Dr. Gordon Bland

Family Medicine Consultant at Clemenceau Medical Center, Dubai

“The goal of Travel Medicine is to keep you safe during trips”

Travel medicine focuses on the health of the traveller by giving him the necessary guidance and advice that he should follow during his travel. “Hospitals” magazine had the privilege to meet with Dr Gordon Bland, Family Medicine Consultant at Clemenceau Medical Center, Dubai, to talk about Travel Medicine Clinic and the importance of pre-travel consultation.

How can we identify travel medicine?

 Travel medicine is a term that describes medical care and advice provided to people who are preparing to embark on international travel. It involves the provision of specific medical advice, preventative care, travel medications, and vaccinations prior to travel. 

What is the role of Travel Medicine Clinic? Why should we visit it before traveling?  

A Travel Medicine Clinic can review your travel medical needs and provide pre-travel medical care based on your current health status and your intended destinations. 

Some destinations have mandatory vaccination requirements, while others may have recommended vaccinations or require preventative medication. The goal of your visit is to get the best advice and preparation for your trip. Being prepared can help to prevent illness interrupting your travel plans. 

What is the importance of pre-travel consultation and evaluation? 

Travel Medicine takes a strong preventative approach to make sure you are well protected and safe during your trip. Travel Medicine advice can change based on your destinations, the season of travel, recent regional health issues, and your current health status. Having a pre-travel consultation will make sure that you get personalised and up-to-date travel advice. 

What Does a Travel Medicine Specialist Do?  

A Travel Medicine Specialist can provide you with medical advice, travel medication, and can discuss and provide pre-travel vaccinations. Advice and care are provided with attention to your current health and travel needs.The goal of Travel Medicine is to keep you safe, protected and best prepared for your trip. 

What vaccinations should be done to travel overseas? Are there travel destinations that have different vaccination? 

Pre-travel vaccinations are an important consideration. Some destinations have mandatory vaccination requirements. You may be refused entry to a country, or refused permission to re-enter your country of origin, if these requirements are not met. Some destinations have recommended vaccinations, and these recommendations can vary depending on the season of the travel.  

Important travel vaccinations include vaccinations for Yellow fever, Typhoid, Hepatitis, Meningitis, and Polio.  

Travel vaccination advice changes over time and the recommendations or requirements may be different to information you obtain from previous travel, the internet, or from friends and family. Your Travel Medicine Specialist can make sure you get the most up-to-date information. 

What are the steps that should be done for a healthy trip? 

Planning a holiday can be fun and exciting. I recommend considering the health aspects of your trip early in the planning stages. Meeting with a Travel Medicine Specialist can be particularly important if your travel plans include adventurous, exotic or remote destinations. Some vaccinations need multiple doses to be effective and this process can take a few weeks or even months. Consider a consultation with a Travel Medicine Specialist early to make sure you have the best options and advice for your travel needs.

I also recommend thinking carefully about your own health needs. You should check that you have enough of your regular medication to cover your time away. You may also need to check that you are legally permitted to bring any regular medication with you on your trip.It is also important to consider travel health insurance to cover unexpected health issues. Becoming unwell while traveling, or being involved in an accident, can be very unpleasant and expensive.  

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