Business travellers have a job to do. Protecting the health and safety of your staff travelling overseas is a responsibility and necessary to getting the job done.

“This includes prior knowledge of the risks an employee is likely to face in particular locations, including health, security precautions, travel vaccinations and medications.” Evan Slade, Department of Labour NZ.

Correctly managing the health risks of travelling employees and their families can significantly reduce productivity loss and avoid disruption to major projects.

WORLDWISE Travellers Health are New Zealand’s travel health specialists offering expertise and services to prevent such problems.

With clinics throughout NZ, WORLDWISE has the flexibility to cater to all individual company requirements.

Contact Rachel to find out how WORLDWISE can assist your business with its travel health needs:

PH: 09 520 5830


August 8, 2010

Cruising – Popularity for this mode of travel has increased dramatically over the years along with potential risk of public health problems. Cruising is generally seen as ‘no health risk’. There are risks for each traveller type from children, pregnant women, young adults to the elderly. Below we provide a few ‘general’ points on your travel health whilst cruising abroad.

Infectious Diarrhoea – there are frequent outbreaks caused by food and water contamination on ships.Novovirus is a very hardy virus capable of surviving on almost all surfaces from door handles, railings to windows. Practice good personal hygiene eg: hand washing. Take an alcohol based hand sanitser with you. Available at WORLDWISE centres

  • Hepatitis A is also a potential risk to cruise travellers through contaminated food and water. We recommend being up to date in your Hepatitis A immunisation.
  • Respiratory illness is the most common health problem on cruises. Spread by passengers, common ventilation systems & special facilities such as spas/buffet misting devices that generate aerosols. We recommend getting the Flu vaccination before departure.
  • Depending on ports you are getting off at around the world, there are specific risks for specific travellers. We recommend a consultation with your WORLDWISE specialist before departure, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions

July 21, 2010


WORLDWISE Travellers Health Centres, NZ,  recently held a successful Travel Medicine Conference for Health Professionals in Christchurch.

These educational events have been presented annually by WORLDWISE, for the last 12 years and are the longest ongoing regular open travel health meetings in Australasia. More than 70 Health Professionals from around New Zealand attended this year’s conference to update and gain knowledge of safe practice in the delivery of health care to intending travellers.

Key Speakers included: Prof Peter Leggat, Dr Deborah Mills from Australia, Dr Michael Moreton from Thailand and Assoc Prof Marc Shaw from New Zealand.

Doctor Deborah Mills, Medical Director for The Travel Doctor – Brisbane, contributed a wealth of information on ‘Women and Children travellers’, Risk assessmentof travellers, advice on travel health and vaccinations travelling to Bhutan, an update on the Australian prep, and pep guidelines for Rabies, and finally on Mosquito borne diseases in the north of Australia.

Professor Peter Leggat, Head of School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, applied his considerable expertise and research knowledge to the current Travel Medicine, Mosquito prevention measures, gastro problems for travellers and Anti-malarial management.

Dr Michael Moreton from Bangkok Hospital in Thailand added an interesting expatriate perspective and experiences of working in Asia, dealing with expatriates, and essentials of travel for health tourism.

Assoc Prof Marc Shaw, WORLDWISE Travellers Health Centres NZ infused his personal experiences and research into his presentations on The terrors of Travel, the safety and security of travellers, a Cholera vaccine update,  First Aid travel medical kits, Malaria, and Rabies epidemiology in New Zealand.

Other Speakers included: Hemi Morete – QSI Solutions, David Hammer – Microbiology, Edward Coughlin – Sexual Health Department,Iain Bell/Sue Chambers-Ross/Lincoln Nicholls – NZDF, Dr Mark Taylor / Dr Janine Rasmussen ‘ Lisa Scotland – WORLDWISE, Dr Debbie Walkden –The Travel Doctor NZ.

A variety of other topics were covered including the management of risk for groups and corporates / Safety and Security / Dengue Fever / Acute Mountain sickness / Kiwi Family holidays to in the pacific / Post Tsunami outbreaks / Life style issues of travellers / Travellers Diarrhoea / Insects and critters /New Zealand Defence Force perspectives on deployment travels to Samoa during the Tsunami experiences, and the Afghanistan.

WORLDWISE received fantastic feedback for the two days of education and would like to thank all the speakers who presented.

Planning is well ahead for the next conference in 2011 and those who wish to receive upcoming information are invited to write to

WORLDWISE would also like to thank Glaxo Smith Kline for their unique contributions towards such a successful event.

Travel and Tropical Medicine is a growing  specialization. With around 2 million kiwis travelling overseas per year, Travel Health Professionals need to be regularly updated in global travel health information.

The WORLDWISE ONLINE Seminars have been annually presented for the last 12 years, and are the longest ongoing regular ‘open’ travel health meetings in Australasia.

This year’s WORLDWISE ONLINE conference offers Health Professionals a solid platform on which to learn and up-skill knowledge in this exciting specialization. It is aimed at all Primary Health Care Practitioners (General Practitioners, Public Health Physicians, Infectious Disease Specialists, Military medical Staff,  Pharmacists) with an interest in travel medicine. Primary Healthcare Nurses who have attended previous WORLDWISE ONLINE Level 1 courses are also invited to attend this annual meeting.

This year, the primary focus of the Conference will be on Corporate travellers and families travelling to the Asia – Pacific region. Special focus will be on

i) ‘rabies in our region’

ii) the safety of travel

iii) how to develop a risk analysis of a travel itinerary

iv) Women and children travellers

There are to be special sections on ‘country based   requirements’ for travel to South East Asia and Oceania.

The conference will be hosted at Hotel So in Central Christchurch. A hotel which implements sustainable business practices that reduce its ecological footprint.


  • To understand safe practice in the delivery of health care to intending travellers, particularly to those travelling to the Asian and Pacific region
  • To update knowledge on current pertinent travel health issues and its relevance to current medical practice
  • To understand and develop knowledge base in Travel and Geographical Medicine  practice
  • To identify when it is vital to refer patients/travellers to specialty services
  • To understand the advice that corporate travellers need to keep them well on overseas  deployment
  • To understand what responses are needed in global emergency


  • Travelling groups and corporates      – Risk assessment
  • Life style issues of Travellers – Sex and STI’s
  • Medical Tourism – The Thailand Experience
  • Update on Dengue Fever – Current thinking and into the future
  • Food and Water borne issues – The family holiday, outbreaks
  • Woman and children travellers     – management, the pregnant traveller
  • Mosquito borne diseases
  • Wilderness weather extremes and travel – Creepy Crawlies , the essence of management
  • Region specific destinations – Asia, Pacific
  • Post natural disaster outbreaks – Thailand and Samoa experiences
  • Update on Malaria – Future developments
  • Rabies – devising a management plan, the Bali experience

WORLDWISE Post Graduate Conference Advanced Level – The New Zealand Advanced course in Travel, Tropical and Geographical Medicine for Travel and Primary Health Care Practitioners – has been endorsed by The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (RNZCGP) and has been approved for up to 13.25 Hours CME for General Practice Educational Programme Stage 2 (GPEP2) and Maintenance of Professional Standards (MOPS) purposes.

For more information, full programme details or registration, please contact Clare at or 09 520 5830

We look forward to seeing you there!

Source: New Zealand Herald

New Zealand born Taylor Laird, 17, has spent two terrible nights in a Thai prison for carrying drugs he did not know were illegal.

On a trip away to celebrate graduating high school with 10 other friends, Taylor was on a motorbike taxi on his way home after a night out. The taxi was pulled over and Taylor was found with a packet of Diazepam pills which he was shocked to learn, were illegal.

Under Thailand’s Psychotropic Substances Act 1974, possession of a “schedule IV” drug such as diazepam is illegal without a prescription. The maximum penalty is one year’s imprisonment, with a fine of 20,000 baht ($800). But drugs such as Diazepam and Alprazolam are available at some pharmacies in tourist spots.

A Phuket Public Health Office source said the department allowed small amounts of the drugs to be sold. “It is illegal to possess these drugs without a prescription, but in Phuket we’re not very strict as this is a tourist destination” he said. “we grant permission to the pharmacies to sell the drugs”.

“I was told by people you could get Valium if you wanted to go to sleep and it was legal to buy it,” Taylor said. “Then they took me to the cop lock-up which was like a living hell.”

The first 24 hours behind bars Taylor sat cramped and alone in a windowless “shoebox” cell. For the second he was moved to a juvenile jail where he forced himself to stay awake – too scared to sleep as the only foreigner. “They were trying to get me to go to sleep which was pretty much what I wanted to do,” Taylor told NZ Herald, “They could have ripped me apart and probably would have if I’d stayed there any longer.”

Taylor is still stranded in the country, waiting to be called to court. His parents have spent about $10,000 on flights and accommodation to support him.

This is a good example of why WORLDWISE believe it is important to make sure you have any medication you plan on travelling with prescribed and accompanied by a medical certificate before you leave.

WORLDWISE also suggest exercising caution when purchasing ‘over the counter’ drugs in third world countries, particularly as many of these drugs have been known to be fraudulent.

December 22, 2009

Associate Professor and ‘new Doctorate’, Marc Shaw – Medical Director for WORLDWISE, graduated as a Doctor of Public Health over the weekend at James Cook University, in Townsville, Australia. Juggling his time with various publications, expedition travel, humanitarian work, and lets not forget all of his WORLDWISE work this year, Marc has managed to finish his research towards his Doctorate on Post Exposure Rabies in returning travellers to New Zealand.

Marc was honoured to be presented with such an esteemed award at a ceremony that acknowledged the work he has done as being a significant stepping stone in the future of Tropical Medicine in Australasia.

The only graduate to receive this doctorate, Marc made his ‘mark’  in the glorious red cap, with the red and blue gown of the doctoral robes upon which was his medal for service to Tsunami relief efforts in 2004!

WORLDWISE clinics in New Zealand are 1 of 39 globally dispersed GeoSentinel sites for surveillance and monitoring of all travel related illnesses.

GeoSentinel is a network of travel & tropical medicine clinics initiated in 1995 by the International Society of Travel Medicine (ISTM) and the Centres for Disease Control (CDC). Surveillance of morbidity and mortality in travellers serves a number of purposes.

Firstly, it provides information to assist in the prevention of morbidity of local populations.

Secondly, travellers can serve as sentinels for changes that affect the morbidity and mortality of local populations.

Thirdly, travellers can be a factor in the spread of diseases in their countries of origin.

GeoSentinel is based on the concept that these clinics are ideally situated to effectively detect geographic and temporal trends in morbidity among travellers, immigrants and refugees.

With GeoSentinel and Clinical Research here in Auckland, WORLDWISE is contributing to an important global cause!!!

If you have been travelling and have become unwell in some form, it is important to inform your doctor you have been travelling (better yet, go to the experts – WORLDWISE) where they know what to look for and can record important data for GeoSentinel.

Visit – the public site to see what post-travel signs and symptoms you should look out for upon return from your overseas journey. Or feel free to contact us directly at