Last updated on Jun 19th, 2020 at 04:07 pm

Dr Jacques Snyman, clinical advisor for Resolution Health Medical Scheme, recommends the following important health tips before you depart.

1. Pack your medical scheme membership card

2. Find out where the closest hospitals and doctors are

Make sure you know where the closest hospitals and doctors are in the area youâ??re visiting. Be sure to save the relevant hospitals’ and doctorsâ?? numbers on your cell phone before you leave.

3. Make sure you have emergency service stickers on your vehicle

4. Ensure you have all important contact numbers

Just in case you need to contact your medical scheme or get authorisation for a procedure, ensure that you have the following numbers with:

5. Pack chronic medication

Pack your chronic medication to last the entire period that you will be away. Ensure that these are clearly labelled and kept out of reach of children.

6. Sunscreen is a must

With sun exposure at its highest in summer, take extra care of your skin.

7. Pack a basic first aid kit

A first aid kit should include gloves, scissors, bandages, gauze and safety pins. Remember headache medication as well as something for allergies and insect bites, your pharmacist can assist you with these. Remember malaria areas! Consult your GP regarding prophylactic treatment. When on the beach remember blue bottles and some jelly fish may cause intense pain if touched and may even result in allergic reactions. For a full list of what you need to have in the kit, visit The National First Aid Academy website (www.nfaa.co.za).

8. Make sure you know where the closest Centre for Disease Control is

You can look on the Centre for Disease Controlâ??s website (www.cdc.gov) for a detailed map of your closest centre.

9. Remember the basics

Following a few basic health guidelines can go a long way in ensuring your health throughout you holiday. Basics include keeping well hydrated, washing your hands regularly and eating from food outlets where food is hygienically prepared.

10. Always check whether the holiday destination is a malaria area

â??Malaria areas are expanding due to inadequate control in endemic areas which is creating ever larger environments in which malaria mosquitoes can breed freely. Higher temperatures and higher rainfall are some aspects of climate change that may affect the rate of vector-borne diseases such as malaria,â? explains Snyman.

In addition, increased temperatures lead to lengthened seasons of transmission which make contraction of malaria possible for longer periods of time, leading to higher rates of infection. Precautionary measures include:

  • Taking the recommended medication (talk to your doctor)

  • Including a good insect repellent in your first aid kit

  • Mosquito nets

  • Wearing longer pants and tops at night

â??Finding yourself unprepared for a medical event can ruin your holiday,â? says Snyman, â??Make sure that you are prepared for any eventuality so that you can get the most out of your long awaited time off.â?

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While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.