Are you a fresh expat, making their home in an entirely new country? If so, then make sure that you’ve got all essentials taken care of, and that includes your own health and well-being. After all, living somewhere that’s completely different not only exposes you to quite a lot of stress due to all the new things you have to acclimatize yourself to, but also new health risks to protect yourself from. To help you get started, here are some health concerns all expats should look out for.

  1. Do you have international health insurance? When you’re moving to another country, whether to work or to live there permanently, you have to consider the fact that there is a chance that something might happen that could cause you to require prompt medical attention, such as a bad case of food poisoning or a broken ankle. While you may think that you have nothing to worry about since you already have health insurance, the fact is that your policy may not necessarily apply across borders, and could result in you having difficulties in getting treated abroad. To make sure you’re adequately covered wherever you go, make sure to get international health insurance from a trusted provider, such as from Now Health International.
  2. Have you had a health checkup recently? If you’re conscientious about keeping your health in check and have recently gone through a thorough health checkup with your doctor, then you don’t have to worry about this particular concern. However, if it’s been ages since your last visit, then you may want to schedule a checkup right way. This way, you’ll be able to find out if there are certain things you need to watch out for when it comes to keeping yourself healthy, or if there’s a change to any of the medications you’re currently taking for maintenance. Yes, we know it can be quite a scary prospect at times, but it’s all for the sake of good health.
  3. Have you been vaccinated for local diseases? Depending on where you’re going to be working or moving, you may need to get yourself vaccinated against diseases that you may catch in your home country, such as hepatitis, typhoid, and malaria. In fact, some countries even require you to be vaccinated before allowing you to work or live within their borders. As these vaccinations do take time to really ‘take’, and some of them may even cause you to feel under the weather for a short time, it’s best to have those six to eight weeks in advance before taking the trip. Once you’re there, immediately visit the nearest facility to see if there are any additional vaccinations you may need to take for seasonal conditions.
  4. Do you have an adequate stock of medication? If you’re on a strict regimen of medication that you have to take every day for a pre-existing condition, then make sure that you always have an adequate supply on hand. Some health conditions that are managed by regular intake of medicine can ‘bounce’ back in a really drastic way when you fail to take a dosage in time. Avoid that by buying enough in advance with every trip to your drugstore or cemist.
  5. Do you have adequate sunscreen and mosquito repellent? This is especially important if you’re moving or working somewhere with sunny weather, such as in the tropics. There’s going to be a lot of sun and a lot of mosquitoes to deal with in tropical weather, so make sure you pack enough tubes of sunscreen and mosquito-repelling lotion to avoid sunburn and mosquito bites. The latter of which is an infection vector for a number of nasty diseases like malaria and dengue fever.

Just because you’re getting a more permanent change of scenery as an expat doesn’t mean that you have to suddenly disregard regular health practices. Always remember that we’ve only been given one body to live with for the rest of our lives, and no matter where we end up it falls to us to take care of it as much as we can.