For those of you who are travelling to India for the first time, all the basic precautions for safe and health travel experience cannot be stressed enough.
If you are suffering from any chronic disease do checkup with your doctor regarding the feasibility of prolonged travel. You definitely don’t want to fall during your travels.
The winter months are a good time to travel in most places of India except a few hill stations.
Depending on your travel itinerary do decide the best season to visit India.
The following are a few ” tips” for a health travelling experience in India.
- Contaminated food, water, unsanitary toilets are often reason for diarrhoea, which may be viral or bacterial.Few of these are vaccine preventable.
- Tattooing, medical emergencies and unsafe sex may cause serious diseases in exposed person.
- Personal habits give a tremendous amount of protection which vaccines cannot give.
The CDC recommends the following vaccines before travelling to India.
Must have vaccines:
- Diphtheria-Pertussis tetanus (DPT) vaccine,
- Mumps-measles-rubella ,
- Polio vaccine
- Chickenpox,(varicella)e vaccines
- Hepatitis A,
- Rota virus vaccine
- Hepatic B ,8
- Japanese encephalitis.
Most of these vaccine will give effective immunization, after a variable period ranging from minimum of 2 week to 4 weeks.
It is best if vaccination is started 2 months before travel or at least 4 weeks before starting your trip.So definitely plan your India trip with time in hand.
Getting an International Certificate of vaccination (Yellow booklet) from your doctor is as important as the vaccines themselves. It provides the complete list of all your vaccines and their dates helping to rule out certain diseases if you fall ill , or there is an outbreak.
Travel medical kit
Travelling should be loads of fun and stress free.Worrying about your health and that of your lived ones however cannot be totally prevented.
What you can do is be ready .Rest is God’s will.
Do carry your prescriptions for regular medicines along with the medicine themselves.
Sometimes different brand names are available in different parts of the world and a prescription helps to clear the confusion in an emergency.
First aid kit should include:
- Hand sanitizer , cotton wool , wipes
- Antiseptic solution: Dettol etc
- Antibiotic and antifungal ointments
- Topical steroid cream, histacalamine lotion.
- Sunscreen with a SPF of at least 25
- Compression bandage
- Oral rehydration salt
- Silverex ointment for minor burns
Over the counter drugs you should carry:
- Medicine for fever/pain like Paracetamol, Ibuprofen
- Anti cold medication
- Antihistamines for allergies
- Proton pump inhibitors with/without Domperidone
- Mild laxative
- Drug for motion sickness
- Mild sedating agent
- Cough syrup for exudative cough (with sputum), and cough suppressant for irritating dry cough
- Nasal drops, saline drop, with topical decongestants and a topical steroid spray
- Drug for diarrhoea, malaria, throat pain
- Eye drops: tear substitute,
Prevention is better than cure:
- Carry Aquaguard mobile water purifier(cleans water anywhere)
- Carry water purification tablets
- Drink preferably bottled water ( WITH ISI mark)
- Eat from clean plates, if necessary wipe your hands with wipes and then tissues before eating.
- Wash hands, use sanitizer before eating anywhere
- Eat food which is cooked fresh and hot.Eat hard boiled eggs.
- Eat Raw fruits and vegetables only after washing and peeling yourself.
- Drink ,Hot tea, coffee, boiled pasteurized milk.
- Wear clothes with long sleeves, loose and well covered for protection against variety of insect borne diseases(malaria, dengue etc)
- Sleep in screened rooms , air-conditioned rooms or use a bed net to prevent insect bite.
- Drink water from street vendors , roadside eateries, tap or well water
- Eat street food( unless you have a cast iron stomach)
- Accept food from strangers especially if you are travelling alone
- Undercooked eggs, meat or fish.
- Food served cold
- Cut fruits and vegetables. Drink juice from roadside stands
- Meat from unknown sources.
- unpasteurized milk
- Play with street dogs
India is a beautiful country with many cultural influences.Traditions are kept alive through many social practices and beliefs.
Our traditions and heritage has given us a wonderfully rich and colourful heritage.
Respecting local customs and traditions , but at the same time keeping your personal safety in mind is most important, for an adventurous yet safe travel experience.
“When in Rome do as the Romans do” is a proverb which is true for all International and national travel experiences for a safe and happy trip.
Important documents to carry for your health and safety
- Other than Passport etc you should also have
- Copy of all prescriptions your family might need
- Contact details of your health care provider in your place of residence
- Address of possible locations you will be staying and the corresponding health care facilities.
- Your Health Insurance card.Any other other documents you might need for a claim
- Proof of vaccination for International travel(Yellow booklet)
- Address, contact number of your countries embassy in India
- Scan or take a photo of all these documents and send yourself an email with these as attachment .Also store these in your cloud storage .These virtual storage helps in accessing important documents if they are lost or stolen.
Travel healthy , travel safe and enjoy the experience of “Amazing India”.
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