Methods: A review of the literature was conducted using the PubMed database. Search terms included: 'repatriation of remains', 'death', 'abroad', 'tourism', 'travel', 'travellers', 'travelling' and 'repatriation'. Additional articles were obtained from grey literature sources and reference lists.
Results: The local national embassy, travel insurance broker and tour operator are important sources of information to facilitate the repatriation of the deceased traveller. Formal identification of the deceased's remains is required and a funeral director must be appointed. Following this, the coroner in the country or jurisdiction receiving the repatriated remains will require a number of documents prior to providing clearance for burial. Costs involved in repatriating remains must be borne by the family of the deceased although travel insurance may help defray some of the costs. If the death is secondary to an infectious disease, cremation at the site of death is preferred. No standardized procedure is in place to deal with the remains of a migrant's body at present and these remains are often not repatriated to their country of origin.
Conclusions: Repatriation of human remains is a difficult task which is emotionally challenging for the bereaving family and friends. As a travel medicine practitioner, it is prudent to discuss all eventualities, including the risk of death, during the pre-travel consultation. Awareness of the procedures involved in this process may ease the burden on the grieving family at a difficult time.
METHODS: A self-administered KAP questionnaire was distributed to a convenience sample of pharmacists in Kuala Lumpur identified from the list of licensed community pharmacists in Malaysia year 2014.
KEY FINDINGS: Questionnaires were returned by 111 pharmacists of 143 distributed (response rate, 78%). Most of the respondents (82%) were not trained in travel medicine. Overall, mean knowledge score was 4.4 ( ± 1.7), indicating a moderate level of knowledge on a variety of travel-related health issues. Community pharmacists who graduated from foreign universities possessed significantly higher knowledge scores than did those who graduated locally (P < 0.05). The majority had a positive attitude towards travel medicine. A vast majority provided travel medicine advice mainly to adults who travel as tourists, and the primary travel advice given was on traveller's diarrhoea.
CONCLUSION: There are gaps in the knowledge and practice of travel medicine among Malaysian pharmacists. Positive attitudes of pharmacists towards travel medicine and appropriate interventions, such as incorporation of travel medicine in local pharmacy curricula, continuous pharmacy education or certified training may improve the quality of travel advice given and allow pharmacists to be recognised as a credible source of information on travel medicine.
Methods: Records of travellers aged 60 years and older attending the Tropical Medical Bureau clinic in Galway, Ireland between 2014 and 2018 were examined. Descriptive and inferential.analysis of data was performed.
Results: A total of 337 older travellers sought pre-travel health advice during the study period. The mean age of the cohort was 65.42 (±10) years. Most of the travellers (n = 267, 80%) had at least one travelling companion. Nearly half of older travellers (n = 155, 46.8%) were travelling with a single companion. Tourism was the main reason for travel for the majority (n = 260, 77.6%), followed by visiting friends and relatives (VFR) (n = 23, 6.9%) travellers. The mean interval remaining before the planned trip was 4.36 (±2) weeks, and the mean duration of travel was 3.16 (±1) weeks. The most popular single country of destination was India with 33 (9.8%) visitors, and South East Asia was the most popular region with 132 (39.2%) older travellers. The majority of travellers (n = 267, 79.2%) had a documented pre-existing medical condition. The most commonly reported medical conditions were hypertension (n = 26, 7.7%), dyslipidaemia (n = 18, 5.3%), diabetes mellitus (n = 12, 3.5%), insect bite sensitivity (n = 11, 3.3%), and hypothyroidism (n = 9, 2.6%). Antihypertensive agents (n = 32, 9.4%) and statins (n = 24, 7.1%) were the most frequently used medications. Typhoid (n = 112, 33.2%) and hepatitis A (n = 84, 24.9%) were the most common vaccinations administered to older travellers at the clinic.
Conclusions: This study provides an insight into the demographics, travel characteristics, and medical profile of elderly travellers seeking advice at a large travel clinic in Ireland. A wide range of travel destinations, diseases and medication use was reported among this group of travellers, which may enable travel medicine physicians to provide more tailored advice and to more appropriately counsel older travellers.