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Staying Healthy on the Road Medical info, e.g. malaria, vaccinations, travel medical tips, medical insurance, where to find a doctor.
Photo by Bettina Hoebenreich, At the foot of the Bear Glaciers, eternal ice, British Columbia, Canada

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Photo by Bettina Hoebenreich, at the foot of the Bear Glaciers, British Columbia, Canada.



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  #1  
Old 26 Mar 2009
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Care in third world

Some HUBBers might be interested in this article from The Times a couple of days ago:

Used needles are causing a health crisis in India - Times Online

I have had various discussions with people about the hazards of even apparently excellent private medical care in the third world. Sobering reading IMHO.

S
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Old 26 Mar 2009
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I sometimes need injections in the developing world. I carry my own syringes in a couple of sizes; this has never been questioned during even very thorough searches. When possible, I buy fresh syringes in original American or European packaging at local pharmacies for immediate use; the ones I'm carrying are for emergency use. I buy fresh medications, including injectable antibiotics or vaccines, the same way.

There are always people who'll swear up and down that standards of care in their region, country, or favorite clinic are beyond reproach. I've seen and heard enough exceptions so that I try to exercise caution whenever I can. This aside, it's also the case that the situation described probably doesn't apply to the sorts of clinics and hospitals at which you or I would find ourselves if needing an injection in Delhi. For the most part, medical personnel in even very remote areas do know how to provide sterile equipment and administer injections properly. It is the desperately poor of the world who generally get the shaft; we westerners are very, very fortunate to be able to pay for a better standard of care.

Although you'll note: official denials of the transmission of mad cow disease due to livestock feeding practices, mass transmission of HIV to hemophiliacs, etc. etc. etc. in our own countries.

Mileages vary.

Mark
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Old 27 Mar 2009
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Originally Posted by markharf View Post
I sometimes need injections in the developing world. I carry my own syringes in a couple of sizes; this has never been questioned during even very thorough searches. When possible, I buy fresh syringes in original American or European packaging at local pharmacies for immediate use; the ones I'm carrying are for emergency use. I buy fresh medications, including injectable antibiotics or vaccines, the same way.

There are always people who'll swear up and down that standards of care in their region, country, or favorite clinic are beyond reproach. I've seen and heard enough exceptions so that I try to exercise caution whenever I can. This aside, it's also the case that the situation described probably doesn't apply to the sorts of clinics and hospitals at which you or I would find ourselves if needing an injection in Delhi. For the most part, medical personnel in even very remote areas do know how to provide sterile equipment and administer injections properly. It is the desperately poor of the world who generally get the shaft; we westerners are very, very fortunate to be able to pay for a better standard of care.

Although you'll note: official denials of the transmission of mad cow disease due to livestock feeding practices, mass transmission of HIV to hemophiliacs, etc. etc. etc. in our own countries.

Mileages vary.

Mark
Interestingly, private clinics are also offenders as noted in the article. I think you are wise to carry your own syringes from the USA, but don't underestimate how good the forgeries of clean equipment and decent drugs in the third world are. You would be amazed at what these guys do. You really do have to be careful out there.
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Old 5 Apr 2009
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You should avoid needles in foreign lands at all costs. You should bring your own needles and syringes.

You should never get blood products unless you will die in the following hour or so without it as many countries don't screen all of thier blood.

WHO | Blood safety and donation
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Old 8 Apr 2009
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I do the same as MarkHarf. Having malaria aged 13 I still can't honestly tell you whether the needle used at the time was as rusty as I remember, I was having a lot of hallucinations which were brought on by the malaria. I'm sure it probably wasn't as bad as I remember or my parents wouldn't have allowed it - BUT!

A lot of people say that I'm mad to carry needles & syringes, there's no need ...

Personally I feel a lot better having them, I've not used them but they're there. I was in a hospital in Cote d'Ivoire earlier this year with a small wound, the doctor gave me a list of things to go & buy from the pharmacy (2km away!) including latex gloves, sterile gauzes etc ... I carry most of this, although gloves I never have but thinking about it, it might not be a bad idea either!

Kira
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Old 9 Apr 2009
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You should avoid needles in foreign lands at all costs. You should bring your own needles and syringes.

Foreign Lands.... ? I better be careful when I go to the UK next weekend then.... and last weekend I was in Holland - phew lucky I didn't need a jab :confused1:
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Old 8 May 2009
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Unfortunately you can't always get sick in a major city. I'd have no qualms getting care in Delhi or Dakar (and have done so) but what I fear is injury in a rural area, possibly days from a city.

I too carry my own syringes, as well as a range of basic medications, bought new for each trip.

I also have an emergency kit with things like firestarter, needle and thread etc, all of which can be handy if injured in a developing country.
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