Meet our travel medicine expert

We sit down with the Moneybags travel medicine expert, Chantal Wood, to find out a little bit more about her, and what handy tips she has before you jet off to your next location.

How long have you been a nurse?

I have been a nurse for 26 years.

When, and where did you study?

In 1985 I started studying at the BG Alexander Nursing College, and then in 1988 I studied midwifery at Mowbray Maternity Hospital in Cape Town.

What do you have experience in, in terms of nursing?

I have experience in midwifery, paediatric nursing, and travel medicine.

How did you get into travel medicine?

I found it interesting. I got a job working in a travel clinic. So, I did the course through the South African Society of Travel Medicine (SASTM).

To practice in travel medicine you have to have completed the course, and have a yellow fever licence, and that is done through Wits.

With regards to travel medicine, what is important to bear in mind when travelling?

Well, always check if there are any required vaccines for the country you are visiting, or if there are any recommended vaccinations. If you are taking any chronic medication, you have to find out if they are permitted in the country that you are traveling to. You need a copy of the prescription with you, in case you are stopped. Or, you can tell the travel clinic what medication you are on, as it may affect the effectiveness of the vaccines, or the malaria medication if you need to take it.

One of the big rules for travel is that you must always be aware of what you bite into, and what may bite into you. Basically, be aware of what you eat, and be aware of the bugs and insects in the country.

If someone wanted to find out more about travel medicine, where could they look?

They could go on the SASTM website, and find out where the closest travel clinic is to you.

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