Helpful Hints for a Healthy Holiday
Helpful Hints for a Healthy Holiday
Traveling without the right medicines could be as awkward as taking a banana to a pineapple fight! Once you land on Uepi Island, you’re not going to want to leave. So, if you get sick and need medicines it’s much better if you’re prepared!
Start your holiday with awareness of the health risks when travelling in a developing country. When staying or transiting through the larger towns, use public toilets only if absolutely necessary and stick to bottled drinking water, as these are the most likely sources of nasty stomach bugs. If you are so unlucky to contract a diarrhoeal illness before you arrive at Uepi Island, you should be prepared. Your doctor may prescribe emergency antibiotics to cover for bacterial diarrhoea and you should have them dispensed to bring with you. Remember that for infective diarrhoea, anti-diarrhoeal medicines (like Gastrostop or Imodium) should only be used in an emergency situation, as typically, it’s better out than in!!! A supply of rehydration salts (like Hydralyte or Gastrolyte) is most useful to prevent dehydration related to illness or even if you find yourself excessively sweaty in our humid climate.
The common cold or flu could attempt to spoil your diving holiday, however, some medicines might help you cope with the symptoms. Pseudoephedrine is the most effective nasal decongestant and in some cases enables you to return to diving sooner. Speak with your doctor or pharmacist to be sure that you find the most suitable product for you.
Our marine environment is absolutely full of life. Of course, we are able to observe and enjoy the visible sea creatures, however, the microorganisms that we don’t see can cause the odd ear infection. Otitis externa (outer ear infection) is common and usually requires treatment with an eardrop (like Sofradex or Otodex). Otitis media (middle ear infection) is also quite common and will require treatment with oral antibiotics, typically Amoxycillin. The above are prescription medicines in Australia and you must discuss with your doctor. Drying agents (like Aqua Ear) can be purchased over-the-counter and are useful to prevent external ear infections.
You might already know that mosquitoes and other critters call the Solomon Islands home. Although we are lucky to have no mosquito born illnesses here on Uepi Island, Malaria and Dengue fever exist throughout the Solomon Islands. You may choose to take anti-malarial medicines (especially if you are spending time in larger towns and villages) and it is important to discuss the risk-benefit of prophylactic measures with your doctor. Insect repellent should be used and longer clothing worn at dusk and dawn may also prevent unwanted mosquito bites. Mosquitoes and friends like to bite, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself a little itchy. Make sure someone in your group travels with over-the-counter oral antihistamines and a topical product (like Medi-Cream or Soov that contains a local anaesthetic and antiseptic) to deal with any unexpected skin conditions that can be related to the climate, mosquitoes, minor wounds or stingers in the water.
Anaphylactic reactions are always serious, but please, be aware that at Uepi we can not call 000. This means, you must travel with 2 Epipens (Adrenaline injection) if you have a known or potentially serious allergy (to foods, insects, jellyfish etc).
If you’re travelling with children, we already know you’re organized. Be sure to bring medicines for your kids, as we don’t have access to a pharmacy once you’re in the Marovo Lagoon and children’s formulations are unlikely to be available on site.
Keep in mind that Uepi is remote and the weather can unexpectedly affect your travel. For this reason, it is essential that you travel with an extra supply of any regular medicines just in case you are stranded in paradise! Always carry essential medicines, prescription eyewear or other must-haves in your carry-on luggage, as you can never be sure your checked bags will have the same journey as you!