International Society of Travel Medicine
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June 2012

NewsShare Masthead

President's Message

Group Photo
ISTM Executive Board from left to right. Back row: Annelies Wilder-Smith, Alan Magill, David Shlim, David Freedman. Front row: Karin Leder, Diane Nickolson, Fiona Genasi, Lin Chen, Francesco Castelli

Year in Review

I find it hard to believe I am already a year into my ISTM Presidential term. The time passes so quickly. The ISTM has been particularly busy this past year; the committees, groups and task force have been very active in working to expand what we can offer members as well as develop new programmes. Our financial position this year is stable. Indeed, while we projected a slight budget deficit for the year, we are ending with a small financial surplus. Membership continues to be steady and strong - with more than 80 countries represented in our membership and close to 400 new members so far in 2012.

This past year we have seen a smooth and successful transition of the editorship of the Journal of Travel Medicine to Eric Caumes, France. Eric took the helm from Robert Steffen, Switzerland, and has quickly demonstrated his competence and commitment to this flagship publication of the society. NewsShare has expanded under the editorship of Peter Leggat, Australia, with a number of new features as well as a regular, comprehensive review of ISTM activities. Hans Nothdurft, Germany, website editor, continues to ensure that, is a window which reflects all that is on offer from the society including a wealth of resources and information for travel medicine practitioners around the world.

We were pleased in 2012 to receive a five-year extension of our grant to fund the dynamic GeoSentinel® project under the leadership of David Freedman, Phyllis Kozarsky and Mark Sotir, all from the United States of America. The ISTM Executive Board also agreed to provide extra support for one year for EuroTravNet, co-ordinated by Philippe Parola, France, to ensure its operations are sustained whilst a source of future funding is secured.

Planning is progressing well for the upcoming CISTM13 in May of 2013 in Maastricht, The Netherlands. The Scientific Programme Committee, Chaired by Mary Wilson, United States of America, Co-Chair Leo Visser, The Netherlands, and Associate Chairs Blaise Genton, Switzerland and Christina Greenaway, Canada, is being formulated, using suggestions from the 150 proposals received. The programme format is being designed to appeal to both international and local area delegates. The very active Local Organizing Committee chaired by Gerard Sonder, The Netherlands, has been working to ensure our onsite experience in Maastricht will be memorable. The social programme has been expanded to allow more face-to-face encounters for delegates which should make it a very friendly and intimate meeting.

In addition I am delighted that the ISTM Board has pledged to donate money from the Maastricht meeting and from the general ISTM budget towards a selection of worthwhile projects globally during 2013. Details of this to follow since we will be asking for your help, as ISTM members, to decide on where the money should go.

The regional meeting held in conjunction with the Asia Pacific Travel Health Society last month in Singapore, chaired by Annelies Wilder-Smith, Singapore, was extremely well received by more than 700 delegates. The scientific programme for this conference was exceptional.

Our ISTM Standing Committees have been working tirelessly on behalf of the members. The Continuing Professional Development Committee, Chaired by Phyllis Kozarsky, United States of America, has developed a detailed Continuing Professional Development Programme which has just been approved by the Executive Board. This will be released to the membership for consultation and comment in the next few months. The Exam Committee, Chaired by Kenneth Dardick, United States of America, again presented a seamless examination in Singapore, with a record turnout for a non-CISTM year. The Liaison Committee, Chaired by Robert Steffen, Switzerland, continues to maintain positive relations with the WHO, ECDC and CDC. The busy Professional Education Committee, Chaired by Mary-Louise Scully, United States, continues to produce Expert Opinions, the North American Course, and launched our new Distance Learning Portal with more than 60 titles. They also facilitated our first educational Webinar on Mass Gatherings which had speakers from WHO on the platform. The very active Publications Committee, Chaired by Joseph Torresi, Australia, continues to oversee our publications, and is working on the best processes to develop and approve the new publications coming out of our Interest and Professional Groups. The Research and Awards Committee, Chaired by David Hamer, United States of America, reviewed a record number of research grant proposals this year to approve the funding of three grants. ISTM more than doubled the amount of funding available for research this year, an indication of our commitment to help develop the scientific basis of the specialty.

The Task Force on International Outreach of the ISTM, Chaired by Robert Steffen, Switzerland, met and reported its findings and recommendations to the Executive Board. There were a number of new initiatives which will soon be in place as a result of this report, including reduced membership categories for low income countries and retired members and a pilot project to develop and publish reviews of guidelines and practices from different countries on issues facing the travel medicine practitioner.

The two Professional groups, Nursing, Chaired by Gail Rosselot, United States of America, and Pharmacy, Chaired by Jeff Goad, United States of America, held elections and their new Councils are moving forward with a number of exciting initiatives. The Nursing Group is already working towards securing continuing education credits for nurses attending CISTM13, and the Pharmacy Group have published a bibliography available to download or review from the ISTM website.

Two of the four ISTM Interest Groups, Destination Communities Support, Chaired by Garth Brink, South Africa, and Psychological Health of Travellers, Chaired by Thomas Valk, United States of America, also held leadership council elections, and are working on surveys, publications and new initiatives. The Migrants and Refugee Interest Group, Chaired by Elizabeth Barnett, United States of America, presented its leadership plan to the Executive Board and will be holding their elections soon. Our newest Interest Group, Paediatrics, Chaired by Phillip Fischer, United States of America, has already published a bibliography on the website.

I would be remiss if I didn’t also acknowledge the support the ISTM Secretariat Staff provides to the ISTM membership, committees, groups, projects and programs. The Secretariat acquired new staff over this past year, and has developed into a well-organized and very responsive team. Many thanks and appreciation goes out to Diane Nickolson, Kathy Smith, Elena Axelrod and Daveen Capers.

I would also like to acknowledge the incredible support I have received from the ISTM Executive Board - Lin Chen, Alan Magill and David Shlim (United States of America), Francesco Castelli (Italy), Karin Leder (Australia) and Annelies Wilder-Smith (Singapore) - and our Secretary Treasurer, David Freedman (United States of America). Their attitude is very much one of "can-do" rather than "can't do" and we have worked extremely well together as a team to try and ensure the society is doing the best it can to support members foster the specialty.

As for me, in addition to trying to keep up with all of these wonderful activities and helping support the committees, groups and initiatives wherever I can, I’ve attempted to concentrate on being an ambassador for the society by engaging with various individuals, groups and organizations internationally. This includes the Faculty of Travel Medicine at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (Glasgow), the Royal College of Nursing (UK), the British and Global Travel Health Association, the American Travel Health Nurses Association (ATHNA), Dutch Travel Medicine leaders, the Asia Pacific Travel Health Society (APTHS), the South African Society of Travel Medicine, and the Steering Group for the Northern European Conference of Travel Medicine (NECTM). One of my highlights was presenting by video-conference last month at the opening ceremony of the Hellenic Society for Travel Medicine Meeting in Athens - I am sure there are great things on the horizon for this relatively new society.

Looking ahead to my second and final year as President, my focus will be to continue to support the activities and relationships crucial to ensure ISTM continues to evolve as a vibrant and inclusive international society. I will continue my personal outreach to various groups and work with other ISTM leaders to ensure ongoing and sustained contributions to the advancement of the practice, and science of travel medicine globally.



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From the Editor

Peter Leggat
Peter Leggat

The June issue of ISTM NewsShare will remind Members that we are nearly half way through another calendar year. Our President, Fiona, highlights for us of how much the Society has already achieved this year and how many ISTM Members are leading these initiatives through various committees and groups. It is worth mentioning the important role that the ISTM Executive Board (EB) plays in establishing the strategic direction for the Society and David Freedman, the Secretary-Treasurer, lays out exactly how ISTM Members are elected to the EB and what the nominating committee is looking for in these future leaders of the Society. One of our current EB members, Professor Francesco Castelli, from the University of Brescia in Italy, is profiled in this issue and special thanks to Karl Neumann, past NewsShare Editor, for putting this together. ISTM Members can feel justifiably proud of the personal achievements of their EB members, such as Francesco.

The ongoing achievements of the Society have been really exciting. Diane Nickolson, ISTM Executive Director, reflects on our first live Webinar on mass gathering events, which can be reviewed at the ISTM Online Learning Program Portal. Many Members would have stopped in at the ISTM booth at two recent conferences, including the 5th Regional Conference of the ISTM (RCISTM5) organised in conjunction with the Asia Pacific Travel Health Conference held from 2-5 May 2012 in Singapore, and also the 4th Northern European Conference on Travel Medicine (NECTM4) held in Dublin from 6-8 June 2012. I echo Annelies Wilder-Smith's summation of the RCISTM5 as a "resounding success" and NECTM4 was also a great meeting. The calendar of travel medicine conferences is becoming well established and the South African Society of Travel Medicine is also hosting the Travel Health Africa conference in Johannesburg from 13-16 September 2012, which you can read more about in this issue. The "big one", the 13th Conference of the ISTM (CISTM13), is also fast approaching and ISTM Members should start to consider making preparations to participate in CISTM13, which will be held in Maastricht, The Netherlands, from 19-23 May 2013.

Finally, there is a roundup of activities from the ISTM committees and groups. In particular, Members will read the report from the Chair of the ISTM Research and Awards Committee, David Hamer, of the success of two groups working on travellers' diarrhoea in receiving ISTM Research Awards. Eric Caumes also summarizes the first 12 months of being Editor-in-Chief and how Editorial Board processes are being strengthened for the benefit of the Journal of Travel Medicine. The work being done by ISTM Committees and Groups is impressive and it is an excellent way for Members to become involved in the development of the Society.

The NewsLetter production team is highly professional and I would like to thank all those that have contributed to this issue of NewsShare, particularly Kathy Smith and Diane Nickolson from the ISTM Secretariat, but also NewsShare graphic designer, Dawn Keough. Timely comments and feedback from the ISTM President, Secretary-Treasurer and the Chair of the Publications Committee also help considerably. Enjoy reading the June 2012 issue of the ISTM NewsShare and don't forget to test your knowledge with the ISTM Crossword challenge! As always, we welcome contributions and suggestions from our Members.

- - Late Breaking News - -

A press release was sent to us recently by the Global Alliance for Rabies Control concerning a UK woman suffering from rabies acquired during a trip to India. The press release can be found at:

Rabies is an almost always a fatal disease when symptoms become manifest and such cases illustrate the need for travelers to have an awareness of rabies risks in endemic countries.

Peter Leggat
Editor, ISTM NewsShare


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Secretary-Treasurer's Report

David Freedman
David Freedman

How Does the Membership Elect the ISTM Leadership?

The governance and fiduciary responsibility for ISTM’s affairs rests in the hands of its 7 elected leaders. The voting members of the Executive Board are a President, President-Elect, Past-President and 4 counsellors. ISTM depends on the high quality and dedication of these elected volunteer leaders for its continued vitality. Elections are held every two years prior to the CISTM and the Membership Assembly that occurs there. Any qualified member in good standing is eligible to seek office. Anyone who would like to be considered for a place on the ballot for the position of President-Elect or as a Counselor should submit a ballot application form which will be available from September to November by logging into the Member Services section of the ISTM website and clicking the “2013 Election Nominations” link.

The Executive Board is structured so that the Board represents multiple regions of the world even though some regions have many more members than others. Presently, ISTM has over 2,700 members in over 80 countries. The President position is for a two-year term. However, the President first serves as President-Elect for two years preceding his/her term and then for two years after the term as Past-President (for a total of six years). Each Counselor position is for four years. A nominating committee, in accordance with criteria set out in our bylaws, will be formed over the summer by the current Executive Board. The nominating committee is chaired by the President-Elect and is structured to ensure that the majority of members do not derive from the current sitting Board and leadership.

It is desirable for a candidate to have the following qualifications:

  • Prior service on ISTM committees, professional/interest groups or ISTM-sponsored initiatives
  • Publication of travel medicine-related clinical or research articles in the Journal of Travel Medicine, other journals or books
  • Contributions to the biennial CISTM
  • Leadership experience working with national or international professional societies or groups
  • Professional experience in the field of Travel Medicine

For each open position, the nominating committee will carefully review all the applications submitted and will select, by majority vote, the names of two nominees most suitable to appear on the ballot in accordance with the bylaws of the ISTM. A link to a secure and anonymous electronic ballot hosted by a professional election firm will be e-mailed to all members in January 2013. Balloting will be open until March 15, 2013. Election results will be announced at the membership assembly in May 2013, at the CISTM13 meeting in Maastricht.

The Society bylaws impose certain constraints on the ultimate composition of each eventual Executive Board:

Article 8.2 (excerpt)
The following conditions apply to the Executive Board members:

  • No more than three of the seven Executive Board members may be from one continent.
  • No two consecutive Presidents or President-Elects may be from the same continent at the time of election.
  • At least one Executive Board member shall be a nurse.
  • No person may be elected to the office of President or President-Elect more than once.
  • Counselors cannot be immediately reelected to a Counselor position, but may run for office again after a two-year break in service.
  • Any Executive Board member appointed or elected to fill a vacancy on the Executive Board may not cause a violation of the geographic and other requirements outlined above.

These constraints may preclude members from a certain region from running for certain positions in certain cycles.

Throughout my time as Secretary-Treasurer, I have worked to make the process as transparent as possible and to hold the nominating process at arms length from the current sitting Executive Board. This helps to ensure that the Society is always re-vitalized with new blood from amongst those that have already shown previous dedication and ability to work on behalf of the ISTM and its goals.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions at all regarding the ISTM Election process.


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News from the Secretariat: Webinar Update

Diane Nickolson
Diane Nickolson

The Secretariat is excited about the latest addition to the many resources ISTM has to offer our members. Our first webinar, moderated by Dr. Robert Steffen, took place on 30 May 2012. If you missed the webinar, no worries - you can easily access it through our Online Learning Program at your convenience!

Preparing Your Patients for Mass Gatherings: Euro 2012 and the London Olympics featured key speaker Dr. Catherine Smallwood, along with Dr. Gilles Poumeral, both of the Health and Security Interface of the World Health Organization (WHO). The webinar provides a broad overview of health protection at mass gatherings, including discussions on WHO's activities for the EURO 2012 in Poland and Ukraine and at the Olympics in London, United Kingdom, and recommendations for preventing illness associated with travel to them. With over five million visitors expected between the two events, this is a wonderful opportunity to access up to date information needed for your patient care.

Recorded access of the webinar is be available for purchase through the ISTM Online Learning Program Portal. The portal has more than 60 programs now, dealing with a broad range of travel medicine issues including vaccination recommendations, special needs travelers information, disease-specific information, and destination-specific guidance.

We hope many of you will find the ISTM Online Learning Program useful - with our members scattered so far and wide around the world the program was established to offer all members the ability to easily access key information to help with your busy professional lives. Thank you for all you do for the practice of travel medicine and the ISTM.


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9th APTHC and RCISTM5 in Singapore: A Resounding Success!

Annelies Wilder-Smith
Annelies Wilder-Smith

The 9th Asia Pacific Travel Health Conference, in conjunction with the 5th Regional Meeting of the International Society of Travel Medicine, was successfully held at the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, Singapore from 2nd - 5th May 2012. The APTHC 2012 Organizing Committee would like to thank all the participants for helping to make this scientific endeavor a great success.

Over 700 participants including delegates, faculty members, exhibitors and sponsors from over 65 countries attended. The 3-day conference featured plenary lectures, meet-the-experts, symposia, workshops and other sessions with over 70 faculty members. The Certificate of Travel Health (CTH®) Examination conducted by ISTM a day prior to the conference was one of the largest ever held in conjunction with a regional ISTM conference. Awards for best oral and poster presentations were given to deserving presenters.

We hope you enjoyed this meeting and that your stay in Singapore for the conference was a truly memorable one. We look forward to meeting you again for the 10th Asia Pacific Travel Health Conference to be held in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in 2014!

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Journal of Travel Medicine

Eric Caumes
Eric Caumes

It has now been nearly one year since I officially became the Editor in Chief (EiC) of the Journal of Travel Medicine (JTM). I would like to share with the readers of NewsShare some new processes that we have put in place and current issues.

New processes have been implemented in the JTM. They mainly concern the reviewers, the authors, and the Editorial Board (EB):

Reviewers - They can now give reasons for refusal, suggest alternative reviewers, and propose accompanying editorials. A guide for reviewers has also been implemented.

Authors - The "Instructions to the Authors" has been updated. A "Travel picture" section has also been reintroduced. All travel pictures can be published (according to available space), if they are illustrating the content of an article published in the corresponding issue or if they refer to a specific travel-associated problem. Also, a "Guidance" article section has been initiated. Topics optimal for a "Guidance" article will be those for where a meaningful and practical consensus can be reached. "Guidance" articles will require a more intensive group effort, including very careful and engaged peer review. Charlie Ericsson will be the leading chair for this section.

Editorial Board (EB) - One third of the EB has been refreshed. It was a difficult decision to replace some EB members. The positions of EB members may also be reconsidered if a member has not been able to provide reviews of manuscripts over a two year period or has declined two consecutive reviews without reason. Members of the EB who also become too busy to review may also wish reconsider their ongoing involvement with the EB in order to allow other ISTM members to take up a role as a new member of the EB. These changes I believe will facilitate an important transition for a bright future for both the JTM and ISTM.

There are several duties of EB members. As their primary duty, EB members would normally review about 6 to 12 articles per year. There are two reasons for that:

  1. every article should be reviewed by at least one person on the EB,
  2. articles submitted by reputable scientists in the field deserve at least two reviews by EB members as they should be more willing than most to give honest opinions and not be adversely influenced by someone's reputation. Of note, the reviewer does not necessarily need to be an expert in the subject, but rather approach the review from the perspective of good science, proper study design, justified conclusions, etc., which we can all do with most travel medicine topics.

The second duty of EB members will be to provide the EiC and the Deputy EiC, Charlie Ericsson with ideas on topics that could be considered for "Review" and "Guidance" articles. Topics less optimal for a "Guidance" article could be excellent for a traditional "Review". The best articles for Review are those when it is clear that meaningful and practical consensus will not be reached, particularly if practice habits are just too different, and when it has been concluded that more research is needed.

In addition some changes have also been implemented to facilitate the reading of the Journal and make its content more attractive, i.e.

  • Each issue is flagged and thematic, containing some articles about a travel related topic. The latest contents focused on emerging problems in travellers such as multidrug-resistant bacteria, acute schistosomiasis, influenza, neurocysticercosis, loiasis, and travelling children,. The coming thematic JTM issues will focus on acute mountain sickness, risk perception, and maritime medicine.
  • The category of an article (original article, brief communication, editorial, review, etc.) is now stated on the first page of each article.
  • There is systematically at least one accompanying editorial. A clear link between the editorial and the article(s) it refers to (and also in the other way) has been introduced.

All these changes have been made for improving the scientific and practical quality of our Journal. We hope that all these changes make the JTM more attractive to the members of the ISTM as I consider the JTM to be the flagship of the ISTM. I am open to any comment and will be glad to receive some feedback from the readers of the JTM.

Another new feature that we hope will be implemented soon is an automated email to all ISTM members with the Table of Contents and direct links to JTM articles as soon as the issue is published on the website. Watch your emails for the first of these emails in the coming months.


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CISTM13 (19-23 May 2013 In Maastricht, The Netherlands)

News from the Scientific Committee

Mary Wilson
Mary Wilson

The Chairs of the CISTM13 Scientific Committee recently met to develop the scientific program for the upcoming CISTM13 in Maastricht, The Netherlands on 19-23 May, 2013. Having more than 140 proposals submitted and reviewed by the scientific committee members was extraordinarily helpful in planning an outstanding program. With so many excellent proposals, however, the committee did need to combine suggested topics and speakers from multiple proposals and to achieve balance in content and demographic representation.

Invitations for the invited speakers will be sent out shortly, and the call for abstracts will begin in a couple of months. The website has been recently updated and has preliminary information about the scientific program topics, as well as information about travelling to and visiting Maastricht. Please watch the ISTM website and the Conference web page for more information concerning the latest scientific program, submitting your abstracts, Congress registration, and event details.


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2012 Research Award Winners Announced

David Hamer
David Hamer

Dr. David Hamer (United States) and Dr. Martin Grobusch (The Netherlands), Chair and Co-Chair of the ISTM Research and Awards Committee, wish to announce the winners of the 2011-2012 Research Awards.

This year, a record number of applications were submitted to the Research and Awards Committee for review. There were many excellent proposals though, unfortunately due to limited funding, only two awards were granted of the 25 applications that were received.

This year’s winners are:

  • Dr. Frank Mockenhaupt of the Institute of Tropical Medicine and International Health, Charité -- Universitätsmedizin Berlin, for the project: ESBL and NDM-1 producing Enterobacteriaceae in Patients with Traveler’s Diarrhea returning from Asia.
  • Dr. Mark S. Riddle of the Enterics Department, Infectious Diseases Directorate, Naval Medical Research Center -- United States, for the Identification of Biomarkers in IBS Cases-Associated with Common Causes of Travelers’ Diarrhea project.

Congratulations to both winners! Over USD 20,000 has been awarded for these two well-deserving projects.

We wish to extend our thanks to those who took the time to submit projects, and hope that they will consider submitting again for next year.


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Nursing Professional Group

Gail Rosselot
Gail Rosselot

ISTM and NPG Membership

If you haven’t had a chance as yet, please remember to renew your ISTM membership and elect to be a member of our Nurses Professional Group. Recently some nurses have realized they had renewed ISTM, but not NPG. We don’t want to lose anyone!

Singapore Update

Lani Ramsey chaired a special 90 minute Nurses Session at the May 2-5, 2012 RCISTM in Singapore. Joined by Fiona Genasi, ISTM President, Lani provides this report of that very well received session:

“The session was planned for Saturday and occurred from 11 a.m to 12:30pm. We actually ended up with just enough time with two speakers and group interaction. I believe the intention was that nurses in Singapore would only be able to come on that Saturday, but of the 44 who attended, only 3 were from Singapore. The bulk of the nurses were from Australia, New Zealand, then USA, Canada, Japan, UK, and other European countries, but none from Indonesia or Thailand..... 4-5 attendees had just sat for the CTH® exam earlier that week.

Fiona did a presentation on a mix from her experience as a Nurse, Travel medicine/infectious disease specialist, her NHS work and then onto what makes a good travel medicine nurse background, re educational training, along with her journey up to becoming the first nurse president of the ISTM! She added a few slides on the NPG council, its history and the benefit of being an ISTM member. She encouraged those in attendance to join. We had an open discussion after Fiona's talk and many shared their experiences as independent Nurse Practitioners, as RN's functioning with standing drug orders and how they perform their consults. There was a discussion about the importance of good training for all health professionals who want to deliver quality travel health care.

My talk on rabies revolved around two rabies issues: increasing exposure to animals by poorly prepared travelers and the use of ID vs IM administration for rabies vaccination. In Australia travelers who did not seek pre-travel care return form their trips to receive Rabies PEP, fully paid for by the Australian government at an approximate cost of $1131 per person. Our clinic has charged the government $23, 000 + dollars from 2009-2011 for this service alone. With the desire to decrease Government spending, I raised the question is it prudent to suggest that travellers prepare themselves by paying for their own pre-travel rabies immunization? If so, barriers are cost, time prior to departure and the clients’ view of risk. With regards to ID vs IM administration, I asked what evidence based literature do we have about the antibody response to ID? This vaccination approach is growing. During the conference we heard about JTM papers on pre exposure rabies vaccination using shorter schedules. Schedules such as 0, 3 ( two ID vaccines in each deltoid), one full IM prior to departure, two ID vaccines on each deltoid at day 0 and 7, etc..... What this is bringing to the table is that more published research is needed. Following my talk we had a good discussion about the how clinics differ in their approach to rabies PREP and PEP. However, all agreed that the cost of post rabies PEP is considerably decreased to $160 + if the individual will only need two PEP vaccines. Of course there is still much more discussion and controversy around the rabies issue..

Many of the nurses at the session were from general practice offices that do more than just travel medicine. They asked for guidance about what to read first, and then how to prepare for the CTH® exam if they chose to sit for this test. There was interest and questions about mentoring. I was also asked to start an Australian Nurse Travel Medicine group, even if it was online. Many were also interested in the movement towards Nurse Practitioner in Australia. “

Note: As some of you know, Gail was injured just prior to this meeting and was unable to attend. Lani did a terrific job representing all of NPG.

Call for Expert Reviews: Outreach to Nurses

Charles Ericsson, Deputy-Editor-in-Chief of JTM, has reached out to the chairs of all the ISTM professional and interest groups to request that our groups participate in a JTM effort to generate expert reviews of evidence bases that guide the clinical practice of travel medicine.

“The publications committee and the editorial board of JTM have come up with an initial series of topics that we wish to pursue, but we can always use additional topics to keep this effort healthy. I encourage each of you to touch base with your group and send us topics that you think are appropriate for expert review. I would hope expert academic members of the interest groups would, in fact, be willing to participate in, and even chair, writing panels for topics that are important to the interest group.”

PPG has already submitted an idea for a review on medications and travel: specifically focusing on preparing to take personal medications on a trip (best practices for labeling, storage conditions, injectables, etc), transiting across borders with medications (customs issues, banned classes of medications, etc) and acquiring medications abroad (legality of mailing medications, sources of information for international product comparisons, counterfeit medications, etc).

What topics might NPG pursue on behalf of nurses? Are any NPG members interested in chairing a writing panel? We would like this initiative to also include many nurses outside of the NPG Steering Council. Please let us hear from you..

NPG Goals for Second Half of 2012

At its next meeting in July 2012, the NPG Council will formulate 2 or 3 new goals for the second half of this year. We will continue to support the Scientific Committee and Organizing Committee as they plan for the Maastricht conference. We will also support the Secretariat as it files for ANCC nursing CE credits for that May 2013 meeting. What are your issues? What concerns or projects would you like the Council to undertake on your behalf in the next six months? First and foremost NPG represents the interests of ISTM nurses. Please let us know your interests and concerns. You can write to Gail Rosselot, NPG Chair @ or Lani Ramsey, NPG Vice Chair, @


Nurses have been asking about opportunities for more networking and mentoring within NPG. The Council plans to explore different models and welcomes your ideas for ways we can assist nurses new to travel health, new to ISTM and also those who seek more professional support in specific topic areas from colleagues around the world.

One particular area for mentoring is nursing research and the production of posters for the May 2103 CISTM. If you have a resource that you would like to share with your colleagues on either of these topics, please let us know and we will publish that information in a fall NewsShare.

Website Update

It is almost time for the quarterly update to the NPG page on the ISTM website. We share our Council minutes there as well as our charter and goals. We also like to feature a profile of a travel health nurse. Please let us profile you or a colleague. Just send an email to Gail Rosselot @ and we will get the simple process started. It is fascinating to learn what ISTM nurses are doing globally..


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Pharmacist Professional Group (PPG)

Jeff Goad
Jeff Goad

An Active Role in ISTM and Around the World

As the third largest group of healthcare professionals, pharmacists have long been offering informal advice to the travelling public. In many countries, pharmacists are highly trained to provide medication therapy management, preventative health services and expert consultation. Increasingly, pharmacists are using these skills to provide pre-travel health in the community in some cases being directly involved in manning travel clinics.

Since its inception the PPG has been liaising with the community pharmacist section of the most established and influential of pharmacist organisations, the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP). In 2012, FIP will celebrate its 100 year anniversary and as such will host the FIP Centennial Congress, taking place 3-8 October in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

The Centennial will offer all participants an invaluable venue for enriching their career while at the same time participating in events and decisions that will steer the future of pharmacy and healthcare around the world.

The main theme of the Centennial is Improving Health Through Responsible Medicines Use, a theme that calls on pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists to take their place as leaders in the healthcare team and do their part to usher in a new era of healthcare on a global scale. The theme will be supported by a world-class programme of expert speakers, symposia, workshops and posters that will bring together participants from diverse areas of pharmacy practice and pharmaceutical science.

If you are a pharmacist and have not yet joined the Pharmacy Professional Group within ISTM, please consider doing so. If you are already a PPG member, continue to check out our webpage for updates and information.


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Destination Community Support Interest Group (DCSIG) in Singapore

Garth Brink
Garth Brink

On the first day of the conference, the group's proposed, chaired and presented symposium 'How to not MES it up: Medical tourism, Ecotourism and Sex tourism' took place with great success. In addition, the results of the member survey from 2011 were presented as a poster attracting much interest.

Apart from the Council meeting, we had a general meeting for DCSIG members and others who attended the conference. This was particularly beneficial as we could form promising new links with colleagues who have expertise, experience and interesting ideas relevant to our group.

We are now looking forward to the meetings in South Africa (September 2012) and in Maastricht (May 2013) for which we plan a variety of projects and activities and also hope for your input. We will communicate as things progress.

This report compiled and submitted by Irmgard Bauer.


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Pediatrics Interest Group

Philip R. Fischer
Philip R. Fischer

Many of us are in the midst of our busy travel season, and are preparing our patients and children to travel. Let's continue to advise safe travel habits to prevent injury as we encourage families and children to get out and learn as they travel the world. And, feel free to stay updated as you review the current annotated bibliography of recent articles relevant to pediatric travel medicine - it is available for all ISTM members to view on the Pediatrics Group website page.


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Travel Health Africa - The Past, Present and Future

September 13 - 16 2012

The South African Society of Travel Medicine invites you to Travel Health Africa - Past, Present and Future - hosted at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Flying in the face of a financially troubled world, Africa has one of the fastest growing economies in the world. A second ‘scramble for Africa' and its vast mineral resources and fallow agricultural land is taking place right now, lead by resource and food hungry superpowers.

Is your company part of this - are you and your travel clinic staff prepared and equipped to give what it takes to ensure expats and frequent travellers alike return home safely? In scientific symposia, workshops and interactive sessions lead by experts in their field we will provide an in-depth look at health and related issues that impact on business and leisure travellers on this vast continent. Come and join us in discussions on the impact of increased travel on host and home countries alike: Ethical and moral dilemmas abound where personal risk and benefit of the individual pits against that of public health interest both sides of border control. Join in the debate - but don't forget your Yellow Fever Certificate!

And then there is MEDIFARI 2012 - a post congress excursion to the Kruger National Park which will provide an opportunity to learn medicine in the veld. Travel over four days and four hundred kilometers will provide an unforgettable experience stretching from inner-city to rural health care in southern Africa from the Highveld into the Lowveld... Where we spend two nights in the Kruger National Park talking malaria, African tick bite fever, anthrax and other zoonoses.

Early Bird registration closes on 31 May - do not miss this opportunity.

Visit for registration and programme details.


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Member Profile - Francesco Castelli

Francesco Castelli
Francesco Castelli

Having written many biographies of ISTM Executive Board (EB) members makes me wonder whether these individuals are more than mere mortals. Have they somehow in their extensive travels or in their clinics come across a formula, one that they do not share with the rest of us, on how to extend their days beyond 24 hours or, perhaps, how to exist on no sleep at all? Intelligence, efficiency, being focused, delegating and other methods to increase ones productivity in no way explain the extraordinary amount of extraordinary work that they are able to produce year after year.

Case in point: Professor Francesco Castelli, MD, (Pavia, Italy), FRCP (London), FFTM RCPS (Glasgow) elected to the EB in the most recent election, the first EB member from Italy. How by ordinary means could he have accomplished all than he has done? Here is a sampling:

At the University of Brescia (in Italy, of course), his home base, he wears numerous hats: Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases); Director, Department for Mother-and-Child Care and Medical Biotechnology and Director of the Post-Graduate School in Tropical Medicine. He also is Head of the 32-bed University Division of Infectious Diseases and of the 8-bed Tropical Unit at the Spedali Civili General Hospital in Brescia.

And he has personally participated in the treatment of thousands of patients, mostly with infectious diseases, many of them tropical- and HIV-related conditions. He also participates in numerous multi-centre clinical trials, often as the coordinator of the studies.

And he has authored 147 publications in international peer-reviewed journals, mainly focusing on HIV infections and parasitic and tropical diseases, many imported by travellers. In addition, he has authored 175 articles in Italian journals or conference proceedings, contributed to over 300 abstracts for Italian and international congresses, written 91 chapters in books and manuals, and edited an Italian-language book on infectious and tropical diseases.

And he has been involved as an expert and manager in numerous long and short EU and WHO projects in dozens of African, Asian, and Latin American countries, many involving malaria, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV infection.

And he has been very active within the ISTM, serving on many committees: Scientific Programme for many ISTM conferences; Body of Knowledge; Professional Education and Training; Examination; Migration Health; Editorial Board of the Journal of Travel Medicine; Geosentinel® Site in Brescia; and the European Travel and Tropical Medicine Network of the ISTM (EuroTravNet).

And so on! The length and depth of the list of his accomplishments is most impressive.

Francesco was born in Milan. His education included “Liceo Scientifico,” meaning a strong emphasis on mathematics, physics, and science. Besides receiving his MD degree from University of Pavia, he received his diplomas in Infectious Diseases there, and a diploma in Tropical Medicine at the University of Milan.

What got him interested in medicine and travel medicine? “When I was 17 years old, I spent 3 months in the bush of Ecuador. There I realized that medicine, especially tropical medicine, and poverty are closely related, and that the study of this relationship would be the goal of my professional life. This made travel medicine part of my personal life. I am also deeply involved in migration medicine in my own country. I believe migration medicine is the next frontier we have to face.”

His goals for the ISTM? “I strongly believe in the international dimensions of medicine. The link between travel and emerging diseases is so interwoven that travel medicine has to play a key role and to alert policy makers about this link. I would like to see travel medicine progress on the road to building a solid scientific foundation for clinical and public health practice. This is particularly necessary for the complex phenomenon of migration, which encompasses clinical, anthropological and public health aspects. I will continue my efforts to have travel medicine recognized as a complex, interdisciplinary but autonomous medical discipline, promoting training and research excellence to the largest possible extent, both in quality terms and in geographical coverage, with the ISTM in the lead. Pivotal to this aim is strengthening undergraduate and post-graduate training activities in travel medicine.”

Interests outside of medicine? “The history of tropical medicine. The social rights of migrants and the poor in developing countries, especially in Africa. I am the President of the Italian NGO Medicus Mundi Italy, which supports development projects in many resource poor countries. The projects involve not only health related issues but also education and social needs.”

Family? “My wife Graziella teaches math in primary school and travelled with me to Mali soon after we married. We have two children. Marco is eighteen years old and deeply involved in the social and ‘political’ life of his school community. He would like to become a journalist. Irene (14 years old) follows classical studies (Greek, Latin, literature) and would like to become a writer.”

Hobbies? “Reading and sailing, when I have the opportunity. I have also started to fence again (ridiculous, isn’t it, for a pacifist as I am?) after my daughter decided to take up the sport. I was quite a good sabre fencer when I was young. For the time being, I am still able to win but soon she will be the winner.”

Karl Neumann
written by Karl Neumann

Last but far from least: Francesco has received many honors, including honorary degrees from major universities and medical societies. And (another and!) he is a Knight of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic. (According to Wikipedia: The Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana is the highest ranking honor and most senior order of the Republic. It is awarded for “merit acquired by the nation” in the fields of literature, the arts, economy, public service, and social, philanthropic and humanitarian activities and for long and conspicuous service in civilian and military careers. The order is bestowed by decree of the President of the Italian Republic.)


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ISTM Crossword Puzzle


Crossword Puzzle


  1. The ‘Mestreechter Geis' is an important part of Maastricht.
  2. Pilgrims travel to Maastricht to view the ____ of St. Servatius.
  3. Neanderthals, _____ and Romans called Maastricht home throughout the centuries.
  4. In 1992, representatives of 12 European countries sign the ____ of Maastricht.
  5. Tired of the conference, rent a ____ and explore the countryside.
  6. An 800-year-old Dominican church was turned into what has been proclaimed as the world's most beautiful ____.


  1. The name comes from the Latin Mosae Trajectum, which means ‘____ over the Maas.'
  2. These are an underground network of tunnels, built as sheltered emplacements for guns and cannons.
  3. For the family, the _____ paradise Mosaqua Gulpen...
  4. A labyrinth of over 20,000 tunnels formed from the mining of ___ in the caves of St. Pieter.
  5. The Romans built a bridge over the Meuse during the reign of ____ (two words).
  6. View the beautiful historic site of the ____ village of Thorn.
  7. GaiaPark Kerkrade is the best one in all the Netherlands!
  8. And for the outdoors type, you can enjoy the 'Het Rijk van Margraten' ____ (two words).

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