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WHAT DO YOU NEED TO KNOW? We all love to travel. It broadens our horizons and gives us wonderful experiences. Lifesystems® and travel health expert MASTA® try to encourage everyone to be more adventurous and explore the world around us. To maximise your enjoyment, we want you to be well prepared and ready for the potential risks which you may be exposed to whilst you are away from home. This booklet will help you prepare fully for your trip and we hope you will use it as a pocket guide during your travels. Inside you will find kit lists for different environments, vaccine information, details of potential risks and other important information for planning your adventure. LIFESYSTEMS Lifesystems provide high-end product, research and information for travellers across the globe. We work with a wide range of individuals including expert medics, ex-special forces individuals and expedition leaders to develop the best products possible. Our partners include MASTA, The London School of Tropical Medicine, Prometheus Medical, HealthGuard and the World Health Organisation. MASTA MASTA have the UK’s largest network of private travel health clinics. All our advice is based on the very latest information with our Travel Health Brief, providing personalised advice and vaccinations that are tailored to travel plans.

INDEX BEFORE YOU LEAVE INFECTION & INJURY BITING INSECTS WATER & FOOD HYGIENE SUN PROTECTION PLAN YOUR ADVENTURE PERSONAL INFORMATION MASTA TRAVEL CLINICS The information provided in this booklet is researched and correct at time of publication. This booklet is designed as a guide only and if you have any questions about its content, please contact us at

BEFORE YOU LEAVE The following points outline some of the things that you should consider before travelling. We have tried to cover as many as possible, some of which may appear obvious but remember - no detail is too small when it comes to travelling safely.

GENERAL INFORMATION PASSPORT ~ Check that you have at least 6 months left before your passport expires ~ Make a note (somewhere safe) of your passport number in case you lose it ~ Leave a photocopy of your passport at home and another photocopy hidden somewhere in your luggage, in case of emergency ~ Check immigration details before you travel; some destinations may require you to obtain a visa before travelling ~ Take some other form of photo ID with you MONEY ~ Take enough currency to be comfortable but not too much; you may become a target for thieves ~ Ensure your credit card is valid and accepted where you are travelling to ~ Keep bank details somewhere safe and make a note of any cancellation numbers - you may need to cancel your cards due to loss or theft ~ Use online internet banking if you can ~ Try to carry your passport, wallet and credit cards separately ~ Consider using a body wallet or money belt to hide valuables

HEALTHCARE ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Check that all your vaccinations are up to date. If you need to discuss travel health needs with a specialist, please do so at least 6-8 weeks before travelling in case further vaccinations are required. Make sure that you have valid travel insurance for your destination(s), medical conditions and activities which you may be participating in Keep any medication you are taking in its original packaging and take prescription documents with you If travelling to Europe, it is advisable to take an EHIC card with you If travelling to areas which may have poor medical facilities, it is worth making a note of your blood group

AND FINALLY... ~ ~ ~ ~

If you plan on driving, make sure that you have a valid driving licence and required documents for your destination If you are travelling to remote areas, it is advised that you register with your embassy on arrival Take the address and telephone number of your hotel or accommodation to show on arrival Tell someone what your plans are, so that it will be noticed if you are not where you should be at any given time


When travelling, many people take risks that they wouldn’t normally take at home such as new activities & sports. Safety standards may often be less rigourous and the consequences of accidental injury could potentially be more serious with limited emergency treatment and communication difficulties. WHAT SHOULD I DO? ~

ALWAYS have a first aid kit with you - make sure it is adequately stocked, well organised and that you know how to use it


ALWAYS make sure that you are safe before starting treatment on others


ALWAYS carry the contact details of a hospital or rescue service for the area you are in, especially if your activities could put you at risk.

~ NEVER take unnecessary risks that may result in injury ~ NEVER treat somebody else (especially if you do not know them) without wearing protective gloves

Most items in your first aid kit will be simple to use but make sure you are familiar with it all before you leave. At the very least, ensure you can apply a bandage, make a simple dressing and a sling. If you are going to an area where you are particularly at risk of injury, you may want to attend a first aid course.


In some countries you may find that the standard of healthcare and hospital facilities is not what it is at home. In some areas, medical equipment may often be reused without having been adequately sterilised. This carries the risk of contracting blood borne diseases such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C or HIV. WHAT SHOULD I DO? ~

ALWAYS seek advice on the best place to receive medical care - your insurance company or British embassy will be able to advise.


ALWAYS make sure that any injections or incisions made by a doctor are made with sterile equipment or your own personal sterile set.

~ NEVER put yourself at risk - avoid tattoo parlours, body piercing and acupuncture etc.

% Adults Infected with HIV Low

High Note: This map represents 2007. Source: WHO/UNAIDS


Unprotected sex carries the risk of many different sexually transmitted infections, HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis B are among the most common. WHAT SHOULD I DO? ~

ALWAYS carry condoms - they provide good, but not 100% protection


ALWAYS wear protection during sexual contact


Accidents happen. It doesn’t matter if you are travelling, taking part in outdoor activities or on an expedition – you should take a comprehensive first aid kit. If you plan sensibly and take adequate first aid precautions, you can prevent an injury turning into a disaster. WHAT SHOULD MY FIRST AID KIT CONTAIN? ~

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Plasters, dressings, bandages, scissors and tape should be in any first aid kit. The more remote and potentially dangerous your activity, the bigger and more varied these items should be Antiseptic wipes or cream should be included to clean a wound A well-equipped sterile set is highly recommended if travelling to a country with a potentially low standard of medical hygiene and healthcare If you have a history of dental problems, consider an emergency dental kit You may wish to add any medicines or condoms as required Make sure your kit is well organised and clearly laid out. In an emergency you will need to find things in a hurry Learn how to use your kit before you leave.

For a full list of first aid kits, go to


Vaccination can protect against some of the more serious diseases which may be encountered during your travels. If possible, seek advice about vaccinations 6 to 8 weeks before travelling. Don't leave it until the last minute to prepare for your trip. For more information, visit the Masta website WHAT VACCINATIONS ARE AVAILABLE? ~



Hepatitis B




Measles, Mumps & Rubella


Meningitis ACWY







If travelling with children, make sure they are up-to-date with their UK Vaccinations.


Mosquitoes transmit disease to more than 700 million people every year and will be responsible for the deaths of 1 in every 17 people worldwide. There are very few vaccines that protect against diseases spread by insects so it is important that you take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes or other biting insects. MALARIA A disease spread by infected mosquitoes between dusk and dawn. Symptoms may include fever, headache and vomiting which usually appear 7-28 days after the mosquito bite. However, symptoms can occur even after a year after being bitten. If left untreated, malaria can quickly become life-threatening by disrupting the blood supply to vital organs. If travelling to infected areas, it is important that you use the correct anti-malarial tablets and take bite avoidance measures. YELLOW FEVER A viral disease spread by day time biting mosquitoes. It is present in parts of Africa as well as Central and South America. Symptoms include headache, fever, muscular and joint pain, vomiting and loss of appetite. More serious cases result in jaundice, severe bleeding and can be life-threatening. A vaccine is available and a certificate will be issued which is valid for 10 years. Many countries require a yellow fever vaccination certificate if you’re travelling from an infected country.

DENGUE FEVER A viral infection spread by day time biting mosquitoes. Symptoms include headache, fever, muscular pain and joint pain. Cases are highest during and after the rainy/monsoon season. There is no specific treatment. The fever usually settles in 5-7 days although full recovery may be delayed by fatigue and depression. JAPANESE ENCEPHALITIS A disease spread by mosquitoes between dusk and dawn in parts of Asia. Symptoms can include a severe flu-like illness with headache, stiff neck, confusion and coma. About 33% of people recover. For others, it can be life threatening or result in permanent neurological damage. The risk is highest in rural areas where pig farming and rice paddy fields coexist. A vaccine is available. TICK BORNE ENCEPHALITIS A disease spread by infected ticks, mainly during spring and summer months in Europe and Asia. The virus can also be transmitted by drinking unpasteurised milk. Mild cases settle after a flu-like illness. In some cases, it can be life threatening or result in permanent neurological damage. A vaccine is available.

% Risk of insect borne disease Low



ALWAYS cover your arms and legs whenever possible.


ALWAYS apply a suitable insect repellent to any exposed skin.


ALWAYS sleep under a mosquito net during the night.


It is important that you protect any exposed skin with a suitable repellent during the day and whilst out and about in the evenings. Two different types of repellent are available for use on skin. During the night, insect killer devices are a convenient and effective addition to a net. ~ DEET BASED REPELLENTS - DEET is a highly effective chemical repellent. In tests, it has consistently been found to be the most effective repellent available for use on skin. The amount of DEET in the repellent will determine the level of protection and the length of time it is effective for. ~ NATURAL REPELLENTS - Natural repellents are typically milder than DEET, making them an ideal choice for low risk areas. Natural repellents should be applied more regularly than DEET. They are also suitable for sensitive skin, although you should always check with your doctor if you are concerned. ~ INSECT KILLERS - If you are staying in a hotel room and you have an electrical outlet, consider a plug-in mosquito killer. These are highly effective during the night. Refills are available in most countries. Mosquito coils offer a similar means of protection in outdoor spaces.


Malarial mosquitoes are most active between dusk and dawn so it is important that you sleep under a permethrin treated net. Various shapes and sizes of net are available depending on your preference and where you are going to use your net. WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR WHEN CHOOSING A NET? ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Make sure the net has a minimum of 196 holes/inch2 (as recommended by the World Health Organisation) Make sure the net has enough fabric to tuck under your mattress The best nets are impregnated with a long-life premethrin based insecticide Nets with spacer bars will offer more space and require fewer hanging points A hanging kit is a must. Take spare tape or hooks for ease of hanging


You can be vaccinated against a small number of insect borne diseases. If possible, seek advice about vaccinations 6-8 weeks before travelling. For more information, visit WHAT VACCINATIONS & MEDICATIONS ARE AVAILABLE? ~

Yellow Fever (Vaccine)


Japanese Encephalitis (Vaccine)


Tick borne Encephalitis (Vaccine)


Malaria (Medication)

It is still recommended that bite avoidance measures be taken - see the insect repellents and mosquito nets sections for more details. REMEMBER: While malarial carrying mosquitoes are active during the night, dengue carrying mosquitoes are active during the day - protect yourself at all times!

FOOD & WATER HYGIENE 3 INTERESTING FACTS Only 3% of the world’s water is drinkable. The rest is either contaminated, seawater, or both ~ More than 250 illnesses can be caused by contaminated food or drink ~ One in three travellers will suffer from a stomach bug, diarrhoea or other gastric illness on or immediately after their trip ~

This means that you need to take care when you’re travelling. Following some simple precautions will reduce the risk of contracting gastric illness. WHAT SHOULD I DO? ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

ALWAYS wash your hands regularly, particularly before eating. If you don’t have access to clean water, use a dry wash which does not require water ALWAYS drink sealed, bottled water. Canned, carbonated drinks are generally considered to be safe. Use treated water to brush your teeth. ALWAYS wash your hands in clean water before handling contact lenses NEVER consume unpasteurised milk or other dairy products NEVER eat raw seafood, under cooked meat and shellfish - these are considered as high-risk foods. Food that is hot and freshly cooked is safer. NEVER have ice in your drinks


Chlorine and Chlorine Dioxide are both very effective water purification agents. ~

CHLORINE makes water safer by killing pathogenic organisms. Chlorine tablets should be used in areas where there is a risk of harmful bacteria in the water. Neutralising tablets can be used to remove the disinfectant taste.


CHLORINE DIOXIDE is a little more expensive than Chlorine but is effective against a wider spectrum of pathogens, killing viruses and bacteria including Giardia and Cryptosporidium. It also has virtually no after-taste.

DEHYDRATION: In the event of dehydration due to gastric illness, prepare the following simple rehydration solution. Try to drink 3 litres per day. ~ One level teaspoon of salt ~ Eight level teaspoons of sugar ~ One litre of purified drinking water


You can be vaccinated against some food and water borne illnesses. If possible, seek advice about vaccinations 6-8 weeks before travelling. For more information, visit WHAT VACCINATIONS ARE AVAILABLE? ~



Hepatitis A






Although sun is good for general wellbeing and health, it is important to protect yourself from over-exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays. Covering up effectively, wearing sufficient headgear and applying the correct sunscreen to exposed skin is essential. A good quality sun cream will protect against UVA and UVB radiation: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE? ~

UVA RADIATION penetrates more deeply than UVB rays and is a major contributing factor to long-term skin damage, ageing and wrinkling.

~ UVB RADIATION damages the superficial epidermal layers of the skin and is the main cause of skin reddening and sunburn. It also plays a key role in the development of skin cancer and other skin conditions.


SPF is a measure of how long you can stay out in the sun without becoming burnt. The correct SPF factor will depend on your skin type and how long you are exposed for. A cream with SPF 25 will protect you 25 times longer against UVB rays than without it. WHAT SHOULD I DO? ~

ALWAYS use waterproof and sweat proof sunscreens for swimming

~ ALWAYS reapply sunscreen regularly and after swimming (even waterproof creams) ~ ALWAYS spend time in the shade during the hottest time of day (11am - 3pm) ~ ALWAYS keep children out of direct sunlight and make sure they cover up

SUN CREAMS ACTIVE FORMULA Ideal for travel and outdoor use, the Lifesystems Active range of sun screens contain 5-star UVA filters and high-level UVB filters. Each cream is waterproof and contains a jellyfish repellent. ~ ~ ~ ~

SPF 15, 25 and 40 Water and sweat proof 4-Star rated UVA filters Includes jellyfish repellent formula

MOUNTAIN FORMULA Sunburn can occur very quickly at altitude where UV protection is particularly important. The Lifesystems Mountain sun screens contain 5-star UVA filters and high-level UVB filters. Each cream is sweat-proof and moisturising, so they are ideal during high levels of activity. ~ ~ ~

SPF 25 and 50 Sweat proof and moisturising 5-Star rated UVA filters

REMEMBER: Wearing sun cream does not mean you won’t tan! Your skin is simply being protected from the harmful rays which cause skin damage ~ Reapplying sun cream does not extend the recommended sunbathing time: you must still cover up or find shade whenever necessary ~ Using after-sun can help sooth sun damaged skin and prolong your tan ~ Snow and water reflect UV rays, resulting in an increased risk ~

PLAN YOUR ADVENTURE ONLINE WWW.BIG-PLANET.CO.UK Our comprehensive interactive online resource will give you all the information you need to plan for a successful trip. Covering 150 of the world’s most travelled countries you will be able to find the information you need to help plan a healthy, safe trip. You can also store information on the secure site and use it as an emergency back up for all your useful numbers, websites and travel information. The site is constantly updated and you can find the following information for the places you are going to: FEATURES: ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Country-specific information Vaccination and health updates Security alerts World time Travel insurance Currency converter World weather Product check lists

PERSONAL DETAILS Full Name Address (Home) Address (if found) Telephone Number(s) Passport Number

HEALTHCARE DETAILS Allergies / Medications Blood Type Travel Insurance Provider / Contact Number

USEFUL CONTACT NUMBERS UK Embassy Contact Number(s) Credit/Debit Card Cancellation Number Travel Insurance Provider / Contact Number




Vaccine Name

Booster/Revaccination Date


MASTA Travel Clinics Aberdeen - Ark Occupational Health, 213 George Street, Aberdeen AB25 1HY. 0330 100 4093 Arbroath - Abbey Health Centre, East Abbey Street, Arbroath DD11 1EN. 0330 100 4099 Attleborough - Attleborough Surgery, Station Road, Attleborough NR17 2AS. 0330 100 4103 Axminster - Axminster Medical Practice, St. Thomas Court, Church Street, Axminster EX13 5AG. 0330 100 4107 Basingstoke - Beggarwood Surgery, Broadmere Road, Beggarwood, Basingstoke RG22 4AQ. 0330 100 4111 Bath - Pulteney Street Practice, 35 Great Pulteney Street, Bath BA2 4BY. 0330 100 4115 Beaconsfield - Mulberry Court, Windsor End, Beaconsfield HP9 2JJ. 0330 100 4119 Belfast - Kerrsland Surgery, 169 Upper Newtonards Road, Belfast BT4 3HZ. 0330 100 4123 Birmingham - Handsworth Wood Medical Centre, Church Lane, Birmingham B20 2ES. 0330 100 4128 Brighton - St Peter's Medical Centre, 30 - 36 Oxford Street, Brighton BN1 4LA. 0330 100 4137 Bristol - Christchurch Family Medical, North Street, Downend, Bristol BS16 5TQ. 0330 100 4141 Cambridge - Huntingdon Road Surgery, 1 Huntingdon Road, Cambridge CB3 0DB. 0330 100 4145 Chippenham - Hathaway Medical Centre, Middlefield Road, Chippenham SN14 6GT. 0330 100 4157 Dover - Peter Street Surgery, Peter Street, Dover CT16 1EF. 0330 100 4163 Edinburgh - Davidsons Mains Medical Centre, 5 Quality Street, Edinburgh EH4 5BP. 0330 100 4169 Fulham - Basuto Medical Centre, 29 Basuto Road, Fulham, London SW6 4BJ. 0330 100 4239 Gatwick Airport - Jubilee House, Furlong Way, North Terminal, Gatwick Airport RH6 0JN. 0330 100 4174 Glasgow - OH Works Ltd, 90 Mitchell Street, Glasgow G1 3NQ. 0330 100 4179 Gosport - Waterside Medical Centre, Mumby Road, Gosport PO12 1BA. 0330 100 4184 Hemel Hempstead - Bennetts End Surgery, Gatecroft, Hemel Hempstead HP3 9LY. 0330 100 4193 Hythe - Waterside Health Centre, Beaulieu Road, Hythe SO45 5WX. 0330 100 4198 Jersey - Queens Road Health Centre, Queens Road, St. Helier, Jersey JE2 4HY. 0330 100 4202 Leeds - Moorfield Road, Yeadon, Leeds LS19 7BN. 0330 100 4207 Leigh on Sea - Leigh Medical Centre, 1446 London Road, Leigh on Sea SS9 2UT. 0330 100 4215 Liverpool - Assura Health & Wellness Centre, 28 Argyle Street, Liverpool L1 5DL. 0330 100 4219 London (Baker Street) - Unit 53, 55 Baker Street, London W1U 8EW. 0330 100 4224 London (Canary Wharf) - Suite 2, Laybourne House, Admirals Way, London E14 9UH. 0845 600 2236 London (Finsbury Circus) - London Wall Buildings, Finsbury Circus, London EC2M 5NS. 0330 100 4233 London (Fleet Street) - Fleet Street Medical Centre, 2-3 Salisbury Court, London, EC4Y 8AA. 0330 100 4236 London (Oxford Circus) - 52 Margaret Street, W1W 8SQ. 0845 600 2236 London (Tower Hill) - Tower Hill Medical Centre, 10 Lloyds Avenue, London EC3N 3AJ. 0330 100 4251 Loughborough - Pinfold Medical Practice, Pinfold Gate, Loughborough LE11 1DQ. 0330 100 4257 Manchester - 1 Stop Travel Clinic, 266 Washway Road, Sale M33 4RZ. 0330 100 4263 Milton Keynes - Newport Pagnell Medical Centre, Queens Avenue, Newport Pagnell MK16 8QT. 0330 100 4268 Newcastle - Newcastle Medical Centre, Claremont Road, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE1 7RG. 0330 100 4272 Newport - The Rogerstone Practice, Western Valley Road, Rogerstone NP10 9DU. 0330 100 4276 North Lincolnshire - 30 Church Street, Haxey DN9 2HY. 0330 100 4189 Nottingham - Cripps Health Centre, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2QW. 0330 100 4280 Peterborough - The New Queen Street Surgery, Syers Lane, Whittlesey, Peterborough PE7 1AT. 0330 100 4284 Plymouth - Lisson Grove Medical Centre, 3 - 5 Lisson Grove, Plymouth PL4 7DL. 0330 100 4288 Reading - Grovelands Medical Centre, 701 Oxford Road, Reading RG30 1HG. 0330 100 4292 Sheffield - Claremont Hospital, 401 Sandygate Road, Sheffield S10 5UB. 0330 100 4299 Solihull - Premier Medical Centre, 51 Station Road, Knowle, Solihull B93 0HN. 0330 100 4303 Southport - Triangle House, 12 Church Street, Southport PR9 0QT. 0330 100 4306 Stafford - Beaconside Health Centre, Weston Road, Stafford ST18 0BF. 0330 100 4310 Tonbridge - Warders Medical Centre, East Street, Tonbridge TN9 1LA Wigan - Worsley Mesnes Health Centre, Poolstock Lane, Wigan WN3 5HL. 0330 100 4319 York - Lavender Grove Surgery, Boroughbridge Road, York YO26 5RX. 0330 100 4325

MASTA for all your travel health needs With the UK’s largest network of private travel health clinics, MASTA provides a full range of travel vaccines (even the more unusual ones), antimalarials and preventative advice. Our travel health nurse experts have extensive experience and will be happy to help you. In fact, travel advice is such a specialised area of medicine that many GP surgeries refer their patients to MASTA clinics. Appointments are usually available at short notice – even close to your departure date, so check online and see if there’s a MASTA clinic near you. Click on ‘Find a clinic’

travel well

LIFEMARQUE L I M I T E D , C A L L E V A P A R K , A L D E R M A S T O N , B E R K S , R G 7 8 E N , U N I T E D K I N GDOM t: 00 4 4 ( 0 ) 1 1 8 9 8 1 1 4 3 3 e : m a i l @ l i f e s y s t e m s . c o . u k w : w w w . l i f e s y s t e m s . c o . u k

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