The Nigerian Society of Travel Medicine (NSTM) on Friday called on government at all levels and health organisations to promote, develop and increase awareness on travel medicine in Nigeria.
Its president, Dr YetundeFfadipe, made the call at the official launch of the society in Lagos.
Fadipe said that promoting travel medicine would help to create more awareness on the importance of travel medicine that provides travellers with the right interventions before their health trips.
“One of the main objectives of this launch is to increase awareness on travel medicine generally and more specifically on our activities.
“NSTM was actually conceptualised about two years ago at the South African travel medicine course in May 2018 out of the need to promote and develop travel medicine in other countries across Africa.
“We are focussed on developing travel medicine in Nigeria with plans in place to achieve all our goals,” she said.
Fadipe said lots of Nigerians were not aware that they need health assessment before they could travel for health treatment.
“People need this assessment because travelling can expose travellers to risk within transit and even when they get to their destination.
“The main reason for NSTM is that we are creating structures for those that are going out and coming into Nigeria to get advice and the necessary healthcare they need.
“We are also providing health specialists that will advise the travellers on what to do when they get to their destination so they can prepare themselves,” she said.
Fadipe said that they were also educating people travelling to other countries concerning the recent outbreak of coronavirus by disseminating necessary information about the disease and how they can protect themselves.
“Collaborating with Lagos state government, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, individual travel health clinics within Lagos State and across Nigeria are very important for us to achieve our goals,” she said.
Also, Dr Leo Visser, the immediate past president, International Society of Travel Medicine (ISTM), said that the society has an important task to play on the spread of any disease.
“This is by educating people that were planning to travel to the affected countries,” ISTM president.
Visser urged traveller health specialists to move into the mind-set of their travellers so as to breach the risk of any disease.
“NSTM is well informed and knowledgeable about situations which mean they can reduce the gap.
“Importance of data on travel medicine helps you get good information on how common people are at risk and tools that can be used to advise the travellers,” Visser said.
Also, Dr Lolade Adeyemi, Trustee of the society, called on the governments to adopt technology to tackle issues peculiar to travel medicine which could help to improve and standardise healthcare in Nigeria.
“Travel medicine is a branch of medicine that specialises in diseases and conditions that are acquired during travel.
“Travellers to different countries should be aware of the potential for acquiring diseases and injury which are not common in their own country.
“Immunisations, preventative medications and general precautions should be considered prior to trips to different parts of the world.