International Society of Travel Medicine
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September 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
From Fiona Genasi, ISTM President


The past few months in the life of ISTM have been very busy and filled with a large variety of activities, and so it’s hard to believe that I have just passed the mid-point of my Presidency. Now would be a good time to review some of what we have accomplished and note our focus for the future.

  • One of our most important undertakings was to find a new Secretary Treasurer to take over from David Freedman. I am delighted to report the appointment of Peter Leggat to this position to commence in May of 2013.  We were fortunate to have had a number of excellent candidates come forward, and the Selection Committee, Chaired by Alan Magill, did a wonderful job in guiding the process through to a satisfactory conclusion.  

While Peter won’t officially take office until next year, we have already begun including him in discussions and meetings to ensure he will hit the ground running.  Until May of 2013, of course David Freedman will continue to serve as the ISTM Secretary-Treasurer. I cannot thank David enough for his enthusiasm and commitment to ensuring a smooth “hand-over” of such an important position in the society.

Please join me in congratulating and thanking Peter for taking on this critical position.

  • The ISTM Executive Board (EB) recently held our annual face-to-face meeting where the many different facets of the organization from the past year were reviewed, and future plans deliberated. The proposed 2013 Financial Year budget was discussed and final appropriations made. Many excellent reports from a number of committees and areas of special interest within ISTM were given. Some of the reports and decisions coming out of this meeting include:
  • An extensive report and recommendations from the Task Force on Internationalization (TFIO), given by Task Force Chair Robert Steffen. The Task Force charge was to address “How best to grow the ISTM as an international society, representative of the travel medicine community across borders and across continents.” Two new membership categories are being recommended: a new Developing Country Associate Membership for residents in Low and Low/Middle Income Countries as identified by the World Bank, and a Retiree Membership. These two new membership categories will be added as soon as possible. A number of new products were identified and prioritized as well as enhancements and improvements to current member benefits. Other considerations by the TFIO included discussions on the current structure for planning and placing the biennial CISTMs and RCISTMs, membership fees and marketing options, committee and group structure, and increased cooperation between national and regional organizations. Robert is not short of plaudits - but I just have to say once again - many thanks for doing such a brilliant job with the TFIO.
  • Eric Caumes, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Travel Medicine, noted that many changes and updates have been made this past year, including updates to the Authors Instructions and the look and content of the Journal. A new Guidance Article section, is being spearheaded by Dr. Charles Ericsson. Dr. Caumes also commented on the initiation of a program standard for articles focusing on diagnosis of post travel diseases to increase the coverage in the Journal. The Journal’s Impact Factor has recently been increased to 1.748. This significant increase, up from 1.473 in 2010, ranks the Journal at 56 of 153 journals in the Medicine, General and Internal category. Thanks to Eric and his Editorial Board.
  • Dr. Freedman presented a report on the current status of the ISTM GeoSentinel® project. He reported that there are currently 54 travel/tropical medicine clinics and 220 Network Members on all six continents participating in the program. As of March 2012, there were 167,060 patients in the database, with 50% post travel, 31% during travel and 14% immigration travel only. Of the 50% post travel visits, 57% are attributed to tourism, 14% to business and missionary/volunteer travelers, 12% to VFRs and 2% to students. The project has seen an increased focus on migrants and immigrants, though there is a good mix of patients in the database. The GeoSentinel® project is widely quoted with more than 1100 citations. There were 14 original papers published in the past two years, and the project has recognition in the CDC Yellow Book, the WHO ITH Book and IOM reports. The CDC Cooperative Agreement has been renewed to 2016.
  • The name of the Development Committee, a subcommittee of the Board, was changed to the Development and Planning Committee, with the sitting President and Secretary-Treasurer as core members. The scope of responsibility will include corporate sponsorships as well as development of short and long term strategic initiatives, business partnerships and fund-raising initiatives.
  • Phyllis Kozarsky presented the highlights of the proposed new Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Program as developed by the Committee. The EB endorsed the general principles of the CTH® Renewal Program Policy, which will be put out for consultation to the membership shortly. This is a complex programme to move forward - I am indebted to Phyllis for steering it with such experience and style.
  • The ISTM Standing Committees have also been very active this past year: The Examination Committee presented the CTH® exam to a record number of attendees for a regional meeting in Singapore; the Liaison Committee continues to foster good relations with the WHO, CDC and the ECDC; the Professional Education Committee continues to maintain their regular educational products, and this year established a new distance learning portal with more than 60 current titles, and has just added webinars to the ISTM program list; the active Publications Committee continues its work developing processes to develop, enhance and approve various types of publications; and the Awards Committee reviewed a record number of submissions , funding two Research Grants for the first time.
  • The ISTM Groups have also been very busy. New and representative leadership councils have been elected for the Nursing Professional Group, Pharmacist Professional Group, Destination Communities Support Group and Psychological Health of Travellers Group. The Migrant and Refugee Group recently had their leadership plan approved, and will be holding elections soon. The new Paediatrics Group has already conducted a survey, and maintains a bibliography on the website.
  • The Opening Ceremony of the CISTM13 in Maastricht, The Netherlands, is only eight short months away! The scientific program is nearing completion, with many excellent speakers from around the world lined up to lecture on a range of topics. Four plenary sessions, 13 symposia, and a number of workshops have already been planned. A call for abstracts will begin in October 2012. In addition, plans are underway for pre-Congress courses, receptions, meetings and other activities associated with our biennial Congress. On Tuesday evening, 21 May, a very special dinner will be held at La Caverne de Geulheim. Space for this event is limited, so be sure to register early and purchase the separate ticket needed. We will be updating the CISTM13 web page frequently over the next weeks and months on order to keep everyone up-to-date. Please plan to mark your calendar for 19 - 23 May 2013. Registration will be open by 1 November.
  • The Call for Nominations for the 2013 ISTM Presidential and Executive Board Elections was recently initiated by Nominating Committee Chair David Shlim (President-Elect, ISTM). Any ISTM member in good standing may be nominated. More information about the call for nominations appears later in this issue.
  • After careful consideration and discussion, site visits, and contract negotiations, I would like to announce that the 14th Conference of the International Society of Travel Medicine will be held in Quebec City, Canada in May of 2015! Situated on the St. Lawrence River, Quebec City, the capital of Quebec, is a busy seaport and is considered an important service and research centre. The city's historic center was also named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. Our Conference attendees are sure to be delighted by this wonderful setting.

I am sure the next few months will prove to be very productive and dynamic ones for our Society. As always, there are many ways that members can become more involved in ISTM, and I would encourage you to do so. A society can only thrive and prosper if its members are actively engaged.

I look forward to the many upcoming discussions, events and challenges ahead, and will continue to strive to be an ambassador for ISTM and its members.

-- Sad Announcement --

Group Photo
From left to right. Fiona Genasi, Petroula Chatzipantazi, Julie Gallagher, Androula Pavli

It is with deep sadness that I have to let you know about the sudden recent death of Dr. Petroula Chatzipantazi, President of the Hellenic Society for Travel Medicine.

Petroula was a victim of a violent crime (robbery) in Tanzania where she had been visiting on Greek Ministry of Health business. She had been excited about the trip and had written to the ISTM office only days before setting off:

"This week I am traveling to Tanzania for a few days. Unfortunately no safaris since I will be there with students of the course organized by the Athens University Medical Faculty Master’s on “International Medicine-Health Crisis Management” with the collaboration of the Tanzanian Training Center for International Health in Ifakara Tanzania. Additionally, I am going to visit some local health facilities to evaluate them as part of my ministerial work. It is a travel medicine challenge since I will be out in local conditions."

Some of you may have met Petroula at previous conferences since she was a real travel enthusiast and ISTM supporter. She held the ISTM Certificate in Travel HealthTM, completed the Diploma in Travel Medicine at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (Glasgow) and was a member of the Faculty of Travel Medicine (Glasgow). She led the Hellenic Society with talent and energy and I know she was greatly respected by her collegues there and within the Greek Ministry.

I was fortunate to have met Petroula on many occasions. She was always happy, joyful, full of life. She was someone who I had immense affection and admiration for.

She will be very greatly missed by all.

Fiona Genasi

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From the Editor

Peter Leggat
Peter Leggat

From the President's Message, you will see that I will take over the reigns of the ISTM Secretary-Treasurer (S-T) in May 2013. I am extremely honored to be asked to take on this role from a very experienced campaigner in Dr. David Freedman. It would be an understatement to say that the selection process for S-T was an incredibly robust one, which took place over many months since the applications closed in March 2012. This process led to a final selection interview in Atlanta, GA, USA, where I made my first visit to the offices of the ISTM Secretariat. It was great to meet Diane's team and to gain a better understanding of the day-to-day running of our rapidly growing international professional organization. This is confirmed in David Freedman's S-T Report, where he states that there have been 400 new ISTM members already in 2012. Needless to say, I will be working with David Freedman to get a better feel for the S-T role and the priorities and challenges that lie ahead for the ISTM.

In this issue of NewsShare, you will read an update from the Scientific Committee. You will see that planning is quite advanced for the 13th Conference of the International Society of Travel Medicine, which will be held in Maastricht, The Netherlands, from 19-23 May 2013. ISTM members will soon be starting to make plans to participate in this meeting and I am sure they will be looking forward to refreshing their knowledge in travel medicine, meeting old friends and perhaps making some new ones. In the remaining items of NewsShare, you will read reports on the extensive range of activities currently taking place in the ISTM. These reports provide important feedback to our members on the strength of our Society. If you need a challenge, try the ISTM Crossword at the very end of NewsShare. The theme of the Crossword is World Rabies Day, which was commemorated recently on 25 September 2012. Rabies remains a serious disease, which has a history of being almost invariably fatal.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank the many people that help to make this NewsShare a reality, particularly the contributing office bearers, the many contributors from the ISTM Committees and Groups, and also Kathy Smith and other members of the Secretariat, and the graphic designer, Dawn Keough. I will be looking to transition out of a number of ISTM and other roles in the lead-up to assuming the important post of S-T in May 2013. One of these roles, which I will relinquish, will be the ISTM NewsShare Editor, which I have found a very interesting and informative one. I hope that the transition to a new Editor for ISTM NewsShare will commence very soon.

Finally, it is with sadness that I read of the tragic death of Dr. Petroula Chatzipantazi, President of the Hellenic Society for Travel Medicine. It is an unfortunate reminder that the safety and security of travelers is tenuous in many parts of the world. Our thoughts are with her family, friends and work colleagues at this time.

Peter Leggat
Editor, ISTM NewsShare


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Secretary-Treasurer's Report

David Freedman
David Freedman

The ISTM 2013 membership renewal packet will soon be sent out. It will include your renewal forms, information about ISTM Groups, letters from ISTM officers, and information about ISTM programs and member benefits. The easiest way to renew is to use a credit card on our secure membership renewal portal on the ISTM website at

ISTM membership remains strong and continues to grow. Each year we have a very healthy number of new professionals join, and so far in 2012, we have had more than 400 new members enter the society. Our membership retention percentages are also increasing, which also contributes to our continued growth.

Active membership in ISTM brings with it several opportunities and privileges not available to non-members. In addition to discounted registration for the CISTMs, members have the right to be nominated to serve on the ISTM Executive Board, and also to vote for ISTM officers as well as on matters related to the bylaws. Other privileges available only to current members include participation in and access to the ISTM TravelMed ListServ, active listings in the online Global Travel Clinic Directory, receipt of specialized publications including the Journal of Travel Medicine and NewsShare, eligibility for research grants in the range of USD 5,000 to 10,000, the ability to apply for travel awards for CISTM presenters.

Currently, membership is based on a calendar year, with annual dues payable in advance before the first day of January. Two new membership classifications have recently been approved by the ISTM Executive Board. The new categories are a Developing Country Associate Membership for residents in Low and Low/Middle Income Countries as identified by the World Bank, and a Retiree Membership. Benefits for the Low/Middle Income Country Members are the same as full members, and Retired Members also receive the same benefits as full members, except they will not be eligible to list a clinic in the Global Travel Clinic Directory.

Watch your mail for the membership packet, you can also just log in and renew your membership for 2013 anytime. We look forward to receiving your renewals, and to continue to service the ISTM membership and the travel medicine community.


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News from the Secretariat

Diane Nickolson
Diane Nickolson

As always, the Secretariat strives to meet the many wide-ranging needs of the ISTM membership, committees, interest and professional groups, and Executive Board. Central to our work is keeping everyone informed of the many activities and opportunities available to ISTM members and customers. We hope you will take the time to read our weekly emails and check the ISTM web site ( frequently. Feel free to contact us at should you have any questions regarding programs and events, membership, or travel medicine-related issues.

Sarah Thomas
Sarah Thomas

We would like to introduce the latest addition to the Secretariat offices: Sarah Thomas joined our staff this month as a part-time Member and Project Assistant. Sarah, a Georgia native, has a Bachelor's degree from Emory University and is currently working on her Masters degree in International Relations and Diplomacy from the Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations. Sarah will be helping with the myriad of details related to the upcoming CISTM13 next May, as well as learning the behind-the-scenes workings of a non-profit organization. After graduation, Sarah hopes to obtain a position in the non-profit field to develop skills associated for law school and a career in health law.

In an effort to broaden our membership base and promote the many ISTM programs and products, the Secretariat has been actively promoting ISTM at various international conferences and events this year. We had an information booth at the recent ICAAC meeting held in San Francisco, California, USA, and will be having exhibits at the upcoming ID Week in San Diego, California, in October, the ASTMH conference in Atlanta, Georgia, in November, and the IMED conference in Vienna, Austria, in February. ISTM members are encouraged to stop by if you are an attendee at one of these conferences. We would love to meet you and answer any questions you may have related to the Society.

As always, thank you for all that you do for the ISTM and the travel medicine community.


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ISTM Call for Nominations for the Executive Board

The call for nominations for the election of several positions on the ISTM Executive Board is now open until 11 November 2012. If you would like to be considered for a place on the ballot for the position of President-Elect or as a Counselor on the Executive Board, you must submit a ballot application form, which can be accessed on the ISTM website.

ISTM depends on the high quality and dedication of its elected volunteer leaders for its continued vitality. Any qualified member in good standing is eligible to seek office. 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 almost 3,000 members in 82 countries. The positions of President and of two Counselors need to be filled beginning in May 2013 at the CISTM13 in Maastricht, The Netherlands. 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, has been formed by the current Executive Board. Any ISTM member with paid up dues is eligible for nomination.

However, 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 names proposed 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 of 2013 and the balloting will be open until March 15, 2013. Election results will be announced at the membership assembly in May 2013, at the CISTM13 in Maastricht.

The Society bylaws state that no more than three of the seven elected Directors of the Society may be from the same continent. The following paragraphs pertaining to the election process are quoted from the bylaws to increase an understanding of this process:

Article 8.2
The Executive Board shall be composed of the following seven voting positions: the President, the President-Elect, the Past President, and four Counselors. Only the seven voting directors on the Executive Board may make and second motions at a Board meeting. To the extent practical, the Executive Board also shall invite to its meetings as non-voting participants any other officer, standing committee chairperson, and publication editors, along with such other guests as the Executive Board deems appropriate. 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.

Article 8.3
Every two years at a time sufficiently in advance of the next Membership Assembly, the nominating committee shall submit to the Secretary-Treasurer the names of two nominees for each of the positions on the Executive Board that are coming up for election. At least three months prior to the Membership Assembly, the Secretary-Treasurer shall send an electronic ballot to each member eligible to vote in accordance with the ballot procedures set forth in these bylaws at section 6.6. Counselors shall be elected for a term of four years, while the President, President-Elect and Past President shall serve two years in each position (for a total of six years).

Please note that your nominations should be guided by the interpretation of the articles above the geographic composition of the Executive Board in 2013 at the time of election (see below).

Geographic Composition of the Executive Board in 2013 at the Time of Election

Past-President: Fiona Genasi, United Kingdom
President: David Shlim, United States of America
President-Elect: To be elected (cannot be from North America)
Counselor: Francesco Castelli, Italy
Counselor: Karin Leder, Australia
Counselor: To be elected Open
Counselor: To be elected Open
***One Executive Board Member to be a Nurse

Nominating Committee Members:

  1. David Shlim, United States of America, President-Elect, Committee Chair
  2. Eric Caumes, France
  3. Lin Chen, United States of America
  4. Vanessa Field, United Kingdom
  5. Martin Grobusch, The Netherlands
  6. Louis Loutan, Switzerland
  7. Nancy Piper-Jenks, United States of America
  8. Prativa Pandey, Nepal


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Active Collaboration between the World Health Organization and ISTM

Robert Steffen
Robert Steffen

Recently, the World Health Organization's section on International Travel and Health (ITH) met with leadership from ISTM and other regional, travel health-related organizations with a goal of promoting the development of travel health information sharing in the Asia Pacific region. The meeting, organized with the help and support of ISTM, was held just prior to the 9th Asia Pacific Travel Health Conference in Singapore in May.

Speakers at the meeting commented on the characteristics of the culturally, economically and environmentally diverse Asia Pacific region. In addition to several billion inhabitants, the numbers of those travelling are expected to almost triple in the next 15-20 years, reaching over 2.2 billion by the year 2030. With the easing of travel restrictions in many countries, travel populations are becoming much more diverse and thus require a well-developed network of travel and health clinics throughout the region. Of concern is the introduction of new communicable diseases with epidemic potential in areas where vectors of transmission exist.

Three recommendations came from the participants of the meeting:

  1. Expand partnerships and the number of professionals involved in travel medicine
  2. Expand training in travel medicine
  3. Promote information on and awareness of travel medicine

For more in-depth coverage of the meeting, as well as specific suggestions for implementation related to each recommendation, the complete document released from the meeting can be accessed here.


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CISTM13 Scientific Committee Update

CISTM13 Update

Mary Wilson
Mary Wilson

Work is progressing on the outstanding scientific program planned for the upcoming CISTM13 in Maastricht, The Netherlands. The plenary sessions have been selected, with speakers reflecting the extensive international breadth of the ISTM. The draft titles of the four plenaries are:

  • Antibiotic Resistance: Mobile Bugs in a Connected World
  • Malaria: From Research to Recommendation
  • Mass Gatherings: Local and Global Consequences
  • One Health: Travelers and Zoonoses

Thirteen symposia and numerous workshops have also been planned and are being finalized. Early registration for the Congress will begin in October Information about the abstract submission process will also be available at that time.

Social Media

Members can obtain the latest news on the upcoming CISTM13 by logging on to their favorite social networking site. The Congress is listed on LinkedIn, FaceBook, and Twitter. Updates on abstract submission, registration, sponsors, deadlines, and other Conference news will be added periodically. Information on the CISTM13 can also be found on the ISTM Congress webpage.


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2012-2013 ISTM Research Awards Now Accepted

David Hamer
David Hamer

The Research and Travel Awards Committee is pleased to announce that applications for the 2012-2013 ISTM Research Awards are now being accepted until 9 November 2012. It is hoped that these grants will stimulate travel medicine research by supporting comprehensive research projects or, for larger projects, provide support for pilot studies to enable researchers to collect data or test hypotheses.


Grant requirements include:

  • Research must be travel medicine or immigrant/refugee health oriented
  • Application and protocol proposal must be scientifically sound and must be in accordance with international ethical guidelines
  • There must be no conflicts of interest for any of the investigators who apply for research funding
  • Grant applicants must be ISTM members in good standing
  • Projects should be able to be realistically completed using ISTM grant funding alone.

For detailed information on proposal criteria, as well as application forms, please view the ISTM Research Awards web page here.

Remember that all Research Award proposals must be received by the ISTM Secretariat office at no later than 9 November 2012 to be considered.


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Call for Comments on the new Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Program

Phyllis Kozarsky
Phyllis Kozarsky

After many months of hard work, the CPD Committee will be releasing the proposed new ISTM Continuing Professional Development Program. The proposed program was submitted to the ISTM Executive Board meeting in May, and received initial approval. The plan will be released for a 90 day call for comment period, after which the committee will review all comments, and submit the final version to the Executive Board.

The highlights of the proposed CPD Program include a ten year renewal timeline with renewals completed by retaking and passing the exam or by following the new CPD process. The CPD pathway is based on accrual of points earned for participating in continuing education events, teaching, lecturing, mentoring, publishing (including authoring, peer-review and serving on editorial boards), patient care, committee and volunteer activities, clinical supervision, peer practice review and audits and consulting work. Specifics of the new CPD Program will be released soon. Please be sure to review the program and send us your comments.


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ISTM Body of Knowledge Update

Ken Dardick
Ken Dardick

The ISTM Examination Committee is in the process of reviewing and updating the existing Body of Knowledge. A survey went out in late July to all ISTM members and Certificate of Travel Health (CTH®) holders in order to ascertain the current scope of knowledge in the field of travel medicine worldwide, as well as the relative importance of each of the content areas. The results of the survey will be used to update the Body of Knowledge and the questions on the next CTH® Exam to be held immediately prior to the CISTM13 in Maastricht, The Netherlands. This update must be done every few years in order to ensure that the Body of Knowledge and CTH® examination continue to be valid in the identification and measurement of the knowledge required for the practice of travel medicine.

The Examination Committee will be meeting to review the results of the survey, incorporating changes or updates as appropriate to the Body of Knowledge. Once the ISTM Executive Board approves the revised version, it will be released.

As a reminder, the 2013 Certificate of Travel Health® Exam will be held Sunday, 19 May 2013 in Maastricht, The Netherlands from 09.00 to 13.45 just prior to the opening of the CISTM13 in the MECC.

The 2013 Examination registration will be activated by 1 November 2012. Please check the ISTM website ( for updates and information.


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News from the Nursing Professional Group (NPG)

Gail Rosselot
Gail Rosselot

Reminder: The NPG Steering Council meets bimonthly by teleconference and our minutes are posted on the NPG page of the ISTM website. We invite you to read the minutes to learn more about current activities and future plans for our professional group. We always welcome your feedback and ideas...

NPG Mentoring Program: As announced in the last NewsShare, NPG would like to initiate a nurse to nurse mentoring program in response to member requests. Lani Ramsey, NPG Vice Chair, has been working in this project and shares her initial thoughts-

“With the vast amount of information available on the internet, a newly acquainted travel medicine provider can quickly be overwhelmed. How should I set up the clinic? How do others run their clinics? How do I get referrals? Which sources should I seek out first to augment my consultations? Should I pursue a specialized course of study? Should I write the Certificate of Travel Health? If I choose to earn a travel health credential, how should I prepare and study?

While all these topics are covered in conferences and on the ISTM ListServe from time to time, there can still be other questions that come up. Who to ask? What to ask? For the new clinician it can be daunting to figure out pre-travel plans for the traveller, how to interpret the information we are reading, how to successfully run a clinic day to day.

Education is important to travel health practice, but experience is key to mastery. For those who have been consulting patients/clients for many years, the delivery of care becomes very methodical and organized. Many consultants make it look so easy. How can a clinician with less experience gain skills and knowledge in our specialty?

Mentoring can be the answer for many professionals. Learning from someone more senior can help the new provider avoid pitfalls and failures. I was mentored by Dr. Paul Assad (name used with permission), who took me under his wing and mentored me for two years. On occasion I asked the same question so many times, I am sure he wondered if I was ever going to 'get it'. Ten years later, I really get it. He was professional, articulate and very knowledgeable in Travel Medicine.

Mentoring can also reward the experienced travel medicine provider who is willing to share knowledge with someone new in the field. Mentoring is a two-way relationship and there are benefits to both the mentor and the mentee. Being able to share one's failures and triumphs can help newer clinicians avoid problems and overcome challenges. Mentors teach mentees and learn from them, too.“

The Nurse Practice Group has heard from our members that a mentorship program would be valuable and a way to improve proficiency, confidence and competence. We are looking at how this program might best be established. To continue its development, we need to confirm interest and find out what nurses are seeking with a mentoring program. Once we know of your interest we can proceed to the next step. If you are willing to become a mentor, please let us know. If you are looking for a mentor, please let us know. Once we get feedback from nurses, the NPG Council will meet to explore this topic further...

If you have any interest in this mentoring program, we would like to know:

  1. Do you want a mentor from your country?
  2. What are specific issues you would like to address through mentoring?
  3. Are you interested in serving as a mentor? If so, do you have particular topics of interest or expertise, e.g. research, publications, starting a clinic, counseling paediatric patients, improving clinic efficiency, professional development, etc?
  4. Have you had any personal experience setting up a mentoring program within another organization? Might you be willing to help NPG establish a program?
  5. Any additional comments?

Please direct all your responses to the ISTM Secretariat at Thank you.

Report from Dublin: Claire Wong is a Specialist Travel Health Nurse at the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) in the UK, and a NPG council member. She participated in the planning committee for the NECTM meeting held in June in Ireland. She shares this report of that meeting:

Even torrential rain and gale force winds were not enough to dampen the spirits of the 680 delegates who attended the fourth Northern European Conference on Travel Medicine in Dublin in June 2012! The conference was a resounding success, kicking off on the first day with a nurses meeting attended by many of 112 nurse delegates. Sandra Grieve, past Vice Chair of the NPG and co-Chair of NECTM, welcomed nurses to the conference and introduced Fiona Genasi, ISTM President, and I who both said a few words of greeting.

The remainder of the meeting was spent catching up with old friends and making new ones, something which continued throughout the conference thanks to the venue and the friendly atmosphere. The programme really did provide something for everyone, ranging from ‘ABC’ sessions to the most recent advances in travel medicine. It was perhaps the inclusion of OSKE (Objective Structured Knowledge Exchange) sessions which was most eagerly anticipated. Thanks to the organisation, these sessions allowed delegates to get up close and personal with several speakers in one session allowing for a truly interactive and inclusive learning experience. It is something I’m sure will be continued by future NECTM meetings.

Many new friendships made, lots of new information presented in an original format, and a true Irish welcome - I think it’s safe to say that a good time was had by all!NECTM5 will be held in Bergen, Norway in June 2014 - keep an eye on the website ( for updates.”

NPG Planning for Maastricht: As planning for CISTM13 continues, NPG Council is happy to report-

  • The process for awarding continuing education (CE) credits for nurses continues on schedule. Documentation required for the CE application will soon go out to invited speakers. Barbara Guenst, NP from Philadelphia, and John Bosch, NPG Council member from the Netherlands, have been lending support on behalf of NPG for this important ISTM Secretariat effort.
  • Plans for the traditional Nurses Welcome Reception and the NPG business meeting are underway. Please let us know if you have any suggestions for format or an item for the agenda.
  • Opportunities for Posters- All NPG members are encouraged to consider submitting a poster abstract. NPG Council members are available to offer feedback, guidance and support. CISTM13 in May only seems far away...

Ongoing Collaboration with PPG: NPG has been working since the 2011 Boston meeting to develop joint initiatives with the other ISTM professional group, the Pharmacist Professional Group. Gail Rosselot, NPG Chair from the U.S., participates as a non-voting attendee at every PPG meeting. Claudine Leuthold, PPG Vice Chair from Switzerland, attends NPG meetings in the same capacity. Currently NPG and PPG are in the planning stage with several joint projects, including: sharing ideas and format for mentoring programs, developing a joint statement on the role of pharmacists and nurses in post-travel care, and developing an article mapping international differences in nursing and pharmacy travel health practices. Suggestions for further collaborations are always welcome!


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The Role of Pharmacists in Travel Medicine in South Africa

Jeff Goad
Jeff Goad

Lee Baker Dip Pharm MPS

Lee Baker
Lee Baker

Pharmacists potentially have a very important role to play in travel medicine in South Africa, especially with regards to malaria, as we have many malaria areas within a couple of hours' travel from home, to which people, including families, go to for weekends. Pharmacists are the most accessible health care professionals and are therefore frequently consulted regarding malaria prophylaxis and other travel health matters.

Pharmacists are however hindered by legislation in South Africa. They may not prescribe or dispense (without a prescription) any medicine above Schedule 2 (medicines in South Africa are scheduled from 0 -8, which determines the rules relating to the sale thereof, with S0 sold in supermarkets, S3 and up on prescription only). In the past, this only affected newer antimalarials and high altitude medication, as well as some antibiotics used for travellers' diarrhea, but in December 2009, the schedules for vaccines were changed and the majority of travel vaccines are now schedule 4. The three recommended options for malaria prophylaxis are also schedule 4, which means that the pharmacist can only supply them on a prescription from a doctor.

In the past, a pharmacist could apply to the Director General for Health, after having successfully completed one of various courses, for a special permit to enable him/her to prescribe. This has however been put on hold, but the Pharmaceutical Society is trying to get this reinstated. One of the courses offered to pharmacists, is an immunisation course, which enables them to administer vaccines, but once again, they may administer it, but not prescribe it if it is S4! A request has also been submitted to get medicines for malaria prophylaxis, or at least some of them, down-scheduled, so that they can be prescribed by a pharmacist.

Currently the pharmacists who are members of South African Society of Travel Medicine (SASTM) have completed the Travel Medicine Course offered once a year by SASTM, accredited by The Witwatersrand University. Although they cannot prescribe and dispense the necessary vaccines and medicines, they usually work closely with the doctors or travel clinics, and play an important role in counselling. Most community pharmacists actively counsel travellers on a daily basis, particularly in respect of malaria prophylaxis.

Regrettably, the number of pharmacists who are members of SASTM has decreased over the last few years, and there are currently only 5, and only 2 of them have community pharmacies, both in small towns that do not have travel clinics.

Two pharmacists work in a medicine information centre, the only privately run one in South Africa. Various services are offered, with two of them being a malaria information line, and a vaccine information line. Both of these services are utilized by healthcare professionals as well as members of the public.


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Destination Communities Special Interest Group in South Africa

Irmgard Bauer
Irmgard Bauer

The SASTM travel medicine conference "Travel Health Africa: The Past, Present and Future" was held from 13 to 16 September 2012 in Johannesburg, convened by our Chair Garth Brink. Four DCSIG council members were invited to speak on a range of topics. Some of us also took part in the post-conference Medifari '12 visiting Kruger National Park to experience and learn about health risks and care in the bush.

On other news, the DCSIG has now formed two subcommittees: 'Ecotourism' headed by Michael Muehlenbein, and 'Maritime Medicine' headed by Nebojsa Nikolic. Both will be pleased to hear from interested ISTM members.

Cheers, Irmgard


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Migrant and Refugee Health Interest Group Call for Nominations

Elizabeth Barnett
Elizabeth Barnett

The Migrant and Refugee Health Interest Group has distributed a call for nominations for their Steering Council. The Council will be composed of seven members representing different world regions and from at least three different continents - the Chair, Chair-Elect, and five Council Members. Those wishing to be considered for nomination must be current members of ISTM and the Migrant and Refugee Health Interest Group. Steering Council members are elected to serve terms of two years, with a limit of two terms in succession. If you are interested in nominating yourself or another ISTM member, information on the Organizational Structure and Leadership Plan, as well as the Nomination Form, can be found on the Interest Group web page. Nominations must be submitted by 28 October 2012.


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ASTMH Annual Meeting Announced

Featuring World-Class Faculty and the Latest in Tropical Medicine, Hygiene and Global Health Research, Nov. 11-15, Atlanta, GA, USA

Registration is now open ( for The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene's 61st Annual Meeting, Nov. 11-15, in Atlanta. Leading the world-class faculty are plenary speakers Carolyn S. Miles, MBA, President and CEO of Save the Children; Michael Alpers, AO, FRs, BSc, MBBA, MA, Curtin University and the Royal Institution of Australia; John Gyapong, MB, ChB (KNUST), MSc, PhD (London), FGCP, University of Ghana; and ASTMH President James W. Kazura, MD, FASTMH, Case Western Reserve University.

ASTMH's conference is the largest gathering of its kind, bringing together world-class experts in malaria, polio, dengue fever, cholera, tick-borne diseases and drug-resistant TB. Vaccine developers will discuss the results from two potentially ground-breaking late-stage clinical trials, one seeking to provide the world with its first licensed malaria vaccine and another testing the world's first vaccine against dengue fever. Hear new data on the spread of drug-resistant malaria in Asia; an expert assessment of why polio eradication is proving so difficult; insights into why drug-resistant TB in China is emerging in new patients, not just in those previously treated; research into how human scents and even home design influence the risk of mosquito-borne diseases.

The Annual Meeting will feature a Career Fair Nov. 13, and conference attendees may participate in the Society's mentorship program, to take place throughout the conference. ASTMH offers special registration rates for members, students and post-doc attendees. Regular updates and conference information are available at and on Twitter (#ASTMH2012).


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ISTM Crossword Puzzle

World Rabies Day

Crossword Puzzle


  1. People are exposed to rabies through the _____ or nervous tissue from a rabid animal.
  2. The _____ period for the rabies virus may last for weeks to months.
  3. Rabies is caused by a _____.
  4. _________ are often at greatest risk from rabies.
  5. Early symptoms of rabies in humans include fever, headache, and feeling tired. As the disease progresses, a person may experience difficulty sleeping, anxiety, confusion, paralysis, difficulty swallowing, and a fear of ____. Death usually occurs within days of the onset of symptoms.
  6. _____, another common animal that carries rabies, have small teeth which may leave marks that are not easily seen.


  1. Rabies is _______, which means it can spread from animals to people.
  2. 55,000 people, mostly in ____ and Asia, die from rabies every year.
  3. In the United States, ______ are the most common animals found to be rabid.
  4. Rabies is nearly always fatal without proper postexposure _____.
  5. World Rabies Day will be on 28 _____ 2012 this year.
  6. Rabies in humans is 100% __________.
  7. 7.7 million animals have been __________ worldwide.
  8. According to the CDC, exposure to rabid ____ is still the cause of over 90% of human exposures to rabies and of over 99% of human deaths worldwide.

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