Falling ill is a hassle if you’re on a busy schedule, or at any time really, but being sickly when you’re away from home is even worse. Writing this from an internet café somewhere in the south of India, I had the misfortune of becoming sick. So how do you deal with this, especially if there is no medical help nearby?
Be prepared: I usually do not do this, but since I knew that I was going to be in a country where the diet is different to that of Malta (and my usual diet) and where the weather is different to what I left behind, I prepared a first aid kit with medicinal products that might come in handy. Painkillers, medicine that helps the immune system in case of vomiting and intestinal problems, and special sachets that help to keep you hydrated will be very helpful, especially if you develop a fever.
Precaution: As soon as you start making plans to travel check with your doctor or Health Centre what vaccines and medicines you need based on where you are going, how long you are staying and what you will be doing; and make sure that you’re up-to-date with your routine vaccinations.
An other way to prevent succumbing to certain diseases is to stay alert to what comes into contact with our bodies when getting there. Avoid drinking from tap water or any unbottled source. Although it may seem strange, washing our teeth with bottled water could also be a great precaution.
Rest: If you’re abroad for a few days or a long period of time, for the matter, any day when you’re not doing what you want to do may feel like a waste of time. However, sometimes we have to go for the wiser option and rest, rather than go out and do whatever we had planned to do. Although it seems like a waste of time, it is far better to lose a few hours to sleeping and resting rather than risk becoming even sicker.
Prevention is better than cure, but if prevention is not enough, then rest and cure away.
For further information you can phone the National Immunisation Service at the Health Centre, Saver Fenech Str., Floriana on Tel 21243314 Ext 222.