Travel Medicine Services Now Offered
Appointments are available through Occupational Health Department
February 8, 2010
Are you preparing for work or travel overseas? Do you have questions about how to protect yourself from travel-related health risks, such as malaria? Dr. Michael Rowland now offers comprehensive travel medicine services at Franklin Memorial Hospital through its occupational health department.
The pre-travel consultation includes a review of your itinerary and medical risks and a set of printed recommendations customized to your destination, plans, duration of stay, and any personal health problems. The risks you may encounter vary widely from country to country, and even locally within a country. While there is a great deal of general information available on the Web, most travelers find it helpful to have an experienced physician guide them through the maze of information.
Dr. Rowland brings a wealth of experience to this service. He holds a diploma in tropical medicine and hygiene from the Gorgas Institute in Lima, Peru and a master’s degree in public health from Harvard School of Public Health. He has traveled and worked widely in Central America and South America over the past 30 years and has worked with immigrant farm workers since 1987. Dr. Rowland was medical director of the Maine Migrant Health Program from 2003-2009, and is a current member of the International Society of Travel Medicine.
Vaccines and preventive medications are offered at the clinic. “Some vaccines, such as yellow fever and meningitis are required for certain destinations. Other vaccines may be recommended—rabies vaccine for long stays in rural areas, typhoid or cholera vaccines for countries where outbreaks of those diseases have been reported or Japanese Encephalitis vaccine for certain parts of Southeast Asia,” said Dr. Rowland. “Most travelers are well-advised to bring medication with them for traveler’s diarrhea and malaria prophylaxis is needed for countries where that disease is common.”
Post-travel medical evaluation will also be available for those who return ill from their travels, or for those returning from prolonged stays abroad who may require screening for parasitic disease.
It is recommended that the pre-travel consultation be scheduled at least four weeks before intended departure to allow time for needed vaccines and boosters. As part of the intake process each traveler will receive a detailed questionnaire regarding specific travel plans. It is important to complete this in detail to receive the most accurate advice. Appointments are available Tuesday and Thursday mornings.
For further information, call the Franklin Memorial Occupational Health Department at 779-2367.
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