58 | Health
HEALTH RISKS THAT EXPATS SHOULD BE AWARE OF SOURCE: THE TELEGRAPH
Moving to live somewhere off the beaten track can be a brilliant adventure, but there are also risks for which it's best to be prepared. It might happen that the expat dream has turned sour. Here's the list of ten things to watch out for when you're making plans to relocate: Roads may be dangerous It may not be the snakes or mosquitoes that you need to worry about in less developed destinations. Road traffic accidents are one of the most common causes of hospitalisation for expats in the developing world. Cars can be badly maintained, road lighting can be poor and drivers are not always regulated. Take care both when travelling in a car and crossing roads. Ordinary risks can somet imes be forgot t en Some expats will go to great lengths to prepare for worst-case scenarios, like spider or animal bites ? and may overlook more common risks, such as gastroenteritis. Or, as seasoned travellers, they may become complacent about daily health hazards. Remembering simple precautions around hand washing and food preparation is essential in less developed expat destinations. Don't forget the obvious things like road safety and washing your hands in the excitement of WWW.EXPATSWORLD.COM
beginning your expat adventure. Language and cult ural differences may creat e problems Being ill and unable to speak a common language with your doctor in a far-flung corner of the world can be both frightening and dangerous. You may not be able to communicate important information about your current medication or allergies ? or to find out about any proposed treatment. Closer to home, in popular expat countries such as Spain, cultural differences can mean that basic nursing care, such as feeding and washing, falls on family members, not hospital staff. This can create confusion and even inadvertent neglect. Medicat ion isn?t always what it seems Popular emerging expat destinations such as Panama, Ecuador and India can be hotbeds for counterfeit drugs. Even first world countries can occasionally harbour these impostors. Make sure that you always go to a trusted pharmacy to buy medication, wherever you are ? and preferably an international chain. If you?re not sure where to go, take advice from a reputable doctor.
The t hreat of Ebola may not be over The worst of the Ebola outbreak may be behind us, but the virus can lie dormant in the central nervous system for some time, and its traces have been found in the semen of survivors six months after recovery. The risk is greatest in West Africa. Not all healt h insurance policies are t he same If you?re living in an area without first world medical care and you need to go elsewhere for treatment, some health insurance policies may not pay for your travel to hospital unless you?re in a life or death situation. Being too ill to use ordinary transport, but not having a life-threatening illness, could result in a large bill for an air ambulance, or limited treatment options. Check your policy carefully. Even in hospit al, infect ions can be rife You may find that good medical care is within reach, but that the hospital you go to is packed with infectious patients, particularly if an epidemic is rife. Finding medical care that?s safe to access can be a challenge outside the developed world.