Have you noticed when you go for your doctor’s appointment, your case file is usually out of your reach? Sometimes as the doctor is noting your symptoms, they are writing recommendations and observations which they may or may not share with you. If you plan to travel out of the country or even to another state within Nigeria, you need to know your medical status. As a smart traveller, you can create your own medical portfolio – a list or document with all your health-related information saved on your computer and updated as needed.
A personal medical portfolio includes things like a list of contacts to notify if there’s an accident where you are incapacitated or unconscious. It also contains your travel itinerary, contact of your healthcare providers (HMOs, Hospital, MD, etc.), health and travel insurance details, and basic medical history. Your medical history could include information like your blood type, the list of donors, date of birth, surgical procedures you’ve undergone, allergies, details of immunizations had, medical devices you are using, current medical conditions and any known medical issue.
A medical portfolio will increase the chances of expediting any emergency travel or travel medical assistance needed should a mishap occur unexpectedly. For instance, being 4000ft in the air travelling from Calabar to Kano and having an attack because of insufficient insulin production in your body. If an emergency doctor is onboard your flight, your portfolio can guide him into the best action on your behalf.
After you have gathered the information for your travel medical portfolio, type it into your computer, print it out when you intend to travel and save copies on your mobile devices. Be ready to update it regularly. There are trips where you will travel alone and others where you will have to travel with your friend, relative spouse or kids. Include their data in an updated version of your medical portfolio unique for that trip. If you take special vaccines when travelling to other countries like the yellow fever vaccine taken for trips to Ethiopia and Kenya, incorporate that into your medical portfolio for that trip.
These may seem like a lot of information to carry around but the total should be compact enough to fit into a card you can slip into your wallet, suitcase tag, pocket or anywhere you keep your other important travel documents. You can have extra copies of the portfolio to share with your travel companions such that if something happens to them, you can speak on their behalf from their information you added to your medical portfolio for that trip. You can also leave copies with your friends and family so they can speak for you when contacted in an emergency.
So get cracking and create your travel medical portfolio with medical emergency details compressed into a handy card with the power to save your life. This will come in handy if a medical emergency occurs.