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.