It’s finally happening! And how appropriate too as this year will be the 10th Anniversary of the death of our great New Zealander, Sir Peter Blake.

We have now firmed up our itinerary and beaten down the costs to get a pretty good deal.

The journer in uncommon and has been specifically tailored to our requirement. There is a maximum limit of 12-14 spaces and it is intended that every one has an aim/project to complete whilst on the journey.

Worldwise Expeditions will select companions for the available spaces based on sense of character, project/aim and commitment.

At this stage the itinerary is mildly flexible so we are open to looking at incorporating your project requirements and situation.

We are really excited about this one!!! Please pass on to any family and friends that may be interested.

 

 

Contact Clare: clareshaw@worldwise.co.nz for more details

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(Left) Master Sgt Trevor Pittman (Centre) Dr Marc Shaw and (Right) Squadron Leader Steve Hall (NZ Air Force)

  • The time is around 2000 hours – our Malaysian Colleagues are having their celebration of EID which is the equivalent of our Christmas. Leon comes across to me and says that he has just had word of a serious injury to one of our American Colleagues. ‘A neck injury is coming in within a half hour’, he says. So, we prepare for the injury in the best way that we can. The patrol that the man is with is quite far away and we are not able to get too much detail from the initial radio contact. He arrives and we step into action: history of ‘was in a patrol vehicle travelling at 55 kms / hr, with the usual ‘in car’ prevention – seatbelts and the like. The vehicle crested a hump in the road and the patient sitting in the back of the vehicle whacked his head on its roof. Due to the unexpected nature of the impact, the patient’s head then slammed into the back of the seat in front and the side window on his left. He was pretty seriously knocked around, and the first response of the team on patrol was to stabilise his head so that no further injury could occur. For me, as the Doc, the serious part was that our man had developed reduced movement in his left hand and pain on the left side of his neck radiating down to the left arm. This was a pretty severe discomfort. Although he denied being knocked out, there was significant evidence that he had developed concussion. My concern was that our patient has sustained a fracture of the cervical spine in the neck.
  • Well, with such a diagnosis as a possibility, we then had to get our man to a higher medical facility for radiology and further neurological assessment. Now was the time for me, as the Doc, and for Leon, Blue and the other members of the medical team to ‘step up’ and prepare the case for evacuation to Bagram. It was time for me to report to the US Command about our patient, their soldier. I addressed them with the standard ‘we have a situation here…’ and then proceeded with the objective assessment of their warrior.  I then continued to tell them exactly what was going to happen and how it should pan out with their help in ordering a casevac. At this stage I got a bit ahead of myself and threw in a few newly learned acronyms by mistake but the US officers were very tolerant of my errors an then proceeded to throw in a few of their own. I was on slippery ice here – but fortunately no one noticed my improvisation, such was the intensity of the communication. An aircraft was ordered up and it was arriving quite soon.

  • Blue, Leon and I readied our patient for the flight by considering the further practical issues such as how the man would travel and with what medical support, pain relief, intravenous support and the like. Good pragmatic medical sense.
  • Then we get the word that the aircraft is overhead and whoosh, we hear it. I get around some guys to help me (Sqd Ldr Steve Hall, Allan Kelly and Master Sgt Trevor Pittman) and we truss our patient up in a blanket and with a ‘silver heat-retaining blanket’ around him. On a stretcher and spinal board he goes, and then onto our portable ambulance we transfer him down to the nearby airstrip where the plane has just landed, in the dark. Brilliant stuff!
  • Fortunately not a very cold night tonight. We wait on the airfield for the plane to come up to us. Meanwhile deployed on the field are our troops to secure and protect our airfield and the perimeter of the aircraft. THIS is very impressive – they have strategic points covered and are there waiting for my patient. We get the word from the Sgt-Major and drive off to the ‘airframe’ (Army talk for ‘an aircraft’) in the distance – we cannot see it at this time, just hear it! We travel with out headlights on and see before us dust rising but no plane – it is in the darkness. We are aware of something huge in front of us. An occasional speckle of LED lights presents itself to us. An about turn and then a quick reverse back to the down-ramp at the back of the plane. I look around and am so impressed with the professionalism that I see before me. In a perimeter around the craft and with hot aviation fuel odours in my nose, there are a number of persons, fully armed and with aviation helmets on, on either side of the ramp. They are guarding our presence. I grab my corner of the stretcher and up the ramp we go to deliver the patient. One of the medics comes over and I give him the update ‘We have a situation here …’ They are happy with my presentation, and with a quick ‘farewell’ to our patient I head back down the ramp to our vehicle. We drive off into the dark, with the aircraft quickly disappearing. Just the sounds of the props remain.
  • Back down the airfield just in front of the camp entrance we pause and wait for the plane to take off. Shortly after, it does – night-time take off and very impressive. The whole imagery of the evening with our patient and the transportation of him to the aircraft was something that will never leave me – VERY professional and absolutely exciting to be part of!

August 17, 2010

HUMAN RABIES (VAMPIRE BAT) PERU,AMAZONAS

An outbreak of rabies, allegedly spread by vampire bats, has killed 4 children in the Amazonas region of Peru, local press reported. Rabid vampire bats have attacked more than 500 people in Peru’s Amazon. The attacks occurred in the village of Urakusa, in north eastern Peru, where the indigenous [Aguaruna] tribe lives. The deaths happened during the week of 2-6 Aug 2010 in the district of Nieva, and the rabies diagnosis was confirmed by a forensics team sent to the region by the Ministry of Health. Eduardo Quezada, chief of the Regional Directorate of Health in Amazonas, told the press that medical staff has been sent to the area after the diagnosis confirmation, with 1300 doses of vaccine. Most human cases of vampire bat-transmitted rabies have occurred in the Amazon region of Brazil and Peru and in some remote communities of Colombia. Vampire bats are found only in Latin America. Of the 3 known species – Diphylla ecaudata, Diaemus youngi, and Desmodus rotundus (the common vampire) — only the latter has been known to feed on mammals and thus has possibly transmitted rabies virus in the human outbreaks studied.. It remains to be confirmed un-equivocally that the 4 deceased children died as a results of vampire bat bites. Further information would be welcomed.

Source: Living in Peru

<http://www.livinginperu.com/news-12870-health-rabies-outbreak-amazonas-peru-kills-four-children>

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

info@worldwise.co.nz

www.worldwise.co.nz

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

You’re travelling on a 13 hour train trip across India.

You’ve just boarded and managed to get a seat. You’ve got your book or your ipod and you’re sorted. Then… oh NO!…. your bowels have become loose!
There are minimal station stops and the toilet consists of a hole in the floor of the carriage – the train tracks zooming past underneath you… and no toilet paper.
I don’t need to paint the picture any more than that suffice to say that it will probably remain the worst train trip of your life.

Travellers Diarrhoea – one of the most common health problems for travellers.

Some 30% of sufferers are confined to bed, and a further 40% are forced to change their travel plans.

Symptoms – Travellers Diarrhoea is defined as greater than or equal to 3 loose bowel motions (stools) within 8 hours or greater than or equal to 4 within 24 hours…plus 1 of:
· Nausea
· Vomiting
· Abdominal cramps
· Mild fever

How is it spread?
The disease is caused by micro-organisms (bacteria, viruses and parasites) that damage the gut.
It is spread by consuming contaminated food and water.
By touching food with unclean hands.

When eating and drinking, WORLDWISE apply the adage:

“COOK IT, PEEL IT, BOIL IT OR AVOID IT”

Be sensible with your eating and drinking whilst travelling to at risk areas.

· Drink bottled, filtered, purified and carbonated water. If buying bottled water, make sure that
the bottle is properly sealed. Remember to wash you teeth with this safe drinking water
· Choose raw fruit and vegetables that you can peel yourself
· Wash your hands with soap or hand sanitizer before eating
· Foods should be thoroughly cooked and served piping hot

UNSAFE FOODS:
· Those cooked early in the day and served at room temperature
· Salads, raw vegetables, cold buffets
· Tap water, ice cubes, ice blocks
· Poorly or uncooked seafood and meat
· Food prepared with unpasteurized milk eg: ice cream

WORLDWISE stock a variety of travel medical kits, including the ‘Gastro Pack’ that includes appropriate prophylactic antibiotics– Designed to treat Traveller’s Diarrhoea.
We also stock a range of water purification products.
Please contact us if you would like more information on these products.

Check out our Facebook photo album dedicated to ‘Food and Water encounters’ whilst travelling

Avoid ice cubes in your drinks – you never know where it has come from and how it’s been handled

July 21, 2010

WORLDWISE 2010 TRAVEL MEDICINE CONFERENCE PROVES SUCCESSFUL!

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 online@worldwise.co.nz

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.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  • 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

PROGRAMME AT A GLANCE

  • 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 online@worldwise.co.nz 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.