Travel Tips and Items to Bring

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What should I pack?

Two Suitcases:1 for packing donated supplies/medications other for personal items

Personal medications
Snacks, nutrition bars, peanuts etc. - Protein soureces can be limited in developing communities
Flash light - Electricity may only be intermittently available
Bug repellent with DEET - Consider hydrocortisone and/or Benadryl cream
Baby wipes
Sanitizing hand gel
Closed tip comfortable shoes for working
Surgical scrubs
Shower sandals

Anything else I should do before I go?

Keep a photo copy of your passport in your luggage

Health insurance card (either your regular plan or supplemental travel health insurance plan) and copies of claim forms
Carry cash in small bills
Notify your bank and credit card company where you will be traveling

Contact your cell phone provider for a temporary international plan

All people should notify the embassy of your stay

Leave itenerary and contact information with an emergency contact person at home

Tips on preventing mosquito and other insect bites

Many diseases, like malaria and dengue, are spread through insect bites. One of the best protections is to prevent insect bites by:
• Using insect repellent (bug spray) with 30%-50% DEET. Picaridin, available in 7% and 15% concentrations, needs more frequent application. There is less information available on how effective picaridin is at protecting against all of the types of mosquitoes that transmit malaria.
• Wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and a hat outdoors.
• Remaining indoors in a screened or air-conditioned area during the peak biting period for malaria (dusk and dawn).
• Sleeping in beds covered by nets treated with permethrin, if not sleeping in an air-conditioned or well-screened room.
• Spraying rooms with products effective against flying insects, such as those containing pyrethroid.

Should I drink the water?

Diseases from food and water are the leading cause of illness in travelers. Follow these tips for safe eating and drinking:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially before eating. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand gel (with at least 60% alcohol).
• Drink only bottled or boiled water, or carbonated (bubbly) drinks in cans or bottles. Avoid tap water, fountain drinks, and ice cubes.
• Do not eat food purchased from street vendors.
• Make sure food is fully cooked.
• Avoid dairy products, unless you know they have been pasteurized.
Diseases from food and water often cause vomiting and diarrhea. Make sure to bring diarrhea medicine with you so that you can treat mild cases yourself.

Avoiding other injuries and illness

Avoid Injuries
Car crashes are a leading cause of injury among travelers. Protect yourself from these injuries by:
• Not drinking and driving.
• Wearing your seat belt and using car seats or booster seats in the backseat for children.
• Following local traffic laws.
• Wearing helmets when you ride bikes, motorcycles, and motor bikes.
• Not getting on an overloaded bus or mini-bus.
• Hiring a local driver, when possible.
• Avoiding night driving
Other Health Tips
• To avoid animal bites and serious diseases (including rabies and plague) do not handle or pet animals, especially dogs and cats, If you are bitten or scratched, wash the wound immediately with soap and water and seek medical attention to determine if mediation or anti-rabies vaccine is needed.

Adapted from

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