International Travel Medical and Safety Advice

International travel is common today, but diseases that are rare in some countries are still prevalent in others. Travel immunisations and vaccines can ensure better health on your trip and help protect your community upon your return home.
 
We recommend that you consult a doctor or travel health professional for up to date advice on vaccinations for the regions you will be travelling to. Please seek advice as soon as possible as some vaccinations take time to be effective.

The best way to keep yourself safe abroad is to prepare now and be informed. Make sure you have adequate travel insurance, learn the customs of the places you are visiting, and research the latest travel advice.
General Medical Advice
Globalteer staff are not doctors so cannot provide specific medical advice but here is some general guidance.
For all travel it is important to consult a doctor or travel health professional on which vaccines you may need. You should also be up to date with your country's normal immunisations. This is likely to include vaccines for diseases such as tetanus, diphtheria and polio.

It is also important to know that: 
  • Some vaccines are expensive so you should discuss the risk versus the cost with your health professional.
  • Some diseases are more common at certain times of the year, such as during the rainy season.
  • Some people may be more vulnerable to infection, while other vaccinations can't be given to people with certain medical conditions.
  • Some diseases can't be vaccinated against, so discuss how to reduce your risk with your health professional.
For more information:
Center for Disease Control
World Health Organisation
NHS Travel Vaccinations
General Safety Advice
The huge majority of overseas travel is trouble free, but you should always be aware of any risks to yourself. You have a big advantage by volunteering with Globalteer as we collect you from the airport or your hotel, and Globalteer or local project staff with provide you with an arrival orientation where you can discuss staying safe.
Health and Safety
Globalteer carries out health and safety inspections at accommodation, offices and project locations. Although standards are probably below what you are used to, we endeavour to ensure your safety whilst volunteering.

General
In any foreign destination, it is sensible to be aware. Avoid walking alone at night down a dark street, don’t accept lifts from strangers and take care of your belongings. 

Theft
Travellers need to carry important items such as passports and credit cards with them. The decision is often whether to leave these items at your accommodation, or carry them with you when you are out and about. We recommend leaving important items in your accommodation's safe. You can also purchase a portable safe, such as Pacsafe, or a money belt to prevent theft.

Accidents
Traffic rules are often very different to what you are used to at home and can be dangerous to unaware travellers. Always cross the road with caution and don't expect drivers to give you the right of way, even at pedestrian crossings.

Too often when travellers are victims of theft, or involved in accidents, there is one common factor: alcohol. Be aware that excessive alcohol use can increase the likelihood of both of these incidents. 

Government travel advice
We advise that all volunteers follow the up to date information and advice from their own countries governments regarding safety while travelling abroad. Here are some links to government foreign travel advise.

United Kingdom
https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

United States of America
http://www.state.gov/travel/

Australia
http://smartraveller.gov.au/countries/Pages/default.aspx
Argentina
Argentina Howler Monkey Project

Vaccinations 
Let your health professional know that you will be working with howler monkeys. Hepatitis B can occur in howler monkeys and therefore this is a potential risk, although no cases have been recorded at the project.
 
You may also want to consider the pre-exposure rabies vaccination. These injections are available in your home country, however they are expensive. In the unlikely event of exposure to a suspected rabid animal, treatment is available in Cordoba and other cities. If you are exposed to rabies, you must obtain treatment within 24 hours if you have not received the pre-exposure injections. Treatment includes immunoglobulin injections into the wound and a series of rabies vaccinations. If you have received the pre-exposure injections, you will still need to seek immediate medical attention to receive booster doses of the vaccine.  

Health and safety
Argentina is a safe destination and most visits are trouble free.
 
Violent crime against visitors is rare in Argentina and although petty theft and pickpocketing are possibilities, please don’t be paranoid. As in your own country, or on holiday in any other country, take care of your belongings. You will spend almost all of your time at the project location which can be considered very safe.

Cambodia
Cambodia Community and Sports Projects in Siem Reap
Vaccinations
Let your health professional know that you will be volunteering with children from impoverished backgrounds. Protect yourself from mosquito borne disease by using insect repellent and discuss the available vaccines.

Health and Safety
Siem Reap is a very safe and friendly town, but as always when travelling, you must take the usual precautions to ensure your safety. Common sense and knowledge are key, and you will have an orientation meeting on arrival to advise you of any precautions you need to take. Land mines have been cleared from this popular tourist town.

Cambodia Elephant and Indigenous People Projects in Mondulkiri
Vaccinations
Let your health professional know that you will be volunteering with children from impoverished backgrounds if you are going to the Cambodia Indigenous People Project. Protect yourself from mosquito borne disease by using insect repellent and discuss the available vaccines.

Health and Safety
Mondulkiri is a very safe and friendly province, but as always when travelling, you must take the usual precautions to ensure your safety. Common sense and knowledge are key, and you will have an orientation meeting on arrival to advise you of any precautions you need to take. Elephants are very large animals so please listen to local staff on how to stay safe whilst working with the elephants. Visitors to the area should also be aware that unexploded ordnance (shells, bombs etc.) exist in Mondulkiri. It is believed that the area will never be fully cleared in the same way that exploded ordnance are still being found in Europe from the 1940s. There are virtually no land mines in this area of Cambodia. 

Cambodia Bear Sanctuary
Vaccinations
Let your health professional know that you will be volunteering with bears in a rescue centre that is home to many species of animals. Protect yourself from mosquito borne disease by using insect repellent and discuss the available vaccines.

Health and Safety
As always when travelling you must take the usual precautions to ensure your safety. Common sense and knowledge are key, and you will have an orientation meeting on arrival to advise you of any precautions you need to take. Bears are potentially dangerous, so please listen to local staff on how to stay safe whilst working with the bears. 
Colombia
Colombia Kids Project
Vaccinations
Let your health professional know that you will be volunteering with children from impoverished backgrounds and discuss the option of vaccinations. Yellow fever is a risk in certain parts of Colombia, and although this risk is low in Medellin, also tell your health professional that you will be volunteering in this area.

Health and Safety
Firstly, forget everything you know about Colombia as it is probably incorrect. Colombia has had a remarkable turnaround in security, and millions of overseas tourists visit Colombia each year trouble free. In fact, Medellin is now one of Latin America’s safest big cities. 

Colombia still has its problems and there are regions that are too dangerous to visit, but most people avoid these areas. As with any large city there are areas you should not visit after dark. Just think of your local major city and you will know where not to go late at night. Medellin is no different. You will be told these areas on arrival. There are plenty of areas in Medellin that are safe and many people walk freely at night, enjoying the amazing nightlife the city has to offer.

Colombia Sloth Sanctuary
Vaccinations
Let your health professional know that you will be working at a wildlife rescue centre with a variety of animals. Hepatitis B can occur in wildlife and therefore this is a potential risk, although no cases have been recorded at the project.
Yellow fever is a risk in certain parts of Colombia, and although this risk is low in Medellin, also tell your health professional that you will be volunteering in this area.
 
You may also want to consider the pre-exposure rabies vaccination. These injections are available in your home country, although they are expensive. In the unlikely event of exposure to a suspected rabid animal, treatment is available close to the rescue centre. If you are exposed to rabies, you must obtain treatment within 24 hours if you have not received the pre-exposure injections. Treatment includes immunoglobulin injections into the wound and a series of rabies vaccinations. If you have received the pre-exposure injections, you will still need to seek immediate medical attention to receive booster doses of the vaccine. 
Costa Rica
Costa Rica Sea Turtles Project
Vaccinations

Let your health professional know that you will be volunteering on the coast of Costa Rica and discuss the relevant vaccinations.

Health and Safety
Generally speaking Costa Rica is a very safe country for travellers, but as ever you should be on guard and act sensibly, especially if travelling alone. As in most countries there is a possibility of theft. Violent robberies are rare and the most common problem is pickpockets. Thieves look for easy targets, so don't have your wallet visible and be careful in crowded areas such as markets, bus terminals and on public transport. 
 
We collect volunteers from the airport and give an orientation on arrival, which contains advice and answers on many things including safety. Thousands of tourists visit Costa Rica every year and have no problems whatsoever, so don't be paranoid. Just take the basic precautions and you will have an amazing trouble-free trip.
Indonesia
Indonesia Wildlife Rescue Centre
Vaccinations

All volunteers must have up to date vaccinations for Tetanus and Hepatitis A & B. Hepatitis B can occur in apes and therefore there is a potential risk, although no cases have been recorded at the centre. 
 
A rabies pre-exposure vaccination is not required by the centre, but you may want to consider it to protect yourself from infection from stray dogs outside the centre. If you are exposed to rabies, you must obtain treatment within 24 hours if you have not received the pre-exposure injections. Treatment includes immunoglobulin injections into the wound and a series of rabies vaccinations. If you have received the pre-exposure injections, you will still need to seek immediate medical attention to receive booster doses of the vaccine. There are medical facilities within one hour of the rescue centre. 

Health and Safety
Northern Sulawesi is safe and friendly, but as always when travelling you must take the usual precautions to ensure your safety. Common sense and knowledge are key, and you will have an orientation meeting on arrival to advise you of any necessary precautions to stay safe whilst working with animals. You will spend almost all of your time at the project location, which is considered very safe. 

Laos
Laos Wildlife Sanctuary
Vaccinations
Let your health professional know that you will be working at a wildlife rescue centre with a huge variety of animals. Hepatitis B can occur in wildlife and therefore this is a potential risk, although no cases have been recorded at the project.
 
All volunteers are required to have their vaccinations for DTP (Tetanus, Pertussis, and Diphtheria) up-to-date. This is mandatory for everyone who wants to have a volunteer placement at the centre. The project also suggests taking precautions for hepatitis A, Japanese encephalitis and tuberculosis.
 
Malaria risk is present throughout the year in the whole of the country, except the city of Vientiane. While the risk is low in other urban areas and areas surrounding Vientiane you should discuss this with your travel doctor. Medications to reduce the risk of disease may be recommended.
 
You may also want to consider the pre-exposure rabies vaccination. These injections are available in your home country, although they are expensive. In the unlikely event of exposure to a suspected rabid animal, treatment is available two hours away in Vientiane. If you are exposed to rabies, you must obtain treatment within 24 hours if you have not received the pre-exposure injections. Treatment includes immunoglobulin injections into the wound and a series of rabies vaccinations. If you have received the pre-exposure injections, you will still need to seek immediate medical attention to receive booster doses of the vaccine. 

Health and Safety
Laos is a very safe and friendly country, but as always when travelling you must take the usual precautions to stay safe. Common sense and knowledge are key, and you will have an orientation meeting on arrival to advise you of any precautions you need to take. Most visits to Laos are completely trouble free. You will spend almost all of your time at the project location, which can be considered very safe.

Unexploded mines and ordinances are a hazard throughout Laos. However, the risk is mostly in Xieng Khouang Province (Plain of Jars), Luang Prabang Province and areas of the Lao-Vietnamese border. As a precauation, don’t stray off main routes in rural areas, and don’t pick up metal objects.
Malaysia
Borneo Marine and Sea Turtle Conservation
Vaccinations

Inform your health professional that you will be volunteering on the Borneo coast, and if appicable will be diving. If you do require anti-malarial medication before your volunteer placement in Borneo, please avoid Larium as the side effects when diving can be severe.

Health and Safety
As with all adventurous activities, accidents are always possible when diving. These risks are minimised by requiring that divers achieve PADI training first if they are not already certified. Divers are taught about the effects of pressure on the body and to dive within their limits. They also carry equipment to monitor depth and time. Trained divers know how to use dive equipment safely and how to perform safety checks on themselves and their dive buddies. All dives for pleasure, or while conducting volunteer duties on the reef, are supervised and lead by qualified staff. The project does not offer decompression diving, so the risk of the bends is all but eliminated.
 
Underwater hazards
The most dangerous thing underwater for volunteers is jellyfish. You can’t always see them and while poisonous species are extremely rare, they have been seen in the area. Stings from all jellyfish are best avoided by wearing a stinger suit.  Scorpionfish, stonefish and lion fish are all painful if they sting you but are easily avoided by wearing wet shoes in the shallows. If you put your hand in a hole in the coral reef a fish or possibly a moray eel may bite you. Sea snakes are rare and not aggressive.
 
Of course a diver may forget their training or panic. While volunteering, all work is conducted in shallow areas, where the surface is always in easy reach. Pleasure dives or deeper research dives are closely controlled by experienced staff, and permitted only when a volunteer is ready. The possibility of seeing a reef shark, which are harmless, is slim, and the chance of seeing any bigger sharks is incredibly unlikely. There are also a few stingrays, and while they can sting they are not aggressive and it is very rare to get close to them. 
 
Hazards on land
The biggest hazards on land are sunburn, dehydration, trips, falls, and minor cuts and scrapes. Cuts are slow to heal in tropical environments, especially if you are in and out of the ocean several times a day. The project has a well stocked first aid kit on site, and there is always a trained first-aider nearby.

Travel warning
There are currently some travel warnings in place for Pom Pom island due to some isolated local incidents. You can read up to date information and advise from the FCO website or your own government travel website:
https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/malaysia
Peru
Peru Community and Dog Rescue Projects in Cusco:
Vaccinations
Let your health professional know that you will be volunteering with children from impoverished backgrounds or working with rescued street dogs, and discuss the various vaccination options.

Health and Safety
Cusco has a low crime rate, but as is in all countries, there is a chance of petty theft, so always be vigilant. Violent robberies are rare and the most common problem is pickpockets. Thieves look for easy targets, so don't have your wallet visible and be careful in crowded areas such as markets, bus terminals and on public transport. 
 
Thousands of tourists visit Cusco and Peru every year and have no problems whatsoever, so don't be paranoid. Just take the basic precautions and you will have an amazing and trouble free trip.

Altitude sickness can be a problem for some visitors so please discuss this with your health professional.

Peru Conservation & Wildlife Rescue Projects in the Amazon
Vaccinations
A Yellow Fever vaccination is required for any part of the Amazon.
 
Malaria 
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Puerto Maldonado falls into an area affected by malaria. We advise people to seek information from their doctor about the need for malarial medication before travelling to Puerto Maldonado. Malaria is still relatively rare in Puerto Maldonado and in Tambopata as a whole, although this situation may be changing fast as increasing numbers of people move to the Madre de Dios region because of major road building projects and the modern gold rush that the region is experiencing.
 
Rabies 
Rabies is uncommon in the region of Madre de Dios and is generally only carried by bats, which you will not be handling during your volunteer programme. Pre-exposure injections are available in your home country at travel clinics, however they are expensive. In the unlikely event of exposure to a suspected rabid animal, treatment is available in Puerto Maldonado, Cusco, Lima and other cities. If you are exposed to rabies, you must obtain treatment within 24 hours if you have not received the pre-exposure injections. Treatment includes immunoglobulin injections into the wound and a series of rabies vaccinations. If you have received the pre-exposure injections, you will still need to seek immediate medical attention to receive booster doses of the vaccine. 

Health and Safety
The project is in a very quiet area with little crime. As in all countries, however, there is a possibility of theft, so always be vigilant. Violent robberies are rare and the most common problem is pickpockets. Thieves looks for easy targets, so don't have your wallet visible and be careful in crowded areas such as markets, bus terminals and on public transport.
 
Thousands of tourists visit Peru every year and have no problems whatsoever, so don't be paranoid. Just take the basic precautions and you will have an amazing and trouble free trip.
Thailand
Thailand Elephant and Wildlife Projects 
Vaccinations

Let your health professional know that you will be working at a wildlife rescue centre with a huge variety of animals. Hepatitis B can occur in wildlife and therefore this is a potential risk, although no cases have been recorded at the project. Volunteers with elephants are also based at the wildlife rescue centre.
 
You may also want to consider the pre-exposure rabies vaccination. These injections are available in your home country, although they are expensive. In the unlikely event of exposure to a suspected rabid animal, treatment is available close to the rescue centre. If you are exposed to rabies, you must obtain treatment within 24 hours if you have not received the pre-exposure injections. Treatment includes immunoglobulin injections into the wound and a series of rabies vaccinations. If you have received the pre-exposure injections, you will still need to seek immediate medical attention to receive booster doses of the vaccine. 

Health and Safety
Thailand is a very safe and friendly country, but as always when travelling you must take the usual precautions to stay safe. Common sense and knowledge are key, and you will have an orientation meeting on arrival to advise you of any precautions you need to take. Most visits to Thailand are completely trouble free. You will spend almost all of your time at the project location, which can be considered very safe.
Please be aware that Globalteer is not responsible for information provided on external websites.
Globalteer is a charity registered in England and Wales no. 1119706
© Globalteer 2017. All rights reserved.       Sitemap
designed by Shorthose Russell Ltd