Sunday, June 21, 2009

Travel Considerations

MEDICAL CONSIDERATIONS

1. A reminder to all to take out their personal TRAVEL INSURANCE which should include health insurance. Medical service in Tibet are severely limited; the worse case scenario of having to be air-evacuated to a major city should be included in your policy.
2. Consult with GP (Doctor) as soon as possible to rule out any complicating factors that could compound potential motion / altitude sickness. (Travel to high altitudes is not generally recommended for those with a history of heart disease, lung disease, or sickle cell disease). They should also be able to advise you of any necessary vaccinations, the requirements for which change frequently.
3. Each person should carry with them a basic first aid kit. Attached is an article from WHO (World Health Organization) that lists general health considerations when traveling. Also attached is a suggested medical kit from www.MDtravelhealth.com and "Travelling Well" published by the Australian Government which contains information useful to the whole team.
4. Tablets for Motion Sickness should be obtained prior to arriving in China (We will be in a train for 2 1/2 days!)
5. Tablets for Altitude Sickness (or Acute Mountain Sickness - AMS) should be obtained prior to arriving in China.
Common symptoms of Altitude sickness include: Headache, lightheadedness, weakness, trouble sleeping and an upset stomach.
It is crucial to DRINK plenty of water. You dehydrate very easily at high altitude. Symptoms of dehydration can mimic altitude sickness.
Given altitude sickness is a result of a reduced intake of oxygen, those suffering from anemia should bring iron tablets.
Other factors to help avoid altitude sickness:
a) Avoid / reduce smoking
b) Avoid / reduce alcohol intake
c) Eat light, high-carbohydrate meals for more energy
d) Avoid sedatives
e) Avoid catching a cold before arriving in Tibet
6. Given the diet will be very different, anti-diarrheal tablets and oral rehydration salts will be important back-ups.
7. Bring plenty of sunscreen! Otherwise you'll burn to a crisp at that altitude! Lhasa is also known as "Sunlight City" because the sunlight is so intense and radiation strong.
8. Bring plenty of insect repellant.
9. Don't go near or touch local animals including domestic cats and dogs.
10. For any medications that you travel abroad with, they should be accompanied by a supporting letter detailing their medical necessity from your doctor, so that they are not confiscated at the border.

WEATHER

Tibet's rainy season is from June to September so bring waterproof clothing.
Average daily high is 22 degrees celcius (74 F) and a nightly low of 10 degrees celcius (50 F). Im taking thermals!!!





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