News from The Travel Clinic, Ipswich
Advice to Travel Agents from the BMJ
Infectious disease experts on the British Medical Journal website say that Travel Agents should take the opportunity when booking flights to malarious areas
The authors reviewed 27 travel brochures from British tour companies and found that only 12 contained any information about malaria, yet they all featured holidays to African countries where the disease is endemic.
Tour operators are really missing a trick here, say the authors, as this would be an ideal place to target travellers about malaria and the need to take preventative medication.The authors call on the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to provide guidance on malaria.
Currently the IATA advises member airlines on how to disinfect aircraft to remove insects, but offers no health advice to travellers. This means that people traveling independently to visit relatives in countries that have malaria may not receive any information about this potentially life-threatening disease.
"We believe that the travel industry has an obligation to improve the quantity and quality of the malaria advice it provides [and] for independent travellers, malaria advice should be provided by the airline, for example on the ticket itself."1
It is important to seek advice from your GP or alternatively The Travel Clinic, who can advise you on which tablets may be suitable after a careful risk assessment.
Both Travel Agents and The Travel Clinic Ltd work hard to ensure our travellers return well and happy. If you would like to see an updated Malaria map for each country and independent advice on vaccines and other health risks, please visit The National Travel Health Network and Centre website, run by the NHS at www.nathnac.org
1. BMJ-British Medical Journal (2008, August 4). Travel Industry Should Inform Travellers About Malaria.