Travel Health - Gaps in Awareness and Practices Among Medical Interns of a Tertiary Care Hospital in India

Document Type : Original Article

Authors

1 Department of Community Medicine, Nootan Medical College and Research Centre, Visnagar, India

2 Department of Community Medicine, Dr. D. Y. Patil Medical College, Pimpri, Pune, India

Abstract

Introduction: Pretravel health assessments aim to promote risk reduction through preventive measures and safe behaviour. It also ensures that travellers are up-to-date with travel vaccine uptake. However, studies assess pretravel health-seeking practices from a variety of medical and nonmedical sources and vaccine uptake prior to travel to both developing and developed countries. The present study was an effort to address the awareness and practice of pre-travel health care among medical interns of a tertiary care hospital.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out in medical interns of tertiary care hospital. Study participants were Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) interns posted in the preventive medicine departments during the internship program in the same hospital. Awareness and practice of pre-travel health were assessed with help of a preformed self-assessment questionnaire.
Results: Study had 59 (53.6%) males and 51 (46.4%) female respondents. All were of Indian origin and 69 (62.7%) had travelled internationally in the last 5 years. The mean age of study participants was 23.3±1.3yrs with range of 23-30 years. The majority (69.6%) of them had travelled abroad for holiday purposes. Most (73.9%) of them had travelled with family members. Out of 69 who had travelled internationally, 47 (68.1%) had visited a doctor for travel health advice prior to the trip and 29 (42%) had taken the required vaccination for the destination countries in their last international travels. The age and sex of the respondents did not have any statistically significant influence on the uptake of the travel vaccine.
Conclusion: Study findings revealed inadequate awareness and practice of travel medicine among medical interns.

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