The Travelers Medical Kit

A traveler should always carry travelers medical kit along with him/her (especially while traveling from a developed country to a developing country or an underdeveloped country) and it is strongly recommended by all the authorities in the field. The travelers medical kit is very much helpful in times of need.

There are many medications available in many countries of travel (often over the counter), directions for their use may not be there with the medicine or if present it is in a foreign language, the medicine may be outdated or counterfeit. For example, a recent multi-country study in Southeast Asia showed that an average of 53% (range, 21–92%) of anti-malarial drugs were counterfeit or contained inadequate amounts of active drug and can not be relied upon.

The contents of travelers medical kit may very depending on many factors and situations. The contents of travelers medical kit vary depending on the itinerary of travel, duration of stay, style of travel, and local medical facilities where you are going etc. For a short term traveler the travelers medical kit should contain an analgesic or painkiller like ibuprofen; an anti-diarrhea agent and an antibiotic for self-treatment of travelers’ diarrhea like azithromycin; a laxative, ORS or oral re-hydration salts; antihistamines (allegro or fexofanadine, cetirizine etc.); sunscreen with a SPF (skin-protection factor) of at least 30; an insecticide for clothing like permethrin; a DEET containing insect repellent (for mosquito and other insects) for the skin and some anti-malarial drugs like artesunate (acts in case of falciparum malaria which can cause cerebral malaria).

A long-stay traveler should have all the above mentioned medicines in the travelers medical kit and should add some more additional medications. A long-stay traveler should add a broad-spectrum general-purpose antibiotic like levofloxacin or azithromycin, a topical antifungal cream like miconazole, an antibacterial eye and skin ointment etc to the travelers medical kit.

A first aid kit should also be there with the travelers medical kit regardless of duration of stay. The travelers first aid kit should contain items like scissors, tweezers, a knife and bandages. Long-stay traveler should carry a once-daily dose of antibiotics is to use 3 tablets “below the waist” (bowel and bladder infections) and 6 tablets “above the waist” (skin and respiratory infections).

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