Health is a complete state of physical, mental and social well being but not the mere absence of diseases (WHO). Good health does not mean the absence of disease - although many would settle for that- it means, rather, ebullience, fitness, and vigor. The human body is constantly at war, from birth to old age, against the environment, bacteria, viruses, and microorganisms of every kind. In other to fight these constant battles the body must be in good physical condition. A lack of fitness makes one vulnerable to every kind of disease, all of which are waiting for the opportunity.

Everyone should carry a medical card in his pocket or wallet, which indicates his personal pertinent medical history; for example, it might indicate an allergy to penicillin or some other substance or that he/she is a diabetic or epileptic. In case of an accident or unconsciousness a medical card can be a lifesaver (commercial cards can be obtained from microcard shops, systemedica and others; a physician can advise where to procure them).

The public health services of the various countries in the world will provide on request all the necessary information regarding particular vaccines needed for every region in the world. When traveling in tropical countries carry insect repellents and never wade in any natural body of water. In doubtful countries, drinking the local water can be hazardous; it is best to confine oneself to purified water and carbonated drinks. The same holds true for ice (although bacteria and other microorganisms cannot survive boiling, they do survive freezing). Only vegetables and fruits that can be peeled should be eaten raw. All pork and beef should be avoided.

Plenty of rest is strongly advised when crossing one or more time zones. Jet lag can be alleviated by drinking a glass of water /or other liquids for every one hour aloft, for the body becomes dehydrated on long trips. Stretching of the legs and if possible standing for a while if possible because this reduces the chances of having thrombosis (local intravascular clotting).

A medical traveling kit is vital. It should contain paregoric for diarrhea, medication for motion sickness and respiratory infections, sleeping pills, insect repellents, antacids, plenty of pain killers or analgesics (aspirin or paracetamol or diclofenac), water purification tablets, a Red Cross first-aid book, and a supply of antibiotics prescribed by a physician. Some physicians' advice carrying 2 ounces of chloroxone dropped in a quart of water will kill all the pathogens within 10 minutes.

No one knows better what will happen to him or her tomorrow, so if you had ever traveled long distances before without this practice, do not forget to observe them next time you travel. Prevention is always better than cure.

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