If you are planning a trip overseas, you will almost certainly need a passport and may need visas and proof that you’ve had certain inoculations to enter some countries. It is always wise to check with both your travel agent and your doctor for specifics well in advance of the trip so that you can be sure to obtain the right documents and take all of the proper health precautions. (If, for example, malaria is common at your destination, antimalarial drugs will need to be started a week before travel and continued for several weeks after your return.) In addition, the organizations listed here can provide you with the latest health and safety information about your destination or steer you toward diabetes or medical care abroad.
INTERNATIONAL DIABETES FEDERATION
Avenue Emile De Mot 19
A list of IDF member organizations is available on the Web or can be obtained by writing to the above address. Should you need to fill a prescription while traveling, these organizations can help you understand foreign prescription laws and standards, which may differ substantially from those of the United States.
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR MEDICAL ASSISTANCE TO TRAVELERS
417 Center Street
Lewiston, NY 14092
You can request a list of English-speaking foreign doctors by writing or calling.
CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION
Phone (toll-free): (877) FYI-TRIP (394-8747)
Fax (toll-free): (888) 232-3299
The CDC’s Travelers’ Health Web site provides health information for destinations around the globe. You can search for information by geographical region and also read up on specific diseases, current outbreaks, vaccinations, food and water safety, and cruise ships and air travel. All of this information is also available by fax, and limited information, including recorded messages about diseases specific to international travel, can be heard at the toll-free number listed above.
WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
The WHO’s International Travel and Health Web site has general information on health risks and precautions, as well as specific sections on diseases, vaccinations, and travel by air. The site also features an information “toolbox,” which can be searched by map, country name, or disease name and contains disease maps and a travel checklist.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
The Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs Web site contains updated Travel Warnings, Public Announcements, and Consular Information Sheets for foreign countries as well as other informational pages and services, including links to U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide. The same information is available by phone from the Overseas Citizens Services toll-free hotline at the number listed above.