For anyone traveling in the near future, I’d like to introduce you to my client, Shahin Abdullah, who runs her own travel clinic in in the east end of Ottawa (Orleans), Ontario called Destinations Travel Clinic.
My 13 year old daughter, Ciara, is going to Ecuador on a Me-to-We trip with her grade 8 class in March. Ciara was feeling a little skittish about the upcoming experience, especially since I’d come home from Ecuador last November with a nasty bug. After the consult with Shahin, who is a nurse, Ciara now feels really prepared, medically-wise, as do I. I wish I’d known to take advantages of her services before I went to Ecuador! (Maybe I might not have gotten so sick!)
Shahin is extremely professional, has a lovely office set up just next to Place D’Orleans, and she really took the time to go through all the precautions Ciara should take at destination.
Some of the suggestions:
-Besides the regular precautions that I’ve shared with Ciara as a travel advisor (don’t drink the tap water, don’t use local water to even brush your teeth, only eat food that has been cooked or peeled, etc.), Shahin suggested that Ciara should eat ONLY junk food – pop, chips, etc. – at an international airport, as bottles have been known to be recycled, filled with local tap water, and sold as bottled water to unsuspecting tourists.
-Shahin also cautioned against eating yogurt… because unpasteurized milk may present problems for North American stomachs.
-As well, she suggested that at high altitude, Ciara should reverse was is typical in North American diets – instead of a diet high in protein and low in carbs, she suggested CIara eat a lot of carbs, and low protein. (Imagine a 13 year old being told to eat more chocolate chip cookies and granola bars! Ciara was smiling from ear to ear.)
Shahin not only updated Ciara’s immunizations (in a very stress-free maner)… but she also gave Ciara an oral typhoid protection (vivotif), as well as an oral vaccine to protect against traveler’s diarrhea from e-coli (which you take 2 weeks in advance of going), as well as azithromycin in case Ciara gets traveler’s diarrhea while there (cipro is for adults), plus diamox as a precaution against altitude sickness (which Ciara takes in advance of going – since Quito is such a high altitude). In addition, she made sure Ciara understood all of the possible side effects, and addressed questions.
There is a charge for the vaccinations, plus a consult fee. Your insurance may cover portions (so it’s best to check with them what is covered/ reimbursable). But having been so sick after returning from Ecuador, I wish I’d thought to visit Shahin before I’d gone… it would’ve been nice to have skipped that lovely experience. 🙂
If you’re planning a trip in the near future, I’d highly recommend you give Shahin a call. I’ll be referring all of my clients to her!