up to and seek help.

For emotional support, please drop Minda Kami a message via email, Facebook or Twitter and the team will respond to you accordingly based on the team’s availability. Please note that Minda Kami’s platform is not for emergency cases for distress/suicidal.

Email: minda.initiatives@gmail.com

Twitter: twitter.com/mindakami

Facebook: facebook.com/mindakami/

 

However, do note that support groups are NOT an alternative for treatment or therapy.

Send an online message to our list of qualified counsellors and psychologists if you wish to go for treatment at their centres.

 

 

Our Pick on Top 5 Healthiest New Year’s Resolutions

Our Pick on Top 5 Healthiest New Year’s Resolutions

Image Source: Pixabay

Psst.. check out our pick on top 5 healthiest new year’s resolution.

With 2017 coming to an end, making too many new year’s resolutions might be difficult to accomplish. Try to focus on simple and healthy resolutions. Pretty sure you can achieve at least one resolution from the list below, now go for it!

 

Image Source: Stock Unlimited

1. Lose weight

This resolution tops everyone’s list every year. Are you guilty of it too? Now that the holiday season will be over soon, it’s time to eat clean after a month-long of binge eating with family and friends. Party is over! Time to hit the gym.

Image Source: Fit Girl Code

2. Drink more water

Cut down on caffeine, alcohol or unhealthy fizzy drinks. It’s important to stay hydrated throughout the day and you’ll see major improvement on your skin! It’s recommended to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses which is equal to 2 litres.

Image Source: Next Avenue

3. Quit Smoking

This resolution was in your list last year? Try again and never fear to fail! Identify your triggers and patterns to overcome it. If you tend to smoke due to peer pressure or social circle (it’s hard to avoid when your family, friends or co-workers smoke as well), let them know that you can’t join them for smoking break session anymore. Try to go for healthier routines such as taking a break with non-smokers or go for a short gym session during your break.

Image Source: The Balance

4. Volunteering

Volunteering benefits yourself and others. You’ll get the feel good factor and increased happiness by helping other people. You can also meet new friends and create an opportunity for a social change. Besides meeting new people, you’ll also get to learn new skills or info from volunteering work.

Image Source: Fotolia

5. Travel

Be it a short trip or a long trip, try to plan for a trip twice a year. It doesn’t have to be an expensive, luxury trip. Discovering new places or countries can be exciting and intriguing. A trip is always something you’ll look forward to everyday and you’ll feel refreshed and rejuvenated after a trip!

Tele-Consultation: What and How Effective is it

Tele-Consultation: What and How Effective is it

We often have a mental image of a person walking into a clinic when someone says that they’re “visiting the doctor”. We’d imagine that the doctor will perform physical examination on the person, diagnose the illness, then prescribe medication if needed.

Now, try to picture the “visit” as a virtual one: a person heads to a website, enters a chat room, and starts chatting with a doctor. The doctor replies the texts with medical advice, and sends an attachment of a signed prescription for the medicine needed. Sounds futuristic, isn’t it?

Except that the future is actually now.

You’ve probably heard of tele-consultation in its other names, such as tele-diagnostics or tele-medicine. The concept of getting medical advice and prescription from a doctor without being physically present in a clinic may still sound foreign for some Malaysians, but this method of obtaining diagnosis and medication is predicted to increase in popularity by the millions before we reach year 2020.

How is it done?

Image credit: Monash University

Tele-consultation is as simple as the example illustrated earlier. Go online, head to the website that provides online medical consultation, and chat with the doctor as you would in an actual clinic. In some cases, a video call could even be done so you’ll be talking to the doctor in person – minus the physical examination, of course. The doctor will then explain the illness to you, or provide advice on how to deal with it. You’ll be given a prescription, which you can use to obtain the proper medication from any pharmacy near you. Some platforms will even deliver it to your home or office.

In some cases when a physical examination is required due to the severity of the illness, or if certain symptoms need physical examination, an appointment can be fixed on the spot as well.

How effective is it?

Image credit: Healthcare Touch

A few studies have been conducted to find out if tele-consultation is as good as it sounds. One study tested its effectiveness in three different medical fields (cardiology, dermatology, and diabetology) and found that tele-consultation is rated as high as 95% in usefulness.

It has proved to be most useful in the field of cardiology as management of emergencies is much better than physical examinations. When it comes to dermatology, they’ve reported more accurate diagnosis as well.

With such high effectiveness in specialised fields like diabetology, it’s believed that tele-consultation will be proved even more useful when it comes to dealing with non-chronic illnesses, most of which will not require physical examinations.

What are the benefits?

Image credit: Astia Health

No more numbers and queues! That’s one of the major benefits of tele-consultation. As a patient, you’ll save lots of time as you’ll have direct access to doctors almost immediately. This is great news for patients with disabilities, or those who live in rural areas. As long as there’s a solid internet connection, you’ll be able to get medical attention really soon.

It also saves you a lot of money by reducing the unnecessary visits to the emergency rooms. Sometimes, people get admitted for mild symptoms that can be easily controlled by themselves without the need for medication. However, the emergency attention and consultation given often result in a hefty bill. Through tele-consultation, patients can have their symptoms checked immediately at a minimal cost without incurring travel expenses unnecessarily.

Of course, tele-consultation is not meant to totally eliminate physical examinations. Physical care and consultation is still required for chronic illnesses, or for symptoms that require face-to-face examinations. Tele-consultation exists with the aim to provide more people with the proper healthcare that they need. Real time care can be given to more patients – online and offline – as waiting rooms have shorter queues for emergency cases, and outpatient cases can be settled without the need for people to go through the hassle of traffic and queues.

As such, with an effective solution for tele-consultation, patients who tend to forget/miss their regular checkup and appointment can be reminded through this system and soon our healthcare sector will move towards preventive health services instead of treating a disease.

Written by: Esther

Try tele-consultation at TeleMe today! Click here or below to start!

 

Get help from qualified specialists on TeleMe about your medical queries

 

 

IT IS AS EASY AS 1, 2, 3 !

1. Sign up a Patient’s Account

2. Search for a Practitioner

3. Click ‘Message’ and chat with doctors about
     your medical/health questions.

11 Things You Can Relate To If You Google Your Symptoms

11 Things You Can Relate To If You Google Your Symptoms

Image credit: The Purple Fig

 

Admit it, we’ve all Google-d something like “runny nose greenish mucus” at least once before to find out what’s wrong with our bodies. Some people want to ascertain the seriousness of their ailment before deciding whether or not to visit the doctor; others just prefer to self-diagnose and head straight to the pharmacy to save on the consultation fee.

If you’re one of those who like to consult Dr. Google about your symptoms, you’ll most probably be able to relate to these:

 

1. You don’t know where to start reading

 

There’s just too many links with the keywords you searched for.

 

2. Information Overload

Too. Much. Information. To. Digest.

 

 

3. When Google tells you that you most probably have a type of chronic illness

4. You go into denial

NO. NAH AH. NOPE.

 

 

5.You start reading up more links to prove the previous one wrong

There must be an exception.

6. You start getting more confused

 

 

 

7. Feeling scared

Because… what if?

 

 

 

8. Or feeling sad

9. You kinda give up searching after a while

10. You just want to lie in bed and not move

11. Then you find out from an actual doctor that it’s just a cold

But that day Google said… ok nevermind, as long as you’re fine.

As much as we would like to see Google as the keeper of all knowledge, not all of the information you find there are accurate or true. Googling your symptoms will only cause unnecessary stress as it sometimes assumes the worst and you’ll be in doubt over what to do. Always check with a doctor about your symptoms – they’re more reliable and you can have your queries addressed then and there.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Why Google your symptoms when you can speak to a specialist anytime, anywhere? Teleme is a platform which offers video call or chat messenger to users to get online consultation from certified doctors. Message a doctor here to ask about the ailment you’re experiencing, and they’ll reply you as soon as they can!

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