Pre-departure Health Assessment
It is wise to review the Center for Disease Control immunization requirements and recommendations for your travel location a few months prior to your departure. (see http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/default.aspx).
You may visit your county’s public health department (http://www.malph.org/page.cfm/108/) or the MSU Travel Clinic http://travelclinic.msu.edu/ for more up-to-date information on health concerns in your target country or countries. The MSU Travel Clinic can also provide vaccinations that most family physicians or clinics do not have in stock. If vaccinated, you will also receive an International Certificate of Vaccination (the “Yellow Card”), that may be used to show proof of vaccination upon entry to certain countries. Note that proof of vaccination for Yellow Fever is required for entry to many countries where the disease is endemic. Presently, there is a world-wide shortage of Yellow Fever Vaccine. Contact the Travel Clinic as soon as you know you are traveling to a Yellow Fever zone http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/yellowfever/YF_Maps_Stats.html).
Students on prescription medication or with pre-existing medical conditions should work with their regular physician to come up with a medical management plan for your time abroad. It is wise to print out the CDC health recommendations for your location of travel and take it to your regular physician to assist in this discussion.
Should you need routine care while abroad, either to manage a pre-existing condition or treat a minor illness or injury, HTH can provide you will a physician referral in advance of your departure.
For Travel to South Africa, please read the following alert from MSU’s University Physician, Dr. Beth Alexander: http://studyabroad.msu.edu/safety/MSU-OSA_Health_Advisory_XDR-TB.html