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eTravelBlackboard: World Health Travel Alerts - June 21, 2012
Turism&Travel SwiftpageEmail Volunteer for a life-changing experience The contrast between life in the developed and developing worlds is sharpest for those who travel abroad to work with the most under-privileged.

Travelvax Australia doctor, Dr Bharat Gadhvi, of Cairns, believes that only then can we appreciate how lucky we are.....   by Dr Bharat Gadhvi   They say travel broadens the mind. I say it also cleanses the soul.  Healthcare professionals have enormous potential to relieve human suffering and I believe doctors and nurses should give of their time and knowledge to help the disadvantaged people of the world. It was only through being able to travel and use my medical training that I came to understand the profound effect volunteering can have on the lives of others. From 2001 to 2005 my wife, Deepa and I worked with a NGO called ASHWINI (Association for Health Welfare in the Nilgiris), in the majestic Nilgiri Hills. Located in the Western Ghats, these are India’s own Blue Mountains, stretching 1600km through the country’s southwest. In pockets of ever-dwindling forest in the deepest corners of the Nilgiri Hills, live the adivasi. These indigenous tribes people are regarded as the lowest of the low on India’s caste ladder. Humble beginnings After humble beginnings as a land rights movement for these highly marginalised communities, a health organisation was born in 1990. Today, a 40-bed hospital is the cornerstone of a Community Health Program that covers more than 200 villages. (ASHWINI also started one of India’s first Community Health Insurance schemes in the early 1990’s.) Deepa and I helped to train the adivasi youth to become hospital nurses and village health workers, so they could manage many common illnesses in their village, provide health education and be able to recognise when villagers needed to be brought to the hospital. These days, the health of the adivasis has improved dramatically; Infant mortality is lower than in many parts of India, maternal mortality is almost zero, most children are immunised and the adivasis are able to access healthcare much like everyone else. Death stalked the hills But, 25 years ago the situation was quite different. Mothers dying in pregnancy or during childbirth was relatively common, immunisation rates were almost zero, polio was common, and people died from tetanus. Indeed, the adivasis feared going to a hospital, believing that if you walked in you would leave in a coffin. I’ll never forget meeting a young woman who had given birth just 10 days earlier. Despite a high fever, pain and anaemia, she walked several hours with her baby to the hospital to have a litre of pus drained from a breast abscess. Families paid their small hospital fees with eggs or honey collected from the forest and repaid us for the treatment we gave them with the most wonderful smiles of gratitude. How lucky we are Having trained as a doctor in England and now practising in Australia, I have also witnessed the other extremes of healthcare: Incredibly expensive and often highly wasteful health services, patients’ complaining about not being able to see the doctor of their choice immediately, or having to wait for 30 minutes for an appointment. All of us should experience – even briefly – what it’s like having to decide between food and medicine. Maybe then can we appreciate how truly lucky we are to have affordable, readily available healthcare through the safety net of Medicare. For many of the world’s less fortunate, life is very different. Next time you travel overseas, ask our travel health advisors for advice on what may be recommended for your trip and see one of Travelvax Australia's 32 clinics nationally. Call our travel health advisory line on 1300 360 164 for more details.  AUSTRALIA: Travellers import dengue, measles Read more BENIN: Meningitis hits northwest Read more BOLIVIA: Rise of rare disease Read more BRAZIL: Dengue at 5-year high in Piracicaba Read more CHINA: Hong Kong’s flu season drags on Read more COLOMBIA: Neiva battles dengue, leishmaniasis Read more GHANA: Cholera hits Accra Read more HAITI: Cholera respite Read more INDIA: 250 AES deaths; Malaria rising in north; Dengue outbreaks; Cholera in Assam Read more IRAN: Tick disease in east Read more MAURITIUS: Locally-acquired malaria Read more PUERTO RICO: Dengue epidemic looms Read more JAMAICA: Dengue surfaces Read more PHILIPPINES: Davao’s dengue overload Read more SINGAPORE: Fear of dengue surge Read more SRI LANKA: Dengue at pandemic level Read more SUDAN: Cholera death in Bentiu Read more VIETNAM: Dengue grips Dong Nai Read more Travelvax Australia compiles this weekly bulletin of global travel health alerts, risk assessments and advice for the information of Austrlaian travellers and the travel industry. Please contact our travel health advisory service on 1300 360 164 for broad destination-specific advice and vaccination recommendations. Recommended vaccines, travel medicine, trip-specific advice and accessories are available during a medical consultation with a travel health professional at any of Travelvax Australian’s 32 clinics. Visit our website or call 1300 360 164.   Source = Travelvax
Publicat de: eTravelBackboard
Joi, 21 Iunie 2012 - 04:15 PM

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