Document Type : Original Article
Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey
Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University, School of Medicine, Çanakkale, Turkey
School of Medicine, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey
Department of Public Health, School of Medicine, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey
Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Istanbul University-Cerrahpaşa, Istanbul, Turkey
General Directorate of Health for Border and Coastal Areas of Turkey, Ankara, Turkey
Department of Internal Medicine, School of of Medicine, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey
Introduction: Even though Istanbul is one of the centers of the world’s fastest-growing tourism and travel sector, there are limited statistics on the knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) of travelers from this region regarding travel-related infectious diseases. This study aimed to determine the passengers’ KAP about contagious diseases and contribute to developing new solutions for the problems people face while traveling abroad.
Methods: A questionnaire was administered to 182 Turkish travelers planning on traveling abroad and applied to the Istanbul Travel Health Center and the Istanbul Airport Health Control Center between January and March 2019.
Results: The proportion of carrying a vaccination certificate was statistically higher in those who received healthcare services at international terminals (P=0.002), especially those who had yellow fever (P<0.001) and meningococcal vaccine (P=0.011). More than half of the vaccinated passengers did not carry their vaccination certificates, while around half (53.8%) were traveling to Africa. When compared to travelers flying to Europe, vaccination checks were 6.7 times (95% CI: 2.5-17.9) higher in passengers traveling to Africa, 6.1 times (95% CI: 1.5-24.3) higher in passengers traveling to Asia, and 14.8 times (95% CI: 1.3-164.3) higher in passengers traveling to South America. In addition, the vaccination certificate carrying proportion was significantly higher in those with a travel duration of 15 days or more (P=0.028), those who received health services at international terminals (P=0.002), and those vaccinated (P<0.001).
Conclusion: Improved knowledge of travel-related infectious diseases and increased adoption of pre-travel health advice and vaccines are urgently needed among Turkish travelers.