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HEALTH

[Safety and Security page 2/10]

Before travelling abroad you need to be aware of your health from a number of perspectives:


1) Health Check-up - when was the last time you had a check-up? Do you have any medications that need refilling? Will you have access to facilities to get prescriptions filled overseas?

2) Vaccinations and innoculations - different parts of the world require certain inoculations to guard against various illnesses that exist. Check with Student Health Services or an International Travel Clinic (JEMA International Travel Clinic in St. John's) to inquire if innoculations are necessary for travel to your desired part of the world.

3) Medical Insurance - are you sufficiently covered for your time overseas:

  • MCP - The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador provides a Medical Care Plan to residents of Newfoundland and Labrador. If you are from out of province, check with your provincial health authority. Coverage under MCP should be supplemented by 3rd party medical insurance, as you will only be covered for some services at the cost of coverage in Newfoundland and Labrador. MCP requires you to fill out an "Out of Province Coverage Certificate" for travel beyond 30 days.
  • Parent's Health and Dental Coverage - if you are covered under your parent's health plan, investigate what the documentation says regarding international travel.
  • MUNSU Health and Dental Coverage - speak with the representatives at MUNSU (UC-2000) regarding the coverage that their plan offers for students travelling abroad.
  • Key items that you might want to look for in your international health care coverage include:
    • repatriation / air evacuation in the event of critical illness or death
    • parental bedside visits to host country in case of critical illness
    • follow-up care (home care, hospital care)
    • coverage for medical emergencies arising from or relating to pre-existing medical conditions
    • travel from locales for which Canada has issued a travel warning
  • Contact your health care provider to ask 1) which hospitals they recommend 2) how payment for services will be arranged 3) what is the easiest way to contact them from overseas.

4) Personal Travel Preparation

  • If you are prone to travel sickness, have medications on hand to prevent serious illness.
  • Sun stroke / sunburn is likely in many climates around the world. Take plenty of sunscreen for your travels.
  • Keep well hydrated on planes, avoid excessive alcohol and caffeine while in flight.
  • For extended flights do routine exercises every so often to loosen muscles and decrease the pain upon arrival.

5) H1N1

  • Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of H1N1 (which include fast onset of fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat, body aches, fatigue and lack of appetite, plus possibly chills diarrhea and vomitting).
  • Familiarize yourself with how your host institution, country is or will be dealing with an outbreak of H1N1. Visit local area hospital websites, talk to your program facilitator / exchange coordinator.
  • Have someone who is your "go to" person in case you become ill. Someone who will advocate on your behalf, assist with your solicitation of proper medical care, inform professors / employers of your reason for absense.
  • If you become ill, ensure that you register this in your Memorial Self Service.

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